Whitesburg KY

Applying for Kentucky’s elk hunt

Struttin’ Time:

Did you apply for the coming drawing for elk hunts in Kentucky? If so, did you think you were watching a Keystone Cops movie?

The drawing was supposed to be held May 3, but when you went to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife’s webpage to see if you had been selected you saw those dreaded red letters informing us that the drawing had been postponed until May 5 because tickets were still being sold. What?

Oh well, they make the rules, even if it means changing them in the middle of the game. Not a really big deal I guess. But then, when you went back to check the results of the May 5 drawing, sorry, you were told the results wouldn’t be posted until after 8:30 p.m. on May 13, after a behind-the-scenes edition of Kentucky Afield on how the elk hunt drawing is operated airs on KET.

I don’t care what you tell me, as long as it is the truth. The officials at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, in my opinion, should have done just what they said to begin with and held the drawing on May 3, come hell or high water. I have been at this hunting game longer than many, and I have a little secret to tell you fellow Struttin’ Time readers and you hunters and fishermen. It is all about the money!

You see, I wrote in Struttin’ Time years ago about the things I learned about the way this elk hunt works. I won’t go into it this week, but I learned things at a West Virginia elk meeting that left me shocked. To touch on the one thing that set me off more than any was to learn that some of our upper class hunters — the ones with financial means — had killed trophy bulls not once or twice in Kentucky, but up to seven times.

These hunters just go to the landowner, buy a tag, and go on with hunting. These tags are not cheap; costing up to what I was told was $10,000. Hunters with deep pockets never need apply; they just lay out the cash. Coal companies that allowed the restocking of elk on their lands each got so many tags to sell according to the amount of acres they owned.

This is the first year that I have applied for the elk hunt draw since 2010. My friend’s name has never been drawn, and wanted to try and get a tag. He asked me to apply. I did, and I have never had my name drawn. I applied for and had my name drawn in New Mexico, where I hunted and killed a nice elk on my fifth year.

As my old friend Sanford Collins, who by the way left us just knowing it was his year to get a tag, used to say every year when they held the Elk Expo in Hazard, this is a fun time. Good luck in the draw.

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