[birdky] Re: Thoughts On Hunting Cranes

I would like to thank the members of the KOS for a  thorough letter on the
subject of a hunting season for Sandhill Crane in Kentucky. This letter was
excellent and all of the members that participated in the construction of
this letter should be commended.
Very well said.

Eileen
Eileen Wicker
Raptor Rehabilitation of KY Inc
(502) 491-1939
www.raptorrehab.org









-----Original Message-----
From: birdky-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:birdky-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Palmer-Ball, Brainard (EEC)
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2011 9:50 PM
To: BIRDKY
Subject: [birdky] Re: Thoughts On Hunting Cranes

Kudos to David for his thoughtful summary of the crane hunting proposal. We
have been hearing too little from folks like him who truely can speak
to/from both sides of the issue. 
 
His major point is the thrust of a letter recently sent to Commissioner
Gassett and the members of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission by a
majority of the board of the Kentucky Ornithological Society. For anyone
interested, that letter is posted on the Ky. Ornithological Society web site
at the following link:
 
http://www.biology.eku.edu/kos/KOS_cranes.pdf
 
If you have any trouble getting the link to open, email me and I will be
happy to forward you a PDF or MS Word version of the letter.
 
bpb, Louisville
________________________________

From: birdky-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of David Roemer
Sent: Thu 4/21/2011 10:50 AM
To: bird ky
Subject: [birdky] Thoughts On Hunting Cranes



Being in a somewhat unique position on the Kentucky crane hunting issue
(stuck in the middle and directly involved with both sides) I'd like to
share some thoughts on wildlife management, hunting, and the cranes.

It's important for the Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources (kdfwr)
to realize that most of the opposition to hunting cranes does not lie with
anti-hunters, it is specific to the cranes.  The kdfwr does not have a more
ardent fan than me.  I've purchased either a fishing or combination
hunting/fishing license for the past 40 years as well as duck stamps, trout
stamps and Peabody permits through the years.  I began fishing when not much
older than a toddler when my dad would take me to the pond to catch redears
(shellcrackers) and began hunting at around 8 years of age.  Because of the
time spent in the outdoors exposed to wildlife, I became an avid birder by
the time I was 6 or 7 years old.  I was fortunate to have access to a family
farm where my grandmother raised gaited horses which we both showed.  Family
farms, gaited horses and horse shows are now little more than memories for
most people, and buried in this fact lies a quandary for
 Fish and Wildlife departments.  With the urbanization of this country,
fewer kids grow up fishing and hunting and this is an unfortunate trend that
will certainly continue.  I believe that for Fish and Wildlife service
funding to thrive in the future, wildlife management ideas must be adjusted.

A little on hunting.  To be honest, I'm bothered by some anti-hunting
statements from those who believe that all hunters are no more than killers
with no appreciation for wildlife.  I was probably the most avid duck hunter
in Kentucky for 30 years.  Did I shoot many ducks?...almost none, I did most
of my hunting with a camcorder.  There is no more exhilarating experience
associated with waterfowl, and I don't mean just waterfowl hunting, than
having a huge flock working overhead, the sound of the wind through their
wings and vocalizations as they answer your call, then dropping in all
around you.  This is what it's all about for most hunters, not the killing,
and I've sat and just watched many times the number of flocks than I've
pulled a trigger on.  I've shared a blind with some of the best waterfowlers
in the country, and their skill at identifying birds on the wing at extreme
distances with the naked eye would boggle the minds of biologists and
birders alike who have never shared a blind with people like this.
Non-hunters need to realize that many hunters are primarily nature lovers
and conservationists and should be appreciated for the contributions they
make. 

On the cranes.  I am adamantly opposed to hunting cranes in the east.  The
cranes are special, they must be since most hunters are opposed to hunting
them.  I don't question the crane numbers that kdfwr presents, I've been
involved in their surveys.  I do, however, somewhat question the ability of
the Eastern Population of Sandhills to continue in growth even without
hunting, and the ability to sustain present numbers with hunting. 

The kdfwr states that hunting cranes during the period proposed will have
minimal or no impact on crane viewing opportunities.  This is simply not
true.  Hunting the Eastern Population will have a drastic impact on their
behavior which will affect viewing in all the states that share these birds,
and this is my primary reason for opposing hunting them.  The Eastern
Population hasn't been hunted in almost a century and the birds can be
viewed relatively closely at present when feeding in fields.  If hunted they
will become unapproachable like waterfowl.  This will change crane viewing
by the public as well as events like Barren State Park's Crane Weekends in
which I'm involved in leading field trips.   

The kdfwr mission statement is "To conserve and enhance fish and wildlife
resources and provide opportunity for hunting, fishing, trapping, boating
and other wildlife related activities."  To conserve and enhance, and
provide other wildlife related activities, this is what the department needs
to concentrate on regarding the cranes. 

I believe the kdfwr will be cutting off their own feet if a crane hunting
season is initiated by alienating all but the relatively few who will hunt
them.  Rather than losing support which will surely happen, the kdfwr should
embrace the support of the non-consumptive population by developing and
promoting crane watching in Kentucky. 

I think rather than initiating a crane season, kdfwr should create and issue
for sale an annual Ky Conservation Stamp which could be purchased by
resident and non-resident non-hunters to support kdfwr funding without
feeling like they're contributing to hunting.  This is not the same as a
duck stamp or waterfowl permit.  In turn, the kdfwr could promote more
non-consumptive wildlife activities.  When looking into the future, the
kdfwr stands to obtain much greater funding from this than from crane
hunting given the widening gap of hunters and non-hunters in this country.


The kdfwr will meet in May and decide in June if there will be a crane
season.  If you are opposed to hunting cranes in Kentucky, please write a
respectful letter to the commissioners and the governor stating your
opposition.  If you are a hunter or are not opposed to hunting in general,
be sure to include this information. 

Addresses and other contact information for letters may be found at:
http://kyc4sandhillcranes.wordpress.com/call-to-action/

More information on cranes and the proposed season may be found at:
http://kyc4sandhillcranes.wordpress.com/

If a season is initiated and you didn't send letters of opposition, don't
complain as you didn't do your part in preventing it.

David Roemer
Bowling Green


   




 











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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
BIRDKY List Manager: Gary Ritchison, Richmond, KY
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state abbreviation.
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