The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed new bear hunting regulations and new procedures for captive cervid facilities at its quarterly meeting on Dec. 6.
The commission is a nine-member board, comprised of volunteers who serve four-year terms after being nominated by licensed hunters and anglers, appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the Kentucky senate. The commission recommends hunting, fishing and boating regulations on behalf of the anglers and hunters of the Commonwealth.
In bear-related business, the commission recommended opening certain hunter access areas and wildlife management areas to the bear chase season and the bear hunting with dogs season. Wildlife management areas would not open for the bear chase season until the third Saturday in August due to current leash requirements on these areas. Public lands in the Daniel Boone National Forest are not open to bear chase or bear hunting with dogs seasons.
The commission also proposed delineating Wayne County as a separate bear zone. The quota for this zone would be two female bears for the bear hunting with dogs season, two female bears for archery-crossbow bear season and two female bears for modern gun bear season. In turn, the harvest quota in West Bear Zone 2 would be reduced by a total of three female bears. The total female bear quota across the different bear zones would increase to 39 bears under the proposed changes.
In deer-related business, the commission recommended two changes to help prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease into Kentucky.
The first proposed change concerns the importation of deer, elk, moose and caribou carcass parts into Kentucky from other states or Canadian provinces. The proposed regulation would only allow deboned meat, antlers, antlers attached to clean skull, a clean skull, clean upper canine teeth, hides and finished taxidermy products to be brought into Kentucky.
The second proposed change would require double fencing on all new and expansions of existing captive cervid facilities to minimize the risk of direct or indirect contact between captive deer and wild deer and elk herds on the surrounding landscape.
In other wildlife-related business, the commission recommended allowing licensed master falconers to capture one immature tundrius peregrine falcon per year for falconry purposes per the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit process. Applicants would be entered into a random drawing for a special permit to possess the species.
A video replay of the commission meeting is available for viewing on demand via the “Commission and Committee Meeting Archive” link under “Important Info” on the department’s homepage.
The date and agenda for the next meeting of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission have not been finalized. Once set, that information will be posted on the department’s website at fw.ky.gov.
For information about hunting and fishing regulations or for general inquiries, contact the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Information Center at 1-800-858-1549 during weekday working hours, or email the center at Info.Center@ky.gov.