Kentucky DFW Proposes Increase in Elk Hunting Permits
At its quarterly meeting on December 7, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed to raise the number of quota elk permits available for 2008 and change the framework for quota elk hunting areas. The Commission also recommended a change to the current restriction on the supplemental feeding of wildlife, to go into effect March 2008, and changes to small game hunting, which would take effect in fall 2008.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission recommends all hunting, fishing and boating regulations for approval by the General Assembly and approves all expenditures by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. All recommendations must be approved by legislators before they become law.
The Commission voted to raise the number of quota elk permits for the 2008 fall hunting season to 400, up from the 2007 season total of 300. The total number of permits would include 100 permits for bull elk and 300 permits for cow elk. Commissioners may change the number of elk permits, if needed, after elk population research and all harvest data are complete this winter.
Commission members voted to change the framework for quota elk hunt areas. Under the recommendation, the 16-county elk restoration zone in southeastern Kentucky would be divided into six Elk Hunting Units, which would replace the previous zone system. The initial application procedure to apply for Kentucky's quota elk hunts would remain the same – hunters still apply by purchasing the $10 Elk Lottery Application by April 30, 2008, and successful applicants are drawn for a bull or cow elk permit. Those drawn hunters would be able to specify their preference of Elk Hunting Unit and would then be entered into a second drawing to get their assignment.
Assistants to quota elk hunters would be required to comply with Kentucky's hunter orange clothing law, a requirement already in place for quota elk hunters.
The Commission also voted to allow air rifles in calibers from .17 to .22 to harvest small game. Previously, .22-caliber and larger air rifles were the only air rifles legal to harvest small game.
Rabbit and quail quota hunts would be available on a 3,000-acre tract of Peabody Wildlife Management Area, following similar quota hunt application procedures already in place for pheasant quota hunts. This area would be closed to non-quota rabbit and quail hunters during the rabbit and quail season.
The Commission voted to alter the period of time when supplemental feeding of wildlife is prohibited. Currently, feeding wildlife with grain, seed or manufactured animal feed outside the curtilage of the home (the area immediately surrounding a home or group of homes) is prohibited March 1 through July 31. Beginning in 2008, this regulation would only be in effect March 1 through May 31.
In other business, the Commission voted to create a $5 shooting preserve license which hunters could purchase in lieu of a statewide annual or short-term hunting license. The shooting preserve license would be valid for an entire license year only on the shooting preserve for which it is bought.
The next Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting will be held at 8 a.m., Friday, March 7, 2008 at #1 Sportsman's Lane off U.S. 60 in Frankfort. Persons interested in addressing the Commission must notify the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner's office in writing at least 30 days in advance to be considered for placement on the meeting agenda. People who are hearing impaired and plan to attend the meeting should contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at least 10 days in advance and the agency will provide a translator. To request to address the Commission, write to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, Commissioner Dr. Jon Gassett, #1 Sportsman's Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky, 40601. At its quarterly meeting on December 7, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed to raise the number of quota elk permits available for 2008 and change the framework for quota elk hunting areas.