Public Land Eastern KY

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by minixjt, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. minixjt

    minixjt Fawn

    Jul 10, 2018
    Paintsville, KY
    Hi all. Greetings. Was wondering what everyone's opinion was on what is the best public land bowhunting locations (if any) in Eastern KY?

    Thanks in advance for the info
  2. Munson

    Munson 8 pointer

    Dec 24, 2011
    Natural Bridge
    Daniel Boone national forest. Thousands of acres to sling arrows.
  3. luvtohunt

    luvtohunt 8 pointer

    Sep 1, 2011
    Eubank, Ky
    When I hunted over that way I spend a lot of time at the WMA over around Carr Creek Lake. Killed with pressure during gun season but I never saw another person during bow season. There were several sections of the WMA if I remember correctly kind of like tracts. Some were better than others. Plenty of deer there though and of course this was 15-20 years ago so may be worthless info now.
  4. bondhu

    bondhu 12 pointer

    Jul 3, 2015
    Battle Run
    DBNF to much there not to be good
  5. minixjt

    minixjt Fawn

    Jul 10, 2018
    Paintsville, KY
    Thanks all for the replies! Has anyone hunted Paintsville or Yatesville WMA for early bowhunting (not quota hunts).
  6. rockhousehunter

    rockhousehunter 8 pointer

    Oct 18, 2013
    West Liberty, Ky
    I've hunted Paintsville WMA a few times and just don't like it. Relatively rugged and not much there to put an arrow in. I killed a decent 8 pt. there years ago but seems like the quality and quantity have both dropped significantly. Not to mention, they were also devastated by EHD last fall.
  7. Dark Cloud

    Dark Cloud 12 pointer

    Aug 14, 2009
    Lawrence Co.
    I don’t hunt deer hunt much anymore .All kinds of property on yatesville,pick up a map and start scouting,it does get a bunch of people through rifle season I think,not sure about bow.Theres a lot of room if you’ll do the scouting to find it.
  8. Teach Deer

    Teach Deer 6 pointer

    Aug 4, 2013
    The most important thing to remember is that eastern KY (especially SE KY) was ravaged by EHD last was bad (smelled for weeks at my brother's place in Knott Co where I use to bow and gun hunt--it is about 5 miles from Carr Fork WMA)...

    The second most important thing to remember is how absolutely rugged the area is...with the hot temperatures of early archery season, you need to have a plan to deal with the meat (vs spoilage), because it can take you a good while to retrieve a deer, especially without an ATV...

    My top spot would be Grayson Lake WMA in Carter Co. When I really got serious some 25 years ago, it was my go to spot for opening day of archery (back in the day when you had to check in/out of WMAs)...if you are going south towards the lake, there is a road to the left (goes out to Camp Webb, the conservation camp)...several good places on the left side of the road (lake is on the right side)...

    Daniel Boone NF was a fantastic spot back about 18-20 years ago (before the zoning was lowered and the slaughter occurred). The hunting can be physically brutal with steep, deep hollows (see 2nd most important thing)...also the area was heavily populated with rattlesnakes, so make sure you are equipped with heavy (snakeproof) boots... I still gun hunt this area, mostly unsuccessfully, because of the very low deer numbers now... The area I am hunting is in Rowan Co.

    Carr Fork WMA is a great area (potentially could also see Elk in the area) uncle has hunted the area for 20 years or more...saw only a handful of deer last will take several years for the deer in this area to recover...
  9. minixjt

    minixjt Fawn

    Jul 10, 2018
    Paintsville, KY
    Thanks again for all the replies. Especially about Daniel Boone & Yatesville. My family has a small farm in Magoffin that I always hunted but was utterly ravaged by EHD last year.
    I’d like to become proficient at scouting new land enough to start venturing about the state and some neighboring ones hunting public land. I’m an utter novice bow hunter, the long season and challenge drew me in and finally I have enough time to dedicate to practice a bit with so we’ll see it goes.
    Greatly appreciate all the advice above
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  10. basshunter9239

    basshunter9239 6 pointer

    Dec 3, 2009
    I can agree with this about Daniel Boone Forest. It use to be good, I seen many 140-170” in the cave run area. But now you would think that there’s not a deer within 30 miles. I don’t even waste my time there anymore.
  11. basshunter9239

    basshunter9239 6 pointer

    Dec 3, 2009
    I would head a little west to clay wildlife management area. There wasent many deer in magoffin county even before EHD
    rockhousehunter likes this.
  12. KYT

    KYT 8 pointer

    May 3, 2008
    Eastern Ky.
    Paintsville, Dewey, Grayson, Yatesville. Don't be put off by the EHD . Although many deer died, many survived . You only need one. I saw more deer last winter than Ive seen in 5 years. Maybe because they were moving and reestablishing their home range. There are pockets of good deer numbers in all those places. Scouting is the key. Their is no substitute for it. Find the fresh deer tracks and fresh deer trails and you will find the deer.
    rockhousehunter likes this.

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