If you’re looking to hunt a sandhill crane, you might be interested in the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting today. On the agenda is a proposal to make the Bluegrass State (actually a commonwealth) the first state east of the Mississippi river to offer sandhill hunting.
Biologists for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources have decided that since the flock has recovered from near-extinction levels to today, where seeing a sandhill is a commonplace occurrence, it’s time to offer hunters a chance to harvest a few of the birds.
Not surprisingly, there are a few people upset by the proposal. According to media reports, the primary flack has come from bird watchers. The spokesman for the Kentucky Coalition for Sandhill Cranes, Ben Yendall, was quoted as saying “…the fundamental basis of our objection…(is that) the birds haven’t been hunted in Kentucky in nearly 100 years. There’s no emergency to go out and start hunting these birds.”
We would note that, at the speed which regulatory processes move, it’s a good thing that this isn’t an emergency. It is our opinion that Mr. Yendall and his group wouldn’t be happy if crane hunting wasn’t started for another 50 years.
By the way, though the huge migratory birds might seem a gangly, easy target for gunners, those who have hunted the cranes note that they are extremely wary and challenging to hunt.