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OUTDOORS: Trapping season a time for big prizes

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Search on for new commissioner

By John Herndon

The New Year has sure started out on a cold, wintry note. The recent sub-zero temperatures are something we haven’t seen in Kentucky in years and something I don’t think we’ll ever get used to.

I know as I get older, the cold weather just seems to reach deeper into the old gut and chill me to the bone with each passing day. Not to worry, God has a plan and spring will be here soon which of course brings with it great fishing and spring turkey season in the Bluegrass.

There are still some hunting opportunities out there for those willing to brave the temperatures. Rabbit and quail seasons are open until the end of January for our area. Squirrel season is also still open through the end of February.

Trapping season is also open until the end of February.

I haven’t done much trapping in years but have recently met up with a new trapper near Mt. Eden. Brian Temple and his son Will have recently gotten more into trapping. Will is a middle schooler in Shelby County and loves hunting and trapping.

Brian sent me a picture of their biggest catch of the year. They were able to use a No. 2 Bridger steel ground-set dirt hole trap to catch a big male coyote on their farm on Cat Ridge Road. Brian says he really enjoys the challenge of trapping but mostly enjoys the extra time it gives him to be outdoors with Will. The duo has managed to not only take their first coyote but have also reduced the population of possums, raccoons and even a skunk near their home recently.

 

Deer hunters set record

Kentucky deer hunters set a new harvest record during the 2013-2014 season. The season came to a close on Jan. 20 with more than 144,400 deer telechecked according to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife’s online system.

That number eclipses the previous record of 131,395 set just last year. Anderson County saw its largest harvest since the 2002 season when 2,125 deer were checked. This past season hunters telechecked a total of 2,324 deer in Anderson County to contribute to the new state record harvest.

Owen County led the state and Bluegrass Region with 4,069 deer harvested. Other surrounding Bluegrass Region counties have added several deer to the harvest at last count: Franklin 1,992; Shelby 2,775; Spencer 1,701; Nelson 2,169 and Washington with 1,959.


Search on for new Fish & Wildlife commissioner

If you wanted to be the new head commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources I hope you sent your resume to Frankfort by Dec. 31. The department has begun a nationwide search of its next leader to guide the approximately 500 employees as well as manage a nearly $50 million annual budget.

Jon Gassett resigned last fall in the midst of some controversy surrounding the Department and has since moved on to other things. He had been the commissioner since 2005. According to the state government website the salary for the position at the time of Gassett’s resignation was nearly $135,000 per year.

 

Dallas Safari Club takes heat over controversial hunt

Some of you may have heard about the latest auction held by the Dallas Safari Club in Texas. The auction was held a few weeks back for the chance to hunt an endangered black rhino in Namibia, Africa. Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 for a permit for the hunt which was actually auctioned off in order to raise money for the preservation of the remaining population of black rhinos.

The hunt, according to reports, is to target an older male in the heard that might not be around much longer anyway either due to age or poaching. As with anything, however, there is the opposition side of the story.

There have apparently been death threats sent to Knowlton by folks opposing his hunt. Knowlton and the Dallas Safari Club have acknowledged that the money paid for this hunt will greatly benefit the preservation of the remaining black rhinos in the area that are endangered. There are reportedly around 1,800 black rhinos in Namibia where the hunt is expected to take place. The worldwide population (including the Namibia herd) is around 5,055 animals.

Personally, I’m not sure that those opposing this hunt would or could ever raise that much money to go toward species preservation for any group of animals. I definitely do not agree with putting a human life before that of an animal of any kind endangered or not. Death threats toward a fellow human being over this type of issue, or any other for that matter, are very immature, totally uncalled for and show how irrational some folks really are in today’s society. Imagine what could be accomplished in our world today if that type of passion was directed in a more sensible and sane way.

It’s a pretty simple case of sacrificing one in order to try and save many.

For a much more intense and meaningful sacrifice I would invite you to read John 3:16-17 in your Bible. Those folks issuing death threats towards others could gain a great deal from this and maybe refocus their passion in order to benefit society.

 

Take a kid hunting and fishing (or trapping) soon!

 

See ya outside!