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Another great Kentucky fall is upon us. The fall season brings with it a plethora (pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever typed that word and I am grateful for the automatic spell check on my laptop) of outdoor opportunities for outdoorsmen.
Squirrel season opened a few weeks back to several nice cool mornings and the first segment of the early season continues right up to the opening of deer gun season.
Speaking of deer, the archery season for both deer and turkey is scheduled to open on Saturday, Sept. 7 and runs thru late January, 2014. That’s one of the longest archery seasons you’ll find anywhere in the country and allow plenty of opportunities to go afield and enjoy God’s creations. The early fall opening of squirrel and archery season allows you to experience the warm, muggy, sometimes mosquito-ridden days afield as they shift into the cooler, frostier times afield as hunting seasons progress into late fall and winter months.
Waterfowl hunters also get an “early” chance at harvesting. The early goose season opens Sept. 1 and runs thru Sept. 15.
The early wood duck and teal season is scheduled for Sept. 18-21.
Dove and crow seasons are also scheduled to open Sept. 1.
Of course hunting is not the only outdoor activity ideal to fall weather. Trapping seasons will open up soon and there’s still time to do some camping, kayaking or canoeing before the water temperatures start dropping.
Fall fishing in Kentucky ranks near the top of activities not to miss as far as I’m concerned. Granted, I don’t fish as much as I should in the fall due to wanting to get in the woods after a long summer. The Lilly navy has managed to get out several times and bring home a few fish suppers and hopefully can get some more opportunities before the weather turns.
License fee increases
The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission met Aug. 14 and appear set to move on some increases to hunting and fishing licenses beginning March 1, 2014. Rates for basic adult Kentucky residents are not affected by the proposal but non-resident and resident seniors will see increases. Proposals include raising the deer permit for residents from $30 to $35; senior/disabled licenses from $5 to $11; deer permit for non-residents from $60 to $160; quota bull elk permit for residents from $30 to $100; and non-resident quota bull elk permit from $365 to $550; among others.
I’ll go on record here and say I won’t have to worry about the elk permit increase since I’ve decided (as any regular reader of this column my recall) not to participate until the system is fixed (or unfixed if you have suspicions about the whole process).
I’ll also go on record as saying I disagree with $100 increases to non-residents since that is one of the main reasons I seldom, if ever, hunt Tennessee now. They bounced their All-Game tag for non-residents from around $150 to almost $300 in one season.
It cost Tennessee my money and would think others were also inclined to find more bang for their buck. I can see the same thing happening to Kentucky. Seems to me a gradual increase over a couple of years would be more readily accepted.
I also don’t agree with more than doubling the seniors/disabled licenses from $5 to $11. Come on guys, really. Let this one alone and find another source for another $6 grab. Don’t try to nickel and dime a good program that you’ve established and put it on the backs of folks on limited or fixed incomes.
Times are tough all over and it’s important to realize that the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is funded mainly by grants and money made from hunting, fishing, trapping licenses, ammo sales and boat registrations. The department receives no Kentucky state general fund dollars to support their budget so increases are needed at times I understand. Maybe a better plan would be to ease into the increases gradually. Just an opinion and yes I know, everybody’s got one.
Take a kid hunting and fishing soon!
See ya outside!
Jeff Lilly is an outdoors columnist for The Anderson News.