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Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Jul 22, 2017 

Fall can seem like an eternity away when the heat index soars into the triple digits and air conditioners must work overtime to meet unrelenting demand.

The arrival of the new Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources provides a comforting reassurance that summer is marching closer to fall.

The free guide ships to outlets that sell licenses and permits, but it also can be viewed and downloaded from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s website at fw.ky.gov.

A valuable resource for anyone who plans to participate in fall hunting seasons, the annual publication lists season dates and summarizes rules and regulations for deer, elk, bear, turkey, small game, furbearers and other species. It also provides information about licensing and permit requirements, youth hunting, quota hunts, public lands hunting and much more.

Changes since last year also are highlighted in the guide. There are several to note this year, including new or expanded hunting opportunities on wildlife management areas (WMAs) and state parks. An addendum to the bear hunting section of the guide is forthcoming. It will be available on the department’s website or by calling the department at 1-800-858-1549.

In addition to brushing up on the latest information, this also is a good time to start laying the groundwork for a safe and successful season.

Trail cameras have become a valued tool for many hunters. Derek Beard recently put up trail cameras on land he plans to hunt this fall in an effort to pattern deer before archery season, which this year opens Sept. 2 across the state.

“Trail cameras will give you an idea about what’s there,” said Beard, Bluegrass Wildlife Region coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “I look for a high megapixel cameras and this time of year I like my flash cameras. They’re older trail cameras, but I like a colored nighttime picture because it helps me identify those deer a lot better and get a better idea of what they look like.”

Tree stands can offer hunters an advantage in the woods, but safety should always be foremost in mind when utilizing one.

Whether a stand has been left out in the elements since last year or is new from the box, it should be thoroughly inspected. Replace any damaged tethers, straps and lines. It’s also wise to inspect safety harnesses and ensure they fit properly.

For more outdoors news and information, see Art Lander’s Outdoors on KyForward.

If hanging a stand, pick a live tree that is relatively straight. Gabe Jenkins considers a few things before choosing a stand location.

“I want it close to where I’m expecting deer to be,” said Jenkins, the deer and elk program coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “Another consideration is what type of weapon that I plan to be using in that tree stand, whether it’s an archery setup or firearms or both. And accessibility.”

Something else to keep in mind: the invasive emerald ash borer has ravaged ash trees in recent years. While forest floors are littered with broken and shattered ash trees and their limbs, many dead ash trees are still standing.

“You need to really pay attention to the kind of tree you’re putting your stands in,” Jenkins said. “Especially in the Bluegrass, the dominant tree species can be ash. You do not want to put your stand in a dead ash tree or in close proximity to one.”

Now is a good time to beat the fall rush and pre-register for hunter education courses. Hunters who are not license exempt and were born after Jan. 1, 1975 must carry a valid hunter education card or hunter education exemption permit while hunting. Hunter education cards are obtained by completing a hunter education course. Courses are offered in person throughout the state, online or on a CD-ROM. Register online through the department’s website.

While there, explore all that it has to offer. Find a place to hunt with the WMA and Public Lands search or public shooting ranges. Buy licenses or permits. Consider subscribing to Kentucky Afield magazine, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s award-winning publication. The upcoming fall issue will explore grouse restoration efforts, profile hunters who harvested some of Kentucky’s most impressive bucks last year and preview fall hunting opportunities.

The hottest months of summer are upon us, but it’s never too early to start thinking about fall.

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Author Kevin Kelly is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Get the latest from Kevin and the entire Kentucky Afield staff by following them on Twitter: @kyafield.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For more information, visit fw.ky.gov.

 

Date: 07-12-2017

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed several new fishing regulations at a special called meeting recently, a state news release said.

The 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.

If approved by legislators, fisheries regulations proposed at the meeting would take effect March 1, 2018.

In fisheries-related business, commissioners recommended reducing the statewide daily creel limit on crappie to 20 fish per angler per day.

They also proposed modifying the statewide daily creel limit on brown trout to one fish per day with a 16-inch minimum size limit.

Rainbow trout will be under an 8-fish daily creel limit. Anglers will be able to use dip nets to collect baitfish statewide.

Commission members also proposed changing the way anglers tag jugs, limb lines or trot lines. Instead of using their name and address, anglers using these fishing methods can use the “Customer Identification Number” provided on their fishing licenses to tag their jugs, limb lines or trot lines.

In addition, the commission recommended increasing the crappie minimum size limit to 10 inches on Taylorsville Lake.

They also proposed placing blue catfish in Barren River Lake under a 15-fish daily creel limit; only one fish may be longer than 15 inches.

They also proposed removing the 15-inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass on Beaver Lake in Anderson County and placing Benjy Kinman Lake in Henry County under statewide regulations for crappie, bluegill and sunfish.

On Beech Fork Reservoir, also known as Staunton Reservoir, in Powell County, the commission recommended instituting a 15-inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass and a 15-fish daily creel limit on bluegill.

Another proposal recommended placing special regulations on Willisburg Park Pond in Washington County: a 4-fish daily creel limit on channel catfish with no minimum size limit; a 15-fish daily creel limit on sunfish with no minimum size limit; and a 1-fish daily creel limit, 15-inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass.

Recommendations also included restricting the use of live shad for bait on all Fishing in Neighborhoods lakes.

All restrictions on using shad for bait refer to live shad, not dead or packaged shad, used for bait.

In wildlife-related business, the commission recommended the implementation of a three-tiered classification system for wildlife management areas.

The system would allow the public to better understand whether an area is actively or passively managed, and the staffing levels for each area.

Finally, commissioners proposed implementation of regulations restricting the movement and rehabilitation of rabies-vector species the U.S. Department of Agriculture surveillance area in eastern Kentucky.

The next Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting is currently scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8.

Meetings are at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters, 1 Sportsman’s Lane off U.S. 60 in Frankfort.

Dawson Springs Progress

 

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is calling on interested hunters and citizens to participate in a simple survey of wild turkeys this summer.

Data resulting from the survey will provide valuable information for the department’s turkey management program.“This is a simple survey which helps us track the population,” Turkey Program Coordinator Zak Danks said. “With limited staff, it’s difficult to get adequate survey coverage across the state. Many dedicated participants have helped us with the survey over the years, including many from local NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) chapters. We are reaching for more Kentuckians to help us to strengthen the data set.” 

 

During July and August, department staff and volunteers keep a data sheet in their vehicle. When participants see wild turkey hens, poults or gobblers, they record their observations about what they’ve seen.The turkey program compiles the data into a statewide index that gauges the summer’s turkey hatch, which helps assess population levels. Over time, this helps establish reproduction trends.

Numerous state wildlife agencies across the southeastern U.S. use this kind of survey.Danks said having more observers in the field will provide a better picture of Kentucky’s turkey population. The project would be an excellent one for local National Wild Turkey Federation chapters, wildlife enthusiasts with trail cameras, hikers and those people who spend a lot of time on the road.

A downloadable survey form is available on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website (fw.ky.gov) by searching under the key words, “turkey survey.” Participants can scan a survey or take a photo of it with a smartphone and email it to the department at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..“Spring weather really drives the turkey hatch,” Danks said. “Prolonged periods of cold, rainy weather can spell doom for turkey broods. So far this summer the weather has generally been favorable. I’m getting good reports of broods so far. I hope this outreach effort can pull in more observers who can provide us with additional data.”From Fish and

Wildlife Department Communications