GLASGOW — The Barren Bassmasters will host their 22nd annual swap meet on Saturday at the Cave City Convention Center from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission at the door is $5 for adults and $1 for children. There will be 100 dealer tables available for buy, sell, trade or swap. There will be refreshments available on site.
Also heard this week the Wayne County Bass Bandits will have a swap meet on Jan. 25 at the National Guard Armory in Monticello from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pro fisherman Bradley Roy will be there.
Appreciate the comments on the bird discussion last week. Took my feeders down for a day for some tree trimming, but they’re back up now and the birds have resumed feeding. Heard from Suzanne Waldrop that she spotted a Ruby Crowned Kinglet at her house. Understand from my bird book they are rarely seen at a feeder.
Not much happening again this week on the fishing scene. Barren’s level stood at 532 feet Wednesday morning. A couple of our Oldtimer buddies, Larry Spencer and Freddie Carver, have been in Florida this week and sending back photos of big crappie and bluegill. Needless to say, the rest of us are jealous.
From KDFWR we learned that the Sandhill Crane season ended last Sunday with 75 of the total 87 birds harvested coming from Barren County in the vicinity of their biggest roost at Barren Reservoir. Three came from Allen County with others taken in Adair, Hardin, LaRue and Todd counties.
Eighty-seven was nowhere near the 400 limit set for the month-long season that opened Dec. 14. Overall, 399 hunters got permits for the hunt.
Now that the hunting season has closed, Barren River Lake State Resort Park will host two Nature Watch Weekends, Jan. 24-25 and Feb. 7-8, to get a closer look at the cranes.
From outdoor writer Lee McClellan and Kentucky Afield, we were told this week Kentucky hunters took 20 bears during the 2013 bear season that ended in December. This season introduced an expanded bear hunting zone as well as an archery and crossbow season.Both the firearm and archery / crossbow bear seasons received a 10-bear quota for the 2013 seasons for a total of 20 bears. Hunters can now hunt bears in 16 Kentucky counties, up from four counties in 2012.
“We are very excited that hunters met the 10 bear quota both during the new archery and crossbow season as well as the firearm season,” said Steven Dobey, bear biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “It was gratifying to see our hunters get out there and be productive.”
Hunters harvested eight male and two female bears during the firearms bear season. They took six males and four females during the archery and crossbow bear season. No hunters harvested a bear during the bear quota hunt with dogs that ran for five days in late December after the conclusion of the firearm and archery and crossbow bear seasons.
“We had bears harvested in six counties; three of those were outside the original bear zone,” Dobey explained. Letcher County accounted for seven bears harvested, the most of any county in the 16-county bear zone. Hunters took three bears each in Harlan, Leslie and Perry counties and two bears in both Pike and Wayne counties. All bears were taken on private land.
Kentucky’s bear zone includes Bell, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Letcher, Martin, McCreary, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Wayne and Whitley counties. Kentucky’s highest bear population densities are along Pine Mountain, which stretches from Breaks Canyon on the Russell Fork of Big Sandy River in Pike County through Letcher and Harlan counties.
“Outside the Harlan and Letcher corridor, the next highest concentration of bears in Kentucky is in McCreary and Wayne counties,” Dobey said. “They have been there for at least 15 years.”
These bears are distinct from those in the Harlan and Letcher county areas. “They are genetically more similar to bears from the Smokey Mountains than bears from the Pine Mountain region,” Dobey said. “They descend from 14 female bears released in the Tennessee portion of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area for a study in the mid-1990s.”
Bear hunting in modern times in Kentucky began in December of 2009. Doug Adkins of Jenkins set the state record in 2012 with a black bear that weighed 410 pounds field dressed.