As they used to say on Superman, here it is hot off the presses …
Last week, I put everyone on notice that something is going on with our Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, and as we say in the mountains, “It ain’t good”.
I mentioned they had a meeting on January 6 in Frankfort, on the worst day of winter, to talk about changes in the elk hunting regulations. They wanted to have a point restriction, stop January hunting, reduce the number of tags, and to pass an unenforceable law, that if you wounded, or thought you wounded an elk, but could not find it, your hunt was over.
I was hoping to attend that meeting, but the roads made it impossible for me. That didn’t stop me from looking into what they did when the weather cleared, and that I did. This are my findings to date.
They cut the number of tags by 200 cows. Back to that in a minute, but keep it in mind, it falls into their overall plans of us footing the bill, them getting the benefits.
Next, they did away with January hunting. Nothing found wrong there, not by this writer, but again it falls into their plans. Stay tuned.
Next the antler reduction, no information yet if any action was taken on that.
Now, to the unenforceable, wounding. I traveled to Charleston, W.Va., this weekend and talked to my longtime friend, Bill Carman. He is the Kentucky-West Virginia Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation director. He was at the meeting, and mentioned to me he had looked for me there. I told him the snow had me captive.
Bill told me he had spoken with the commission and made it plain, the wounding law could never be enforced. No action was taken on that stupid law, not right now, but keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground.
I also found out the reason for the closing of season in January and the reduction of the number of cow tags. Although the herd in Kentucky is healthy and growing fast, the department it is not growing fast enough to make the money it wants to make.
We have again allowed the “greed gene” to infect our world of hunting. The department wants to grow our herd at a faster rate so that we can sell more of our herd to the other states that are restoring elk.
Without our knowledge, Kentucky has sold 24 to West Virginia, and although I have yet come up with a number, some to Tennessee, and North Carolina. Now what does that do to our hunting?
Cows are bred in the fall and by January they are well on their way to calving. No hunting then makes sure we will have more to sell out of state. Next, the reduction in number of tags. By cutting them 200 a year, within five years you are talking hundreds of more elk, to again put on the market.
They are also using the expression, it will bring more tourists to look at the elk herds, thus bringing in more money. Why is it always about the money? Why can’t we just be left alone to enjoy our sport? More on this subject next week.