FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed the 2012-2013 waterfowl seasons at its quarterly meeting Aug. 17.
The commission recommends all hunting, fishing and boating regulations for approval by the General Assembly and approves all expenditures by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. All recommendations must be approved by legislators before they become law.
The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission must place waterfowl seasons within the framework mandated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because all migratory game birds are under federal control.
Beginning with the 2012-2013 seasons, the opening day for both duck and goose season is now Thanksgiving Day annually. This year, Thanksgiving Day is Nov. 22.
Duck, Coot and Merganser
• Duck season opens Nov. 22 and closes Nov. 25. The season opens again Dec. 3, 2012 and closes Jan. 27, 2013.
• Duck hunters may now take four scaup this year as part of their six duck daily bag limit. Previously, hunters could only take two scaup.
• Season dates for mergansers and coots are the same as the duck season dates for the 2012-2013 seasons. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, only two of which may be hooded mergansers. The daily limit for coots is 15.
• Western Goose Zone: Nov. 22, 2012 – Jan. 31, 2013.
• Pennyrile-Coalfield Goose Zone (including West-Central Canada Goose subzone): Nov. 22, 2012 – Jan. 31, 2013.
• Eastern Goose Zone: Nov. 22, 2012 – Jan. 31, 2013.
• Northeastern Goose Zone: Jan. 1 – 31, 2013.
White-fronted Goose, Brant
• Statewide: Nov. 22, 2012 – Jan. 31, 2013.
• Regular season: Nov. 22, 2012 – Jan. 31, 2013.
Snow Goose Conservation Order Season
• Eastern Duck Zone: Feb. 1 – Mar. 31, 2013.
• Western Duck Zone:
Feb. 1 and Feb. 4 – Mar. 31, 2013.
Youth Waterfowl Season:
Eastern Zone: Nov. 3-4. Western Zone:
Feb. 2-3, 2013.
The brant daily bag limit was reduced from two brant to one. The total daily bag limit for dark geese (Canada, white-fronted goose and brant) was changed from six birds to five birds to comply with federal frameworks for this season.
In other waterfowl-related business, duck hunters on private lands in the Northeastern Goose Zone may now hunt later than the 2 p.m. daily closure during the Canada goose season. Goose hunters in this zone must still cease hunting at 2 p.m.
Hunters selected for a waterfowl blind at Sloughs Wildlife Management Area (WMA) must complete a hunter survey report or lose eligibility to apply for a blind the following year. The preseason draw for waterfowl hunting at South Shore WMA is now eliminated. Waterfowl hunting on the area is now on a first-come, first-serve basis on South Shore WMA.
Beginning with the 2013-2014 waterfowl seasons, waterfowl hunters on Cedar Creek Lake, Dix River and J.C. Williams WMAs must cease hunting and be off the area by 2 p.m.
In other wildlife-related business, commissioners set the number of quota elk hunt permits at 1,000 for the 2013 season, 100 more than the 2012 season.
The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission also elected officers who will serve until August, 2013. Louisville resident Stuart Ray, who represents the 3rd District, was elected chairman while 6th District Commission Member Steve Glenn was elected vice-chairman.
Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Jimmy Bevins of Owenton to represent the 5th District, replacing Dr. James Rich, the district’s representative for the past 36 years. The governor appointed Rich as Commission Member Emeritus, a newly created position. In this capacity, Rich will continue serving the sportsmen and sportswomen of the state as secretary and treasurer for the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The next Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern time), Friday, Dec. 7, at #1 Sportsman’s Lane off U.S. 60 in Frankfort. Persons interested in addressing the commission must notify the department in writing at least 30 days in advance to be considered for placement on the meeting agenda. To request to address the commission, write to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, Commissioner Dr. Jon Gassett, #1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky, 40601.
People who are hearing impaired and plan to attend the meeting should contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at least 10 days in advance and the agency will provide a translator.