Daniel Boone is an American icon and he is the namesake for the largest piece of public land in Kentucky. Spread across 21 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky, more than 708,000 acres of Daniel Boone National Forest system lands are managed within a 2.1 million-acre proclamation boundary.
One of the unique jewels within the national forest is the Pioneer Weapons Area WMA. This 7,610-acre tract is designated for hunting with "primitive" weapons. Modern breech-loading firearms are prohibited. Hunters must use muzzle-loading firearms, bows or crossbows (no scopes of any sort) to hunt and harvest wild game, like Native Americans and early settlers would have hunted.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources had a meeting about this WMA this past September. One of the proposals is to allow the use of scopes and modern inline muzzleloaders on the Pioneer Weapons Area WMA. This issue was re-scheduled without hardly any notice to the November Meeting – where KYBHA was there again to let our voices be heard.
Kentucky BHA does not support this proposed change. From the time of Boone to the movie Jeremiah Johnson (that rekindled interest in muzzleloader hunting) through today, the world has changed in innumerable ways. By maintaining this area, which represents about 1% of the Daniel Boone National Forests, for traditional muzzleloading equipment we honor our past and preserve it for future generations.