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Kentucky: Important Meetings Scheduled on <br/> the Sandhill Crane Hunting Proposal!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment Meeting on June 2!
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission to Hold Meeting on June 3!

At 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment will hold a meeting to discuss the proposed Sandhill Crane hunting season, prior to its official filing by the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission.  At this time, you should begin contacting members of the Interim Joint Committee, who can be found by clicking hereWhile this meeting will not determine the outcome of the proposed season, it is important that we continue to show how important it is to use hunters as the conservation tool for Kentucky’s abundant and sustainable population of Sandhill Cranes.

It is also important that you begin contacting your state legislators and urge them to support this proposal as it goes through the approval process, which you can find by clicking here.

Also, at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, June 3, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet to discuss the current proposal for establishing a Sandhill Crane season.  The meeting will be held in the Commission Room of the Arnold Mitchell Building, located at 1 Sportsman's Lane in Frankfort. This meeting marks the last opportunity for public input prior to the official filing of the regulation with the Legislative Research Commission.  If you are unable to attend this meeting and would like to comment on the proposed season, please click here.

Over the last three decades the Sandhill Crane population has grown over 300% to the point where hunters in 13 states currently enjoy being able to participate in the hunting and proper management of this abundant species.  The goal of the KDFWR proposal is to allow the greatest possible participation for hunters, while being certain the Sandhill Crane population is properly maintained for future generations.

After years of study on the issue, the KDFWR has proposed a thirty-day hunting season with a two-bird per day bag limit and an overall harvest not to exceed 400.  These limits are based on the population size over the last five years.  This season would begin in mid-December from sunrise to sunset during the start of the migratory season.  Interested hunters would be required to obtain a permit and complete a survey at the end of the season for KDFWR analysis.  The number of permits issued and surveys would then be used to monitor the population size and make sure the harvest level does not exceed the predetermined level.

Anti-hunting forces are coming out in droves against this proposal, but the facts speak for themselves.  This management plan took more than ten years of careful work to develop and takes a conservative approach toward the harvest of this species. Above all else, it ensures that hunting will not have a negative effect on the population. The establishment of migratory bird hunting seasons over the years has not only been successful in helping monitor and assess the populations of these types of birds, it has been a major factor in helping these populations recover to healthy levels. The addition of hunters is necessary to help this population grow, with the help of their post-season surveys and a tightly controlled harvest limit, anti-hunters have nothing to substantiate their claims and have done nothing to contribute to the growth of this species.

For KDFWR’s official proposal, frequently asked questions and articles on the issue, please click here.

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