Well, Earth never came to an end or even slowed on it axis as the Commonwealth’s first Sandhill crane season came and went.
I joked with my longtime friend Mike Caudill in Whitesburg recently that neither he nor I had applied for a permit to hunt Sandhill crane. Mike just looked at me, smiled and said, “We will just leave that for the other guys.”
Hunters who wanted to hunt Sandhill crane had to be schooled as to what they look like, then pass a test. Passing a test is not a high mark for me, so that was one reason I didn’t apply. Those who did apply did so between November 15 and 30, with the drawing held on Dec 5. The rules seemed simple enough: Send the state three dollars to get your name into a computer drawing, then if you were selected by a random drawing, you had to get educated enough to pass the test.
I never saw the test so I may be a little out of bounds when I tell you that you had to be able to recognize a Sandhill crane in Kentucky from a bull moose from Vermont. That was put in the law to satisfy the “anti’s” who don’t want you hunting anything, anyway. Go figure. Well, the Sandhill crane hunters were allowed to hunt until January 15, or until 400 cranes were killed. They got only 50.
The Commonwealth said it was a complete success, and I won’t disagree with them on that point, because the average on hunting and taking any animal is around 26 percent. I haven’t any figures on how many applied or for that matter how many failed the test. One figure I am dead on sure about is that each and every day you had to call to make sure the quota had not been met. What a way to have to hunt.
I would like to say congratulations to the hunters that got themselves a Sandhill crane during Kentucky’s first ever crane hunt. If you all don’t mind, I think I will get up with Mike and his son, Lee, and start studying for the test for next year. Who knows, I may pass it. Bet you a Pepsi next year’s fee to apply will be higher.