The level at Barren River Lake Wednesday stood at 528 feet, just three feet from winter pool and pretty much ideal for those hearty duck hunters out there. I would like to remind those hunters to be extremely careful. That water is cold and one of the worst mishaps to occur on Barren Lake happened to some duck hunters several years ago.
On a different note, we visited family in Hancock County over the Thanksgiving holiday and I learned that goose produces excellent jerky.
One of the nephews, Todd Duncan, is an ardent hunter and fisherman. In season, he bass fishes competitively, hunts game of all sorts including deer, turkey, rabbit and coon. He hunts ducks and geese in the sloughs around the Ohio River bottoms which pass through his county. I had a good visit with Todd and got to see his seven Walker hound puppies that are about to ween.
Among his hunting successes were Canadian geese, which a hunting buddy told him makes first-class jerky. He tried it and found it to be true.
Duck season closes Jan. 26, while goose seasons, including Canada goose, white-fronted goose, brant and snow goose, close Jan. 31. Hunters must have a valid Kentucky hunting license, Kentucky waterfowl permit and federal waterfowl permit, commonly called a duck stamp, to hunt waterfowl.
We’re told this week by the Department of Fish and Wildlife that hunters met their quota of 10 bears during Kentucky’s first archery/crossbow season for black bears, which ended over the past weekend.
The season opened Nov. 23 and was limited to nine days or until the quota of 10 bears or five females was filled.
“I consider it a success because hunters met the quota and because bears were taken outside of our traditional four-county bear zone,” said Steven Dobey, bear program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Prior to 2013, our bear zone included Harlan, Letcher, Pike and Bell counties. This year’s expansion to a 16-county region resulted in bears taken from four counties outside of that traditional area. That was exciting to see.”
Kentucky’s bear zone includes Bell, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Letcher, Martin, McCreary, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Wayne and Whitley counties.
Hunters took four bears in Letcher County, two bears in Perry County and one bear each in Harlan, Pike, Leslie and Wayne counties. The largest bear harvested was a 375-pound male taken with a crossbow in Wayne County on opening weekend.
“Quite a few hunters were afield for this first archery/crossbow bear season,” said Wildlife Division Director Karen Waldrop. The modern firearm season is up next, and it runs Dec. 14-16.
Another of my wife’s nephews receives the same Christmas gift every year from his grandmother. She renews his hunting and fishing licenses.
This week’s Kentucky Afield report reminds givers what is available in the way of gifts for outdoorsmen and women.
This year, you may purchase the 2014 Kentucky Afield Outdoor Calendar individually for $7.50 from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov. You may also receive the 2015 calendar in December 2014 by subscribing to Kentucky Afield magazine for $10 per year or $18 for two years. You may subscribe online at fw.ky.gov or by calling Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-858-1549.
A recipient of a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife gift certificate that functions similar to a gift card may purchase a Kentucky Afield Outdoor Calendar or a subscription to Kentucky Afield magazine for themselves.
They may also purchase licenses and permits, Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area passes and summer camp registration fees with this gift certificate, available online at fw.ky.gov. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife gift certificates are good for five years from the date of purchase.
Hats and shirts with the Kentucky Afield logo often worn by Tim Farmer on the “Kentucky Afield” television show make a great gift for the hunter or angler on your list. They may be purchased at the Kentucky Afield Mall at fw.ky.gov. Women’s Kentucky Afield logo polo shirts are also available.