4:50pm

Thu September 1, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Kentucky Can Proceed With Sandhill Crane Hunt

Kentucky has received approval from the federal government to again allow the hunting of Sandhill cranes. That means the state can go forward with its plan to hold the first authorized hunt of the large migratory birds in about 100 years. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says the approval this week from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency means officials could open a 30-day hunt as early as Dec. 17.

Sandhill cranes haven’t been hunted in Kentucky and most of the Midwest and the Eastern seaboard since the early 1900s. They’re prized for their meat and the sporting challenge they present to hunters.

Their numbers had dwindled due to over-hunting, but have rebounded since then due to conservation efforts.

But conservation groups are opposed to resuming the hunt, saying that officials don’t have reliable population figures and the birds’ numbers could quickly be diminished.

The Courier-Journal’s James Bruggers has more on the hunt in this post.

(Information for this story also came from the Associated Press)