Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposes early migratory bird seasons

FRANKFORT, Ky.The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission has recommended 2014-2015 early migratory bird season dates and a lengthening of the dove seasons. All recommendations must be approved by legislators before they become law.

Proposed early migratory bird seasons for 2014-2015 include:

Mourning Dove

Sept. 1 – Oct. 26; Nov. 27 – Dec. 7;

Dec. 20, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015

September Canada Goose

Sept. 1 – 15

Wood Duck and Teal

Sept. 17 – 21

American Woodcock

Nov. 1 – Dec. 15

Virginia and Sora Rail, Common Moorhen and Purple Gallinule

Sept. 1 – Nov. 9

Common Snipe

Sept. 17 – Oct. 26; Nov. 27, 2014 – Feb. 1, 2015

Sandhill Crane

Dec. 13, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015

Other recommendations approved by commissioners at their quarterly meeting today included: An additional 20 days of dove season for 2014-2015; daily bag limit for the September Canada goose season increased from three to five birds; and daily bag limit for teal increased from four to six birds during the combined wood duck and teal season.

In other wildlife-related business, the commission proposed several changes for the 2015 wild turkey seasons. These include allowing hunters to use .410-gauge shotguns during any open turkey season, a smaller gauge that is friendlier for youth than is currently allowed.

Commission members also voted to allow archery and crossbow hunters to take four bird fall turkey season bag limit during any fall season for turkeys, beginning in 2015. Currently, archery and crossbow turkey hunters must take two of their four bird fall season bag limit during the fall firearm turkey season.

In trapping-related business, the commission recommended removing the 10-foot spacing requirement for traps on private land. The 10-foot spacing requirement remains on public land.

They also recommended restricting the use of body-gripping traps on lands owned or managed by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife to 110-type traps for land sets. They also proposed establishing a standard means of registering trappers on wildlife management areas (WMAs) to avoid user conflicts. Trappers are exempt from hunter orange clothing requirements.

Upon receipt of the tag, CITES tags must be immediately attached to bobcats or river otters. These two species must be telechecked before leaving Kentucky. These regulations begin in March 2015.

For the fall 2014 seasons, the new 804-acre Sinking Valley WMA in eastern Pulaski County will be open under statewide regulations for all hunting and trapping seasons except for deer. For deer, the WMA will be open for youth firearms, bow and crossbow seasons only.

In boating and fishing-related business, the commission proposed lifting the 10-horsepower boat motor limit at Beaver Lake in Anderson County, Kincaid Lake in Pendleton County, Elmer Davis Lake in Owen County, Shanty Hollow Lake in Warren County, Corinth, Bullock Pen and Boltz lakes in Grant County, and Swan Lake in Ballard County. Boats must be 22 feet or less; those motors larger than 10 horsepower will have to operate at idle speed only. Boats with motors 10 horsepower and under may be operated at any speed on these lakes. This regulation will go into effect in October 2014.

Finally, the commission voted to prohibit the harvest of alligator gar statewide, including by bowfishing. The department will also implement a free online paddlefish harvest permit system in order to gauge the population status of this species. These regulations will go into effect March 1, 2015.

The next Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. Meetings are held in the Arnold Mitchell Building, located at 1 Sportsman’s Lane in Frankfort.


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