Kentucky Special Plate Sales Pay for Public Hunting Land Purchases
The trophy deer that thousands of Kentucky drivers have on their license plates is paying dividends. The League of Kentucky Sportsmen has used proceeds from the sale of specialty white-tailed buck license plates to buy 489 acres of hunting land for public use in Greenup County.
"The purchase of these lands, and others like them, are a testament to the heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping as well as the dedication of our sportsmen," said League of Kentucky Sportsman President Bill Haycraft. "Lands like these will ensure that our grandchildren can carry on those traditions in years to come."
The specialty plates, first issued in 2006, were designed by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife employee Adrienne Yancy. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife artist Rick Hill painted the deer image.
Members of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen sponsored the specialty plate and paid for the initial run of 900. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet records show 5,275 of the plates were sold in 2006, while the number climbed to 11,245 in 2007. Purchasers may donate to the league when they buy the license plate.
League members formed the non-profit Habitat Improvement and Land Acquisition Foundation (HILAF) to purchase land for public use by hunters and anglers. Former League President Ronnie Wells, who spearheaded the specialty plate project, now serves as an agent for the fund and plays a role in property acquisition.
Wells, who said the league is the oldest and largest conservation organization in the state, noted the Greenup County property will be protected from future development. The group purchased 280 acres of the property last October and then bought an adjacent 209-acre farm in February.
"These farms were in a good location, out in the boonies," Wells explained. "That's what we were looking for, so that hunters wouldn't have any conflicts with nearby developments."
The property, located at 1423 Stockholm Road just north of the community of York, is open for hunting. Parking for eight vehicles is available at the old farmhouse located at that address. Wells said plans call for the property to remain open for statewide hunting seasons, including deer hunting in the fall.
Most of the property has been timbered within the past 15 years. Wells said the property offers opportunities for small game, turkey, grouse and deer hunting. The league may plant a dove field for a fall hunt as well, he added.
The farms, which are now known as the HILAF Stockholm Property, do not offer fishing opportunities. Wells said property lines will be marked with paint and signs this summer.
For more information, visit the League of Kentucky Sportsmen website at www.kentuckysportsmen.com.