WMA Overview

Size: 8645 acres
Location: Ballard
Contact: (270) 224-2244
Elevation: minimum 295 feet, maximum 361 feet.
Entrance GPS coordinates: Latitude N 37.0095, Longitude W -89.1218
Area Habitat: open land 34.97%, forest 15.16%, wetland 39.60%, open water 10.26%.


Swan Lake Unit:

Squirrel: Open under statewide regulations from the third Saturday in May through the third Friday in June, and from the third Saturday in August through Oct. 14.

Turkey: Open under statewide regulations for spring, closed for fall turkey.

Rabbit, Grouse, Quail, Fall Turkey & Furbearers: Closed.

Deer: Open under statewide regulations for Archery and Crossbow seasons through Oct. 14 only, and the Youth-Only Firearms season.

Closed for Free Youth Weekend.

Unit closed to all public access Oct. 15 - March 15

Olmsted, Peal and all other units: Open under statewide regulations for all hunting and trapping seasons, except some portions may be closed to public access as marked by signs.


Including Peal, Olmstead, 400 Acre and Swan Lake units

• From Nov.28- Dec. 1, shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, excluding Swan Lake Unit, which is closed. Hunters do not have to check in during these dates.

• Hunting must cease,and hunters and equipment must be off the area by 2 p.m. CST from Dec. 7, 2019 - Jan. 31, 2020. These dates require check-in.

• For all units, check-in begins at 4:30 a.m. CST at the First General Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 255 S. 4th Street, Barlow, KY 42024. Blinds are drawn starting at 4:45 a.m. CST.

• Hunters must check out of the area by accurately completing the Daily Post-Hunt Survey provided by the department and submitting the survey at the at the check-in station by 3 p.m.

• Hunters are not allowed to enter the area to hunt until after they check in and possess a check-in card.

• Waterfowl hunters are limited to 25 shot shells per day.

• Hunting is permitted Wednesday - Sunday, no hunting on Christmas Eve,Christmas Day or New Year's Day.

• When hunting assigned hunt sites:

- At least one person in the blind must be 18 years of age or older;

- Hunters shall only hunt waterfowl from a permanent department blind or layout blind(s)in a single group of 2-4 persons from layout blinds set in such a manner that all layout blinds in the group lie within a 25 foot radius of the blind group."Layout blind" means a portable blind that when fully deployed allows an individual hunter to conceal oneself above the surface of the ground;

- While hunting from a boat, hunters must hunt within 25 feet of assigned designated point;

- Boat blinds shall not be permitted in flooded timber, except during periods of flood where no other access is possible and except mobility-impaired hunters may hunt from a boat with no set back restriction fro those in the party assisting with the hunt. When boat blinds are permitted, there shall be a 200-yard distance between boat blinds.

- Decoys must be removed at the end of each day's hunt, and may not be left unattended.

• Areas identified by signs are closed to trespassing Oct. 15 - March 15.

• Areas identified by signs are closed to all hunting except for waterfowl from Nov. 1- Jan. 31.

• Those participating in a Kentucky Fish & Wildlife waterfowl quota hunt

Directions & Description

  • Peal Unit (1,724 acres): 4 miles west of Barlow on Mounds City Landing Road. River bottomland with marshlands and cypress swamps; 2 roads, access to 3 oxbow lakes. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting.
  • Upper Blenderman Unit (204 acres): same address as Peal. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting.
  • Zola Taress Unit (100 acres): same address as Peal. Open under statewide regulations.
  • Stevens Unit (73 acres): same address as Peal. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting.
  • Swan Lake Unit (2,200 acres): 6 miles northwest of Wickliffe on US 51/60. Primarily bottomland and flood plain area of the Ohio River, with several lakes and some interior gravel roads. Wintering ring-billed and herring gulls, double-crested cormorants, waterfowl, bald eagles. Special regulations for hunting, advance application for waterfowl hunting. Except for designated observation area, Swan Lake Unit closed Oct. 15-March 15 as waterfowl refuge. Public hunting closed when floodwaters prevent safe entry to blinds by wheeled vehicles. Fishing and boating available. Open under statewide regulations,
  • Olmsted Unit (2,096 acres): 4 miles west of Barlow on Salle Crice Road. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting.
  • Other units include the Stalling Unit (148 acres) and the Perkins Unit (160 acres).