50: final count in Sandhill Crane harvest

   Fifty Sandhill Cranes were harvested in Kentucky’s inaugural Sandhill Crane hunting season, according to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
   Almost half of the cranes, 24, were harvested in Barren County.
   Kentucky’s first Sandhill Crane season ran 30 days, Dec. 17-Jan. 15.
   Hunting regulations limited hunters to a two-Sandhill Cranes per day bag limit with an overall harvest not to exceed 400 of the birds during the season.  
   A total of 332 hunters were selected by lottery drawing to participate this year.
   This was the first year of a three-year season of hunting the cranes. The dates for the remaining seasons have not been announced, but are expected to run similar to this year’s season.
   Now that the season has come to an end, hunters are required to complete a survey for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for analysis.
   The number of permits issued and surveys will then be used to monitor the population size and make sure the harvest level does not exceed the predetermined level.
Sandhill Crane Viewing Weekends
   The first of the annual Sandhill Cranes Viewing Weekends at Barren River Lake State Park is this weekend, Jan. 20-21. Another Sandhill Cranes Viewing Weekend is scheduled for Feb. 17-18.

Hawaiian Luau Jan. 19 at State Park
   An Hawaiian Luau will be the first in the “Tour of America” dining series at the Barren River Lake State Park. It will be Thursday, Jan. 19, from 5-8 p.m. in the park’s Driftwood Restaurant. It is $14.95 for adults and $8.95 for children. Drink, tax and gratuity are not included.

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