October 04, 2007
Frankfort, KY – Kentucky hunters now have 15,000 new acres to pursue
deer, elk, turkey and small game this fall in Clay, Bell and Leslie counties at
Graham Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Roughly
three-quarters of this area is part of the Begley WMA/Daniel Boone National
Forest Limited Entry Area for elk hunting while the remainder is open to
at-large elk hunting.
“This is part of our ongoing commitment to provide more hunting access to the
public,” said Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner
Jon Gassett. “We are extremely grateful that Tommy Graham, the landowner, made
this happen. People like Mr. Graham share our love of the outdoors and recognize
the importance of preserving our hunting heritage by allowing more public access
to large tracts of property.”
The portions of the area open to at-large elk hunting mainly lie west of KY 66
and north of KY 1850.
“There are a lot of elk on that property,” said Tony Wheatley, lands acquisition
coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “You have a great place to elk
The area is a mixture of mature hardwoods and reclaimed coal mining land.
“The majority of it is in timberland,” said Graham, a resident of Linden,
Tennessee. “I owned a lot of land in Tennessee and I was in a similar program in
Tennessee. That was one of the main reasons I did this. I believe being in this
type of program adds value to the land.”
The strip benches and other remains of mining on portions of Graham WMA should
make the property an easier place to hunt compared to the topography of the
surrounding area. ”The mountains in that part of the state are tall and steep,”
Wheatley said. “But, with all of the old strip benches, there should be plenty
of places for hunters to set-up to deer or elk hunt. It should be relatively
easy for hunters to go in and out and retrieve downed game.”
The area is open to statewide regulations for deer, turkey, small game hunting.
There are few viable fishing opportunities on the area. Be sure to follow all
signage as some areas are off-limits to the public.
The area lies between KY 66 and U.S. 421 south of Hal Rogers Parkway in the area
where Clay, Bell and Leslie counties meet.