399 hunters receive permits for third annual Sandhill Crane hunting season

   Kentucky’s third sandhill crane hunting season opens Saturday, Dec. 14.
   A total of 399 hunters, one short of the maximum 400 permits allowed, were selected by lottery drawing to participate in this year’s hunt.
   The first two years, 2011, 2012 of the sandhill crane season, there were 332 permits distributed each year. 
   Sandhill cranes daily behavior is similar to Canada geese. They like to roost and loaf in shallow water and on mudflats, and feed in agricultural fields.
   The sandhill crane is a migratory visitor to Kentucky whose numbers have increased dramatically since the 1970s.
   Kentucky’s sandhill crane season will continue through Jan. 12, 2014, or until hunters take 400 cranes, whichever comes first. 
   Each permitted hunter may take up to two sandhill cranes. Hunters must use the department’s Telecheck system to register each crane on the day the bird is taken. 
   Sandhill cranes migrate through Kentucky twice a year along a corridor bounded roughly by Henderson in the west and Lexington in the east. In fall, the birds that stop over in Kentucky are migrating southward to their wintering grounds in southern Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. 
     Biologists believe sandhill cranes congregate at Barren River Lake because thousands of acres of mudflats are exposed at winter pool.

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