Sandhill Crane Season Approved in Kentucky
After listening to both sides, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday unanimously approved a Dec. 17 to Jan. 15 hunting season for cranes. There were members from the state's Audubon societies against the hunt, and then there were members from sportsmen clubs supporting the season. Those against the hunt believe the bird's population does not need to be managed by hunting, and that it is a majestic animal that benefits bird watchers. Sportsmen say that by giving the crane a season, gives the crane more value, and more dollars will be spent towards crane habitat.
The sand hill cranes have rebounded from their earlier numbers, almost wiped out from over hunting, in the early 1900s. The season would only allow 400 sandhills to be taken. With these low numbers there should still be population growth. 400 is less than 1% of their current population. The commission said that this decision can always be reversed if they see any issues with the crane's population.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife still must have a hearing on this season, since the crane is a migratory bird. They are expected to have their final say in August, from Kentucky.com.