KDFWR Commission approves proposed changes to Kentucky’s Sandhill season

Barren spar c_David L. Roemer

Sparring Sandhill Cranes in Barren County, Kentucky. Photo by David L. Roemer

With the approval by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) Commission (5 to 3 in favor of) on March 23, 2018, the amendment process will be the same as it was in 2011.  KDFWR will file the amended regulation with the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) in April (deadline is mid-April).  A public comment period will begin the May 1, 2018 when the LRC publishes the amended regulation.  Everyone will then have until the end of May to provide written comments.  There will also be instructions on a public hearing, if anyone would like to request one.  The Department has to treat both written comments and the public hearing exactly the same.  If public comments are received, then the Department would respond with a “Statement of Consideration” addressing questions or concerns raised by the public.  The amended Regulation would then go to the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee for review by the legislature in either August or September.

Different than the last time around, Kentucky’s crane season is now an operational season and the frameworks for crane hunting are included in the federal rule which covers all migratory bird hunting.  Those frameworks, which allow for expanded hunting in Kentucky, have been part of the federal rule for several years now.  The 2018-2019 season was considered and approved by the USFWS Service Regulations Committee last October.  At this point, one course of action where USFWS is concerned is for individuals opposing the season changes to comment on the 2019-2020 season next Fall/Winter.

To read the Federal Register Proposed Rules – (50 CFR Part 20; [Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2017–0028; FF09M21200–178–FXMB1231099BPP0]; RIN 1018–BB73 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations
go here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-02/pdf/2018-02112.pdf

Specifics for the Kentucky Sandhill season can be found in the PDF as follows:

Proposed Regulations Frameworks for 2018-19 Hunting Seasons on Certain Migratory Game Birds (starting on page 8 of the pdf) 

(Then on pages 13-14 of the pdf)
Sandhill Cranes 
Regular Seasons in the Mississippi Flyway

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28 in Minnesota, and between September 1 and January 31 in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Hunting Seasons: A season not to exceed 37 consecutive days may be selected in the designated portion of northwestern Minnesota (Northwest Goose Zone), and a season not to exceed 60 consecutive days in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Daily Bag Limit: 1 sandhill crane in Minnesota, 2 sandhill cranes in Kentucky, and 3 sandhill cranes in Tennessee. In Kentucky and Tennessee, the seasonal bag limit is 3 sandhill cranes.

Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane seasons must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting permit.

Other Provisions: The number of permits (where applicable), open areas, season dates, protection plans for other species, and other provisions of seasons must be consistent with the management plans and approved by the Mississippi Flyway Council. “


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