Knobs State Forest and WMA

Nearly 1,600 acres near Louisville opens to hunters


By Lee McClellan



          The Knobs of Kentucky form a ring of miniature mountains around the Outer Bluegrass. Oak-hickory forests interspersed with pastures and croplands cover these conical hills - ideal turkey habitat.

          Biologists chose the Bernheim Forest area in the Knobs as one of the first places to stock wild turkeys during the initial phases of restoration in the early 1980s. The flock expanded so well that this population became the source for turkey stockings throughout the state, according to Brian Clark, public lands regional coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

          Now there is a place nearby for the public to hunt. Knobs State Forest and Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which is located next to Bernheim Forest south of Louisville, recently opened to hunting. It provides people 1,550 acres to hunt turkey, deer and small game.

          “That area is full of turkeys,” Clark noted. “The hunting should be good.”

          Owned by the Kentucky Division of Forestry and managed by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, the Bullitt County tract also has good potential for deer hunting. “I would have to say there is opportunity for larger, mature bucks because the areas around Knobs State Forest have been protected so the deer could grow,” Clark said.

          The number of oaks and hickories at Knobs should also make it a good destination for squirrel hunters. “The squirrel hunting should be outstanding,” Clark said. “The area has lots of variety of ages of nut-bearing trees from pole trees to mature saw timber.”

          The area also contains 35 acres of fields and open areas planted in native grasses and wild flowers. That should provide quail and rabbit hunting opportunities.

          Visitors may not use all-terrain vehicles or ride horses on the area, but hikers are welcome. Gated paths are available for use by hunters or hikers. An information kiosk located near the first of two parking areas along Crooked Creek Road provides additional information on the trails.

          Currently, parking on the area is tight, but new parking areas will open in the future.

          Knobs WMA is open under statewide seasons for wild turkey, small game, furbearers and migratory birds. Deer hunting is limited to archery and crossbow. Red blazes on trees and signs mark the boundaries of the area.


How to get there

From Louisville, take I-65 south to KY 245 west to KY 61 south, then left onto Pioneer Drive. This runs into Crooked Creek (Scuffletown) Road. The area lies on the right side of Crooked Creek Road.