There are 10,000 acres of federal lands at Barren River Lake and approximately 8,000 acres are available for all types of hunting. The Corps of Engineers has leased this land and the 10,000 acres of water to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife for management of the fisheries and wildlife. The leased land is referred to as a WMA (Wildlife Management Area). Kentucky Hunting Regulations are enforced on these Corps of Engineers Lands.

Much of the lake is bordered by private land, which requires written permission from the landowner for visitors to cross their land to access federal land. A boat is an excellent way to access most of the available hunting areas at Barren.

No Hunting Areas
These areas are closed to all types of hunting: Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Corps of Engineer Recreation Areas, and the Girl Scout leased area on Cooks Creek. State and local restrictions may also apply.

Public Hunting Areas
There are seven Public Hunting Areas or WMAs at Barren. The islands and Peninsula WMA are primitive weapons only: bow, crossbow, and muzzleloader. The Public Hunting Areas are large tracts of land, several hundred acres each, that have a public roadway access point. These accessible areas are good areas for hunting; however, they do receive heavy use, especially during the weekends of deer hunting gun seasons.

There is a free map available at the Corps Office that will help in locating areas for hunting. To become familiar with Barren River Lake, plan a scouting trip. Contact information for the Barren River Lake Project Office is on the menu bar to the right.

Remember, written permission is required to hunt on or to cross private property.

Commandments of Hunting Safety:

  • Treat every gun with the respect due a loaded gun. This is the cardinal rule of safety.
  • Guns carried into camp or home must always be unloaded, taken down or have actions open; guns always should be encased until reaching the shooting area.
  • Always be sure that the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
  • Always carry guns to maintain control the muzzle's direction, in case of a trip or fall. Keep the safety on until ready to shoot.
  • Be sure of the target before pulling the trigger.
  • Never point a gun at anything that is not a target.
  • Unattended guns should be unloaded; guns and ammunition should be stored safely beyond reach of children and careless adults. Trigger guards should be locked and in place.
  • Never climb a tree or fence with a loaded gun.
  • Never shoot at a flat, hard surface or the surface of water.
  • Drinking alcohol and hunting do not mix.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Barren River Lake WMA Map