Lincoln wildlife area open for hunting, hiking

December 09, 2004|EMILY BURTON

CRAB ORCHARD - It had been touted as a waterfowl hunter's paradise, but Lincoln County's newest wildlife management area has become known in its first year as a rabbit haven.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife's purchased Spurlin Bottoms, renamed Dix River Wildlife Management Area, from the Spurlin family in January and has opened it to hikers and hunters.

"We've erected some signs at the entrance, off Ky. 39 and Fall Lick Road, and we made some parking areas," said regional wildlife coordinator Brian Gray. "There should be some pretty good rabbit hunting right now" as well as deer and raccoon.

The management area is on Ky. 39 north of the Crab Orchard city limits and four miles north of Cedar Creek Lake.


The 400 acres were purchased from Jim and Libby Spurlin for $561,842 after lengthy negotiations.

"It's basically fields that have grown up in weeds" and 100 acres of woods, said Gray. The land has long been known by local hunters as prime gaming fields and is now gaining an even larger reputation as such.

"I've gotten quite a few calls about it," said Gray.

According to Gray, the area is "more or less an island," bordered mostly by Mud Lick Branch and Dix River, and the remaining boundaries are marked by yellow paint. But you have to forge Dix River to access the area, said Gray, and the water levels fluctuate after a hard rain.

"It will take two or three days for it to go down, so you don't have to wade in up to your knees," said Gray.

As for the future of Dix River WMA, Gray said the waterfowl population will continue to increase, as will the deer, rabbits and raccoons. The natural habitat provided for each also will continue to be improved for nature lovers and hunters alike.

"We'll probably restore it into its natural state with land for forests and wetlands," said Gray.

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