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Kentucky's Crane Hunt

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For those of you who've been following the drama unfolding in Kentucky regarding a sandhill crane hunt, there's bad news. An eight-member commission unanimously approved the hunt proposal in early June.  Which wasn't a surprise, since everyone on the commission is a hunter. Thousands of letters and emails of protest apparently fell on deaf ears. Not surprising, but certainly disappointing. Shooting could start as early as mid-December 2011.


Kentucky's wildlife offices have been flooded with protests, whether written, telephoned or emailed. It's probably of little use to further bombard Commissioner Jon Gassett with your good letters. Go ahead and check out his company, Southern Wildlife Resources LLC .  Now, I don't know much about conflict of interest or what taxpayer-paid state employees should or shouldn't be doing on their own time, but it looks to me as if he's offering the same services his Department of Fish and Wildlife does, only for personal profit. Brokering land to hunters, hooking them up with guide services...all for a fee. It isn't hard even for a simple bird painter to divine that Commissioner Gassett stands to gain financially from a crane hunt in Kentucky. No wonder his state office answering machine has a message on it expounding on the delicious meat of the sandhill crane. No, let's not write any more letters to Dr. Gassett. That dog don't hunt. Or rather, he does.

How about writing the Governor? And how about taking a few minutes to do it now? Here's an easy, quick link to a comment form on Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's web site. He'll be deciding on the proposal TODAY, June 15. Let's give him a respectful little burst of opposition, huh?


Photo by Cyndi Routledge

 These birds belong to all of us, not just a few hundred gunmen. Why should they get to unilaterally decide that the sandhill crane will be a game bird in Kentucky? 

We must make our voices heard.
As always, thank you for caring. And especially for acting.


Outrageous. Just sent my email, from Kentucky, as I'm visiting my daughter here.

As a resident of the Commonwealth, I am sickened to see wildlife killed in our state. I just sent my response to the Governor.

Posted by Anonymous June 15, 2011 at 5:56 AM

Done. Hope it helps. I live in Florida and can tell you from personal experience how majestic these birds are. I can't imagine anyone hunting them....or that they would be "delicious" as that one idiot claims. Thanks Julie for continuing to fight the good fight.

Thanks, Julie for providing the link. I sent a message. Also, belated thanks for all those lovely orchid photos!

The list of traditional game animals is adequate and needs no additions, except maybe feral cats and burmese pythons.

I assume Kentucky is the only state that allows such nonsense?

Perhaps Kentucky hunters have become terribly myopic marksmen who have trouble hitting the broad side of a barn and now feel the need for slow moving giant birds as prey.

Daniel Boone must be rolling in his grave.

I am a licensed Bird Rehabilitator in KY and have been for over 25 years. I can tell you the attitude of KDFWR--if you can't hunt it or fish it, it has no value. They charge rehabilitators for anything they can and we provide a service that keeps the public off of their backs. Ignorant and arrogant is how a Texas friend describes our F&W. I agree.

Posted by Anonymous June 15, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Done. I told him that I, and my birding and bluegrass tourism dollars, will go elsewhere if he approves the hunt.

It is sad to think that a bird which has survived man, so far, is going to hunted. Of course, sandhill cranes and whooping cranes are apparently unimportant to the enlightened politicians in Kentucky. Sandhill cranes are not shot for their meat--it actually has to be cooked in with a lot of other stuff to make it even barely edible--they are going to be shot for status and mounting. Such a waste! I challenge the politicians (particularly the fool who has recipes on his answering machine) to publicly eat a wild crane. Isn't that what "hunting" is supposed to be about--a food source? Such hypocrisy.

Posted by Anonymous June 15, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Done. Thanks for moblizing the troops. Keep fighting.

Julie- thanks for spreading the word....Gad, sometimes we just don't progress as a species!

Posted by Simon Thompson June 16, 2011 at 6:25 AM

Sorry but I didn't see the post until the 16th.

What a sad story from a country I would expect to show leadership in conservation because I don't anticipate any of the shooters to be starving and needing to feed their families.

Posted by Anonymous June 16, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Keep it up ....
Gantry crane

Sorry, I didn't see this posted until the 18th, but I sent the Governor my opinion anyway. Hope it helps! As a Ohio volunteer wildlife rehabber, I find the attitude of that commission disgusting.

Posted by Anonymous June 18, 2011 at 1:05 PM

I'm too late to help, but thanks for the consciousness raising.

Just got an email from Mary Jean Atchison from KY Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabine thinking me for my email and telling me that "numbers of people have commented on both sides of this issue". Also "While a proposed hunting season on Sandhill Cranes has been approved by the Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Commission, it must still be approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is subject to oversight by the General Assembly’s Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee before it goes into effect. A public hearing on the proposed regulation has been scheduled for July 21, 2011, at 9 a.m. at the commission’s offices in Frankfort".

What now, Julie?

Posted by Anonymous June 20, 2011 at 2:01 PM

What can we do to help at this point?

What's next is writing in during the public comment period after this goes to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a vote. That period will be in late July through late August. The Feds have to vote to approve this hunt. Kentucky proposes it, but they have the final say. Stay tuned for addresses. In the meantime, drop these folks a line--might as well go straight to the top.

Rowan W. Gould, Secretary
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

The Honorable Ken Salazar Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C. Street, N.W.
Mail Stop 7060 Washington, D.C. 20240

As always, thanks for asking, thanks for caring.


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