Miller Welch-Central Kentucky WMA

Field trials, ranges, hunting opportunities an hour away from Lexington


By Lee McClellan



          The Miller Welch-Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Madison County offers 1,848 acres to hunt squirrels, work dogs, fish for bluegill and largemouth bass, shoot trap and skeet, bowhunt for deer and pursue turkeys.

          This area, located between Richmond and Berea, is popular place for dog training. It also hosts numerous field trials for hunting dogs, said Marcia Schroeder, WMA supervisor. That was the vision of Miller Welch.

Welch was the driving force behind the formation of the Bluegrass Sportsman’s League. He also worked for the purchase of land in central Kentucky where people could work their dogs. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources renamed the WMA after Welch’s death to honor him.

           Before heading the WMA to train dogs or hunt, be sure to first call the office at (859) 986-4130 or check the WMA bulletin board for scheduled field or other events.

          From April 1 through the third Saturday in August, dogs must remain on a leash unless they are participating in a field trial authorized by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. If no events are scheduled, dogs can be off lease for squirrel hunting during the spring season or from the third Sunday in August through March 31 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

          Miller Welch-Central Kentucky WMA has excellent trap and skeet shooting facilities operated by clubs. Shooters must register with the clubs and pay for targets. The skeet club shoots on Thursday nights and the trap club shoots on Monday nights. The area also has a self serve trap range, but users must bring their own thrower and targets. The area also has a tube style shooting range.

          Visitors find surprisingly good fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish. The ponds can be a little difficult to find until you know the area, but an excellent map on the internet at will help. Click on the “Species Information, Maps and GIS” tab and on the “Public Hunting Maps” tab. One of the largest and most accessible ponds is right behind the skeet range on Dreyfus Road.

          Miller Welch-Central Kentucky WMA offers good hunting for grey and fox squirrels, with some of the best areas located on the east side of Old Muddy Creek Road.

          The area is open for spring and fall turkey seasons. Hunters may want to call ahead at (859) 986-4130 to make sure no field trials are scheduled on the day they plan to hunt. The area is open to archery deer hunting, no cross bows. There is a healthy population of whitetails on the area.



Take U.S. 421 south from Richmond for approximately 6 miles to Dreyfus Road (KY 3376). Take a left on Dreyfus Road and proceed about 2 miles.