The hunting spotlight has shone on the Bluegrass State for the past decade or so, and no wonder: Since 1987 Kentucky has produced over 0 B&C; bucks from more than 60 counties, making it one of the best states in the nation for giant whitetails. The state averages about 10 B&C; bucks a year. Last season 170,000 hunters tagged 116,500 Kentucky whitetails from a herd of 800,000. The tally includes 16,400 deer taken with muzzleloaders. There's plenty of excellent hunting available on Kentucky public land. For example, 8,000-acre Ballard WMA, a short drive west of the Ohio-River community of Paducah, is prime. Ballard requires hunters to pay a fee and apply in advance for access. It isn't overrun with deer (20 per square mile), but it has a one-to-one buck-doe ratio, and there are plenty of 140-inch bucks, according to Kentucky big-game coordinator Jonathan Day.