Sandhill Cranes hunting decision Friday, will affect viewing at Barren River Lake

   Friday, June 3, is the day that the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission will vote on Kentucky’s Sandhill Crane Hunting Proposal, that if passed, would affect the annual Sandhill Crane Nature Watch Weekends, hosted by the Barren River Lake State Park.
   The proposal states, “The season proposed by KDFWR may limit some crane viewing (at Barren River Lake) in late December or early January, but it  will have no impact on viewing opportunities in late January and February when cranes are most abundant.” 
   The proposal, in its simplest form, calls for a three-year period, beginning with the 2011-2012 hunting season, of a 30-day hunting season with a two-Sandhill Crane per day bag limit and an overall harvest not to exceed 400 Sandhill Cranes.
   This season would begin in mid-December from sunrise to sunset during the start of the migratory season. Interested hunters would be required to obtain a permit and complete a survey at the end of the season for Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources analysis. The number of permits issued and surveys would then be used to monitor the population size and make sure the harvest level does not exceed the predetermined level.
   You may find several articles from the KDFWR on the Sandhill Crane hunting proposal by clicking on Sandhill Crane Hunting Information.

   The National Audubon Society and the Kentucky Coalition for Sandhill Cranes, along with others, have voiced their opposition to the KDFWR proposal to allow the hunting of Sandhill Cranes.
   The National Audubon Society Action Alert, issued today, encouraged members, as well as others, to contact commission members and ask them to vote no.
   The Kentucky Coalition for Sandhill Cranes states that it is working to maintain the current level of protection for Kentucky’s Sandhill Cranes. In addition to its efforts on behalf of Kentucky’s Sandhill Cranes, the organization is also sponsoring a petition drive to prevent the hunting of the Eastern (U.S.) Population of the Sandhill Cranes.
   James Daniels, another opponent of the Sandhill Crane hunting proposal, writes, “Unlike other KY game species, hunting is not necessary to prevent cranes from overpopulating. All cranes are having a very hard time surviving in a world where their habitat is being rapidly eliminated without systematically shooting them for “sport”. Sure there has been a mild recovery from when the birds were hunted to near extinction, but they are hardly plentiful.”  
   “The general public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed hunting season at the June 3, 2011 Commissioners meeting at the Game Farm in Frankfort. Anyone wishing to email their thoughts directly to KDFWR can do so by using the email address:,” Daniels wrote.

What do you think? Tell us your opinion!

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