Photo by Bruce Moorman
Kentucky's first-ever, official, Sandhill Crane hunting season has just ended and the total birds killed were far less than the expected, and planned-for, tally. Pre-hunt plans allowed for a total of 400 birds to be taken from mid December to mid-January but only 50 birds were shot to death. Official state government reports have not been produced yet but the Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville says: "Perhaps Kentuckians just don't have much of an appetite for Sandhill Cranes". The 50-bird tally was far short of the 400-bird limit that the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources had set, but predictably, promoters of the hunt, including state fish and wildlife officials called the inaugural season a success, while opponents argued the hunt was an unnecessary threat to a species that once before was pushed to near extinction. "It was worth the controversy" said one state fish and wildlife commissioner. With just 50 birds shot, one has to wonder was it worth the expense to mount the state-wide program. One can only hope this paltry project will be deemed a non-event and that another hunt is not worth the effort and expense by the state of Kentucky. Long live the Sandhills.
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