Explore Kentucky Lake

Land Between The Lakes
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Hunting in Land Between The Lakes


Hunting is a tool used to manage wild game populations at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (LBL). These protected lands are filled with white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, squirrel, rabbit, fox, bobcat and a number of other small game that hunters can harvest throughout the year. In fact, LBL is open to various types of hunting about 70% of the year, equaling just over 250 days annually.

The hunting rules and regulations at LBL differ from state regulations in Kentucky and Tennessee; therefore, hunters should be familiar with annual updates and guidelines presented on this popular hunting destination’s website.

Deer Hunting

Approximately 90% of the 170,000 acres that comprise the Land Between the Lakes are teeming with wild game that are legal to hunt. These animal populations can be found in abundance, including a strong population of mature, white-tailed deer.

LBL offers hunters updates and habitat maps that make the hunting experience productive for those new to the region, as well as those seeking to explore less familiar portions of the recreation area. The annual guidelines also offer helpful information indicating the lands where deer populations are most dense.

In the fall and winter months, LBL offers deer hunters the opportunity to take part in annual hunts for deer, waterfowl and various types of small game species. Deer hunters using firearms can apply for a quota deer hunt permit in July. In order to hunt deer with firearms, a quota permit must be secured in advance.

Turkey Hunting

The forests of Land Between the Lakes are home to a number of wild turkey. Those seeking to participate in the spring turkey hunt should apply for a quota turkey hunt permit in February. LBL’s website offers links to turkey hunting guidelines and rules by which hunters must abide. One rule turkey hunters should note is that pre-season turkey calling is illegal. Turkey calls must be reserved for the turkey season each year.


For those interested in harvesting small game, the Land Between the Lakes offers plenty of options. Raccoons, rabbits, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, armadillos, groundhogs, quail, opossums and dove woodcocks are just a few that can be legally hunted using trapping methods.

Those trapping at LBL will need an additional Trapping Permit. These can be obtained through the USDA Forest Service - Land Between the Lakes.

Hunting Permits

All those hunting at Land Between the Lakes will need to have a Land Between the Lakes Hunter Use Permit, applicable state licenses and any additional permits required to partake in a specific form of hunting. Check the recreation area’s website for details and current regulations.

You can download the latest Land Between The Lakes Hunt Area Map Book here.

For more information on hunting at Land Between the Lakes call (270) 924-2065 or email lblinfo@fs.fed.us.

Find A Place To Stay While Hunting in LBL

Land Between The Lakes offers developed campgrounds but most of them may be closed during the hunting season.  You can find affordable hotels and motels as well as resorts, bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals by owner near the entrances of Land Between The Lakes.  Use the tools below to find a place to crash for the night (or two!) on your next LBL hunting trip.

Note:  ExploreKentuckyLake.com is not the official site of the Land Between The Lakes. You can access their official site here.

Geese in Flight
Photo by Murray Blake

These Canadian geese are just beginning their yearly migration south to avoid the long, cold winter. They will return in spring to the welcoming waterways of the Kentucky Lakes Area.