Fish & Wildlife releases new hunting regulations

Published 12:49 pm Thursday, August 24, 2023

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The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources announced a slew of administrative regulation amendments Friday, which include changes to bear and wild turkey hunting seasons.

Some amendments have received the needed legislative approval and are now in effect, a department news release said. Changes include the harvest limit for wild turkeys during the fall hunting season and rules for non-residents hunting black bears.

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The department published detailed information about proposed and enacted amendments to administrative regulations on its website.

Here are some administrative regulations that have new amendments:

• 301 KAR 2:144, a regulation that establishes dates and other requirements for the fall wild turkey hunting season, now has an amendment that changes limits on taking wild turkeys. The harvest limit for fall turkey hunting is two legal birds: one bird with a beard 3 inches or longer and one bird with no visible beard (or a beard shorter than 3 inches). Fall hunters must also not harvest a turkey within 600 feet of a baited site, nor for 30 days after the bait has been removed. This does not apply to bona fide agricultural practices or planted food plots.

• 301 KAR 2:300, which is related to black bear seasons and requirements, has been amended to allow non-resident hunters to engage in bear chase and bear hunt with dogs seasons after getting proper permits. Also, the regulation has been amended to clarify what licenses and permits are needed to participate in each type of bear season. For more details, view the 2023-24 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide.

• 301 KAR 2:221 established waterfowl seasons and bag limits within federal migratory bird hunting frameworks. An amendment changed the end date for the falconry waterfowl season to the last Sunday in February for all species of waterfowl. It also removed a reference to conservation order light geese seasons to reflect new federal rules, which no longer differentiate between falconry and regular hunting methods during the conservation order and removed a grammatical edit which could be interpreted to make it illegal for veterans to hunt waterfowl during regular seasons.

• 301 KAR 2:225, which creates requirements for the taking of migratory game birds within federal frameworks, has been amended to establish two zones for Canada goose hunting in September, a western zone for Sept. 1-15 and an eastern zone for Sept. 16-30. The department can also now implement “mentored hunter” hunts, youth dove hunts and quota/limited access dove hunts. Upcoming quota/limited access hunts will be held at Big Rivers and Kentucky River Wildlife Management Areas.