Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Young lady's trophy buck

This is 14-year-old Michaella Monroe of Spencer County. This buck scored 219 5/8.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Historic Bear Hunt awaiting Bluegrass Hunters

On Saturday, December 19th Kentucky hunters will have an historic opportunity. The Bluegrass State will host its first bear hunt in over a century.

The hunt is limited to Kentucky residents only. The season will be open in Pike, Harlan and Letcher counties on the 19th and possibly the 20th. The hunt will end after 10 bears or five females are harvested. Hunters need to call 1800-858-1549 by 9 p.m. on the 19th. to see if the season will be open the following day.

Successful hunters must take their bear to one of the check-in stations set up in each of the open counties. Locations are listed at the department’s webpage online at fw.ky.gov, or hunters may call 1-800-858-1549 during regular weekday business hours prior to the hunt for check-in station locations. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife biologists will weigh the bears, take body measurements and biological samples for research, and attach a permanent tag to each harvested animal. Hunters must also telecheck their bear before leaving the check station.

Hunters may not take female bears with cubs or bears weighing less than 75 pounds. A 75-pound bear is about the same size as an adult Labrador retriever. Baiting is prohibited, including garbage used as bait. For example, hunters may not shoot a bear feeding at a garbage can or dumpster.

“The population has shown phenomenal growth from only a decade ago,” said Steven Dobey, bear program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “We’ve been monitoring this population and have been involved in research with the University of Kentucky for almost 10 years. Based on our research efforts, it’s clear that Kentucky’s bear population can support a sustainable harvest.”

Portions of 10 public hunting areas are open for bear hunting, though hunters should consult maps to ensure they hunt only within Harlan, Letcher and Pike counties. Excluding Hensley-Pine Mountain WMA, there are 29,651 acres of public land available to hunters within the three-county bear zone. Hunters must have landowner permission to hunt or retrieve downed bears from private land.

The Hensley-Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is closed to bear hunting, and a 12,500-acre area surrounding the WMA is open only to landowners, their spouses and dependent children hunting on their own property. Those boundaries are clearly delineated in the 2009-10 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide, available wherever hunting licenses are sold and online at fw.ky.gov.

“This season is particularly exciting because black bears are the first species to repopulate naturally in Kentucky,” said Rick Allen, president of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen. “I’m glad to see this season become a reality for Kentucky’s sportsmen and sportswomen.”

For more information you can contact the KDFWR at 1-800-858-1549 or visit their web site at www.fw.ky.gov.

A wonderful book

I recently acquired a copy of a new book regarding fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is a subject near and dear to my heart and having purchased every other guide book on the subject that I am aware of, I must say that this one is superior in every way.

Jim Casada’s Fly Fishing In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An insider’s Guide to A Pursuit of Passion deals with all aspects of fly fishing in the park. However, this not just an ordinary guide book. The author is a son of the smokies, having been raised on the North Carolina side of the park. He has fished these streams extensively and is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the regions fly fishing.

The one thing that makes this book so important is all of the historical information it provides. It should come as no surprise, because Mr. Casada is a historian of the first order and a retired history professor. In addition to covering all of the major watersheds in the park, each stream has a base of operation section and a “Back of Beyond” listing, a phrase coined by the legendary Horace Kephart.

In addition, there are elevation charts provided by the author’s brother and a map of park’s streams. The book is rounded out by spectacular photos, and true to the author’s background in history, an excellent bibliographical section completes it.

The book comes in a hardback version which sells for $37.50 or a soft cover version for $24.95. You can purchase inscribed copies from Mr. Casada’s web site www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Elk hunt application process underway

It is time once again big game hunters. If you want a shot at Kentucky's biggest game of all, now is the time to submit your application for the state's elk hunt drawing. Applications cost $10, and give the purchaser a chance to win a bull or cow elk tag. Applications are available online only.

You may apply by logging onto the homepage of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at fw.ky.gov and clicking on the yellow “Buy Licenses Here” box on the right side of the page. If you wish to purchase a chance for someone on your Christmas shopping list, you will need that person’s social security number.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife issued 750 cow elk tags and 250 bull elk tags for the regular 2009 lottery quota hunts. More than 46,000 people applied for the 2009 hunts.

Youth hunters 15 years old and younger may apply for the 2010 youth-only elk hunt at Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management Area. Youth may apply for the regular quota elk hunts and the youth-only hunt, but each application costs $10.

You can only apply one time (except those youth applying for the youth-only and regular elk quota hunts). The lottery is open to Kentucky residents and non-residents. The deadline to apply is April 30. The drawing will be conducted in May.

Eighty-seven percent of those drawn for the 2009 bull elk hunt successfully harvested a bull elk during the current season.