Cooler weather means hunting seasons drawing closer

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By Jeff Lilly

Once again another year has rolled by and my favorite time of year is easing its way into the Bluegrass State. Fall and all the great sights, sounds and smells of the season are just around the corner. Sure, August in Kentucky is still usually sweltering hot but we’ve actually been blessed with some cooler weather and especially cooler nights for sleeping.

The gradual cooling is good for hunting and fishing. Game and fish become more active as the “dog days of summer” pass into more comfortable temperatures so get out and enjoy the great outdoors God has so richly blessed us with in this great country.

The following is a brief run down of the upcoming seasons and opportunities that are coming up this fall for hunting and fishing.

Squirrel Season opened Aug. 20 and runs through Nov. 11.  The season closes for the opening of modern firearm season for deer but reopens Nov. 14 and runs through Feb. 29.  Trapping season for squirrels opens at noon on Nov. 14 and runs through Feb. 29.  Daily limit is six and possession is 12.

Crow season opens Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 7.  The season reopens Jan. 4 through Feb. 29, 2012.  No daily or possession limit.

Falconry season opens Sept. 1 and runs through March 30. The limit for this method of hunting is two of any small game or furbearer species per falconer per day, except during the regular hunting season then the limits are the same as for other methods of harvest.  Falconers are required to have a Kentucky hunting license as well as a falconry permit.

Dove season opens Sept. 1 with a 15-bird limit per day. Doves are migratory birds and the seasons each year are set by the Federal Government so be sure and check the special Dove Hunting Guide for further details.

Coyotes, ground hogs and wild hogs can all be harvested year-round in Kentucky with no bag limit.

Bullfrog season is open now and continues until Oct. 31. Daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 30 per day.

Snapping turtles and soft shell turtles can be harvested year-round with no bag limit.  A hunting license is required if turtles are harvested with gun or bow and arrow.

Be sure and always check the rules and regulations published by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources before going afield. Practically every year there are at least small changes within some area of the laws pertaining to hunting, trapping and fishing in Kentucky so don’t assume last years rules and regulations apply this year.

Archery season
What started out as a stick and string tool to gather food and do battle thousands of years ago has helped establish Kentucky’s longest hunting season. Archery season in our state is one of the longest in the nation and it begins another glorious run on Saturday morning, Sept. 3 and will close on Monday, Jan. 16. That’s almost four months of chasing deer and turkeys with archery equipment.  
Kentucky archers will be out to best last year’s deer harvest of 16,650 deer. According to statistics over the last 10 years the archery deer harvest has steadily increased putting it around 33 percent higher than a decade ago. According to the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department, 62 percent of the archery harvest were does and archery hunters are having a success rate of about 14 percent.

Again, be sure and check the rules and regulations that are published and on the shelves of your local sporting good stores and where ever licenses are sold.  Good luck and safe hunting.

Quick shots
*The next Hunter Education Class in Anderson County is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16-17. It will be held at the Anderson County Sportsmen’s Club off Old Joe Road. For information contact Bill Brown at 502-680-0175 or email gmountjoy@win.net. This is a free course.

*Quota Hunt Applications for Wildlife Management Area hunts in Kentucky will be taken Sept. 1-30. Applicants should contact the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for information or read directions in the newly published 2011-2012 Hunting and Fishing Guide. Applicants can also apply online at the department’s website (www.fw.ky.gov) or via phone (1-877-598-2401) during September only.

Take a kid huntin’ and fishin’ soon!
See ya outside!