Kentucky could change hunting rules for sandhill cranes

February 22, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Hundreds more sandhill cranes could be hunted in Kentucky under a proposal from state wildlife officials.

The plan would end a 400-bird limit on harvest and allow as many as 1,400 cranes to be taken each year, depending on population estimates, the Courier Journal reported Monday.

Sandhills migrate from the Great Lakes region to Florida through Kentucky. They stand as tall as 5 feet (1.5 meters) with a wingspan of roughly 6 feet (1.8 meters).

Among other proposals are changing the hunting season’s length from 30 to 56 days and extending it two weeks later to the end of January. Another is creating a no-hunting zone in Green River Lake to protect a newly discovered area where the birds gather to rest.

The changes are headed for approval to the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission, which has its next meeting March 9. Changing crane-hunting regulations would require approval from the commission and the General Assembly.

John H. Brunjes, coordinator of the state’s Migratory Bird Program, said some changes are meant to simplify regulations while others are designed to increase conservation.

Tim Grunewald, North America program director of the Wisconsin-based International Crane Foundation, said the foundation had opposed the hunt that started in 2011 and also opposed any expanded hunting.


Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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