A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Big Bone Lick fish relocated by state Fish and Wildlife team, as leaking dam is evaluated

Helping save fish facing an uncertain future and improving a public fishing opportunity at the same time were all in day’s work for a team of fisheries biologists and technicians with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources this week. The department offered its assistance to the Kentucky Department of Parks after the recent discovery of a leaking dam at Big Bone Lick State Historic...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: State program aims to ‘recruit, retain and reactivate’ adult anglers

School kids fervently look forward to summer break, but often after a few weeks, they complain of boredom. An 18-inch largemouth bass jumping and shaking its head at the end of a line is a sure-fire way to cure boredom and instill a passion for a lifelong wholesome activity in a young person. Many parents would like to teach their kids how to fish, but don’t know how to fish themselves. The Angler’s...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky’s semi-aquatic turtle population highest in western streams

On a warm, spring day, it’s not unusual to see a row of semi-aquatic turtles basking in the sun on a log floating in a pond, small lake, stream, or wetland. A few species are found statewide, but the highest populations are in western Kentucky. Anglers are probably most familiar with the largest of these turtles. The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), found in waterways throughout the...

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service offers short woodland management course

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward Woodland owners who are wondering how to get the most from their property can benefit from attending one of three University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service short courses tailored to their region. A forest in Eastern Kentucky (photo by Matt Barton). “Folks aren’t always aware of all the resources that are available to help them achieve their objectives,”...

Live webcam gives viewers front row seat as young peregrine falcons prepare to take flight

Before diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour and fulfilling the title of “World’s Fastest Flying Birds,” four peregrine falcons nesting in Louisville will spend the next several weeks learning to fly. And, webcam viewers will have a live front row seat. The webcam’s installed through a partnership with Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and located inside the peregrine falcon...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Time to scout and develop a game plan as spring turkey season approaches

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward The landscape awakens almost spontaneously from its winter slumber. Winter flocks break up into smaller groups. Innumerable turkey calls and lifelike decoys reappear at sporting goods retailers. Turkey hunters interpret these occurrences as signs that it will not be long before they are easing into their spots before dawn, filled with anticipation. In Kentucky, hunters...

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park plans free fishing workshop for educators April 7

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park is hosting a “Teacher’s Tackle Box” workshop for teachers and youth group leaders on April 7. (Photo from Kentucky State Parks) This free workshop, offered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, is designed to help adults lead a fishing field trip for youths. No previous experience is necessary. This workshop is designed for educators,...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Kentucky announces updated 2018 fishing regulations effective March 1

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward A reduction in the statewide daily creel limit from 30 fish to 20 fish for crappie highlights the new fishing regulations for 2018. The regulations go into effect March 1. “Anglers requested this regulation,” said Ron Brooks, director of Fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “The amount of hours spent crappie fishing and the...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Hunters post fifth-highest deer harvest on record; call for trophy deer entries

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Looking at the total number of deer harvested by hunters in Kentucky during the 2017-18 season, it would appear nothing was out of the ordinary. The season ended earlier this month. When it did, hunters had combined to take more than 136,000 deer across the state, making it the sixth consecutive season with a harvest total greater than 130,000 and the fifth highest...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A look back at 20 years since inception of Kentucky’s elk restoration project

This is the first in an occasional series of articles on elk in Kentucky, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the elk restoration project.  The end-of-the-year holiday celebrations have a special significance this year as it was 20 years ago this December 18th that Kentucky’s elk restoration project began. The return of elk to the mountains of eastern Kentucky has had an immense social, economic...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: 2017-18 deer harvest update; 38 eastern counties impacted by EHD outbreak

With a month of hunting left in the 2017-18 deer season let’s take a look at the harvest, impacted somewhat by weather, and a severe outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in eastern Kentucky. The 16-day modern gun season, which ended on November 26, is deer season’s main event, and constitutes the bulk of the harvest. During the 16-day modern gun season, which ended on November 26, hunters...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Conditions are ideal across the state for opening of waterfowl seasons

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward The outlook for the upcoming waterfowl hunting seasons looks as promising as any seasons in recent memory. “It is shaping up to be a phenomenal year,” said John Brunjes, migratory bird coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “We are still at all-time highs for duck numbers with as many breeding ducks as we’ve ever had. It’s...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky’s Elk Herd a “Seed Crop” for Appalachia, other herds outside the region

In Colonial America elk were common east of the Mississippi River. The eastern elk (Cervus canadensis canadensis), which was native to Kentucky, was one of six subspecies of elk that inhabited the northern and eastern U.S., and southern Canada. The eastern elk was larger than its western cousins. A full-grown bull could weigh up to 1000 pounds, stand 50-60 inches tall at the shoulder, and carry a...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Fish and Wildlife Department online survey improves state’s HIP data

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Kentucky is drawing national attention after dramatically improving the accuracy of harvest and participation information collected from its waterfowl and migratory bird hunters. The Harvest Information Program (HIP) provides state and federal biologists with data to generate reliable estimates of migratory bird hunter activity and harvest. The estimates are used...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Youth movement likely behind strong archery growth in Kentucky and U.S.

Youth participation in archery is thought to be a major factor in the growth of target archery and bow hunting in Kentucky, and across the country. The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) has introduced millions of kids in elementary, middle school and high school to archery across the U.S., since the program started here in 2002. Many of the youngsters who were involved in NASP through...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Fresh blanket of snow opens window to new discoveries about wildlife

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Newly fallen snow has a way of awakening the spirit of adventure in kids and grown-ups alike. It’s also nature’s tattletale. As such, a fresh blanket of snow opens a window to new discoveries by revealing which animals inhabit the landscape around us and how they use it during the winter months. Animal tracking in the snow exercises the body and mind, and it...

Previously unlisted dove field in Johnson County opened by state Fish and Wildlife

Fields no longer available for public dove hunting include those in Menifee County, Yatesville Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and a privately-owned field located off KY 32 in Fleming County. The dove field at the Marietta Booth tract of Clay WMA in Fleming County is not affected and will remain open for dove hunting (F&W Photo)   Three dove fields listed in Kentucky’s 2015 dove guide...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Strong opening month fuels second-highest deer harvest

Kentucky hunters telechecked 138,892 deer during the 2014-2015 deer season that closed Jan. 19. This is the second highest total on record. Kentucky deer hunters bagged a record 144,409 deer in the 2013-2014 season (F&W Photo)   By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward   After two seasons of record harvests, Kentucky’s deer hunters kept the pace up this past season.   The 2014-15 season...

Fish and Wildlife to stock 10,000 rainbow trout at locations in Lincoln, Henry counties

(Photo from Creative Commons)   The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will stock 10,000 rainbow trout at two locations in Lincoln and Henry counties next week, among others.   Lincoln County’s Cedar Creek Lake will receive 9,000 trout Jan. 27 while a six-acre lake on the Boone Tract of Kentucky River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will receive 1,000 trout Jan. 28.   The...

Kentucky will return the favor by helping Wisconsin program to increase elk herd

Wisconsin will pay the cost of the elk translocation program and will also assist Kentucky financially in the development of forest habitat projects in eastern Kentucky that will benefit wildlife, with a special emphasis placed on ruffed grouse (Creative Commons Photo)   Kentucky will help Wisconsin boost its elk herd by providing 150 elk cows, calves and yearling male elk over the next three...