Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 27, 2013

Area, seasons for black bear hunting expanded in Kentucky

FRANKFORT — Hunters in Kentucky now have an expanded area and seasons in which they may attempt to harvest a black bear.

 Regulations passed by the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission in June recently received final legislative approval. The new season structure expands the bear zone and the bear chase areas, establishes an archery/crossbow season and increases opportunities for hunting with dogs.

 The changes are not reflected in the current print version of the Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide because of the publication’s deadline in late spring. Bear permits are available to residents only; a drawing for the 2013 quota hunt with dogs was  earlier this month.

 “The department has intensively studied and monitored our bear population for over a decade,” said Steven Dobey, bear program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Data clearly indicate that bears can sustain an increased harvest and we are excited to offer these opportunities to our sportsmen and sportswomen.”

 The change that will affect most hunters is the expansion of the bear zone - the area in which a person may hunt bears — from four to 16 counties. Kentucky’s Bear Zone now includes Bell, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Letcher, Martin, McCreary, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Wayne and Whitley counties.

 Another change for this year is the creation of a separate archery/crossbow season. This season will take place from Nov. 23 through Dec. 1. The quota for this hunt is 10 bears or five female bears, whichever limit hunters reach first. The season will close if the limit is reached.

 Successful archery and crossbow hunters must telecheck their bears by 8 p.m. on the day of harvest. Hunters also must call the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources within 24 hours to arrange for an employee to check the bear.

 “A physical check of all harvested bears is required so that we may provide a harvest tag and collect valuable biological information from each animal taken,” Dobey said. “These data allow us to document sex, weight, age and reproductive condition. We also can determine if we have handled a bear before by the presence of tags.”

 Dates for the existing modern gun season remain unchanged. Hunters during this season may use modern firearms, muzzleloaders, bows or crossbows. This year’s hunt will take place Dec. 14 through 16 and remain open until a quota of 10 bears or 5 female bears is reached, whichever limit hunters reach first. All bear seasons are closed the day after a quota is met.

 Hunters in the gun season must bring bears to a department-operated check station upon retrieval to be issued a harvest tag. Unless license exempt, any person participating in the archery/crossbow or modern gun season for bears must be in possession of a hunting license and bear permit.

 Hunting permits for the modern gun and archery/crossbow seasons are available over the counter or online. These are not quota hunts. A hunter may use one permit for either season; a hunter may not take more than one bear a year.

 During July and August, residents may obtain a permit that allows them to only chase bears with dogs. A person wishing to hunt bears with dogs must have this bear chase permit and then apply for the bear quota hunt with dogs in September.

 Houndsmen will also have increased opportunities this year as the bear chase areas are expanded to three units encompassing more than 340,000 acres.

 Chase areas include a new 73,000-acre chase area located east of Fishtrap Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Pike County, located in Kentucky along the tri-state border with Virginia and West Virginia. The largest chase area includes 222,000 acres spanning portions of Bell, Harlan and Letcher counties. The third chase area is comprised entirely of public land and encompasses approximately 45,000 acres in Bell County.

 From Aug. 1-31, bear chase areas are open as a chase-only season in which houndsmen may pursue bears with dogs without the intent to kill. Unless license exempt, a person must be in possession of a valid hunting license and bear chase permit to participate in the chase-only season.

New in Kentucky

 This winter will also mark Kentucky’s first separate bear quota hunt with dogs. Previously, this season was only open if the state’s bear quota was not met during the modern gun season. Changes approved this year establish a season that will be held regardless of whether the quota for modern gun season is met.

 The bear quota hunt with dogs will take place from Dec. 23-27, or until the annual quota of five bears is reached.

 Participants must apply in September for this hunt. The application is open only to Kentucky residents with a valid bear chase permit; up to five people can apply as a hunting party.

 All members of a party drawn for a quota hunt with dogs must buy a bear permit before participating. Two additional youths can join the hunting party for a total of up to seven people; youths do not need a bear chase permit, but are required to obtain a bear permit if they are 12 years of age or older.

 The chase-only season and bear quota hunt with dogs are each restricted to bear chase areas; individual parties may not have more than eight dogs.

 Hunters are not allowed to take female bears with young or bears weighing less than 75 pounds during any season. Bears may not be hunted over bait or in area where bait has been present for at least 30 days. All bear hunting activities are prohibited on Hensley-Pine Mountain WMA, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

 “Bear hunting is a relatively new pursuit in Kentucky,” Dobey said. “Support from the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, United Bowhunters of Kentucky, Kentucky Bear Hunters Association and the Kentucky Houndsmen Association provided valuable insight into the development of our growing season structure.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0419sciencehs.JPG Russell High School wins State Science Olympiad

    The long ride home from Bowling Green was tinged with disappointment for Russell High School students who believed they’d finished as also-rans in the state Science Olympiad last weekend.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419sciencems.JPG Russell Middle School state Science Olympiad champions

    From identifying hundreds of insects to designing and operating mechanical contraptions that just look like insects, a team of Russell Middle School students took their research and technical skills to the Science Olympiad in Bowling Green last week and came back state champions.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419melodies0114.jpg Kitchen jazzes up downtown lunch hour

    Some came to enjoy the relaxing sounds of cool jazz and traditional tunes at lunch, while others attended in hopes of picking up a few tricks from a master musician as guitarist Chris Kitchen kicked off the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series in downtown Ashland Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sparks, Waddell in Carter Coronor’s race

    Incumbent George A. Sparks of Grayson will face challenger William Waddell of Olive Hill in the Democratic primary election for the Carter County coroner’s seat.

    April 18, 2014

  • 04/18/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    April 18, 2014

  • Bill3.jpg 'Dreams'

    It was in her own death that Donna Schoonover helped William Schoonover redefine his life.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • guyp-rodnew.jpg 'Uplifting people'

    The snow kept gospel singer Guy Penrod chilling a little longer than it should have this spring.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418star0024.jpg Raising the roof

    Leaks will soon be a thing of the past at Star Elementary School, where workers are busy putting up a new roof.
     

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire at Russell care facility

    A care facility for the elderly in Russell was temporarily evacuated following a fire in the kitchen Wednesday night.
     

    April 18, 2014

  • Incumbent, newcomer vie for PVA position

    A longtime office-holder is facing a rare primary challenge in the Greenup County property valuation administrator race.

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone