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Almost Time to Watch or Shoot Sandhill Cranes in Kentucky

Hunters looking to shoot, kill, and bag some sandhill cranes in Kentucky had most of November to enter a drawing to be one of the lucky four hundred selected for the annual hunt. According to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife, the drawing will take place on Wednesday and those who entered the drawing will be notified of the results. 

The Department also notes that drawn hunters must complete the permit requirements, including the identification test, by Monday, December 10, to receive their permit and tags by opening day of the season. Sandhill crane season opens December 15, 2012 and closes January 13, 2013. The daily and season bag limit for each hunter is two birds. Hunters must telecheck their game the same day it is taken. The season will close earlier if hunters reach the quota limit of four hundred birds.

Meanwhile, there are a few places in the state where people can only look at the birds. While the sandhill crane hunting season is statewide, the Department of Fish & Wildlife notes that sandhill cranes may not be hunted in the Beaver Creek, Skaggs Creek and Peters Creek embayments of Barren River Lake Wildlife Management Area. In fact, the Barren River Lake Resort Park is hosting a watch event: "Barren River Lake State Resort Park invites you to learn more about the 1,000's of Sandhill Cranes that migrate through the Barren River Lake area.  A wildlife biologist from KDFWR will provide an educational program Friday night and be on hand to provide information about these unique birds with a unique sound. Choose from a Saturday sunrise or sunset van tour or offered new this year, Sunday sunrise tour.  Don’t miss your chance to view cranes at the roosting site and in nearby cornfields.  Pre-registration required."

WFPL in Louisville notes that only fifty sandhill cranes were successfully hunted last year, the first year the hunt was allowed following much objection. 

PHOTO: Sandhill crane