301 KAR 2:176. Deer control tags and destruction permits.

 

      RELATES TO: KRS 150.010, 150.170, 150.175, 150.360, 150.390, 150.990

      STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 150.025, 150.105

      NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 150.105 allows the commissioner to authorize the destruction of wildlife causing damage. KRS 150.025 authorizes the department to promulgate administrative regulations for taking wildlife. This administrative regulation establishes the procedures under which deer may be taken to alleviate localized agricultural and wildlife habitat damage until it is appropriate to apply deer herd stabilization or reduction measures on a county-wide basis through regular hunting seasons. It also establishes the requirements and procedures for taking deer outside the statewide seasons. EO 2008-516, effective June 16, 2008, reorganizes and renames the Commerce Cabinet as the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

 

      Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Damage to wildlife habitat" means:

      (a) The existence of a browse line caused by deer; or

      (b) Damage to more than thirty-five (35) percent of native plant species preferred by deer.

      (2) "Deer control tag" means a tag issued by the department which authorizes a hunter to take antlerless deer during an open deer season pursuant to 301 KAR 2:172.

      (3) "Deer destruction permit" means written authorization from the department to take deer outside the hunting season framework set forth in 301 KAR 2:172.

      (4) "Deer food plot" means a crop or cultivated plants grown to attract and feed deer.

      (5) "Department representative" means a department employee who is qualified and authorized by the commissioner to assess deer damage.

      (6) "Landowner" means the person who has title to a particular property.

 

      Section 2. Qualifying for Deer Control Tags. (1) A landowner with fewer than 1,000 contiguous acres shall qualify for deer control tags if:

      (a) Deer hunting occurred on the property during the previous deer season;

      (b) Standard deterrent measures recommended by a department representative have proven ineffective or are impractical; and

      (c) A department representative certifies deer damage to crops, gardens, property or wildlife habitat.

      (2) A landowner with 1,000 contiguous acres or more shall qualify for deer control tags if:

      (a) Deer hunting occurred on the property during the previous deer season;

      (b) Deer seasons and bag limits as set forth in 301 KAR 2:172 are determined by a department representative to be inadequate to control deer populations on the property; and

      (c) The landowner agrees to:

      1. Follow the deer management practices recommended by the department; and

      2. Supply the department with weight, age and condition data of deer taken from the property.

      (3) A department representative shall make an on-site inspection of each property for which a request for deer control tags has been made, unless the property:

      (a) Has been previously inspected by the department and the landowner affirms that deer damage still exists; or

      (b) Is immediately adjacent to property assessed by a department representative as having severe deer damage.

      (4) A landowner whose property is immediately adjacent to property assessed by a department representative as having severe deer damage shall be issued damage control tags upon request of the landowner.

      (5) The department shall not issue deer control tags to a landowner whose only damage is to a deer food plot.

 

      Section 3. Applying for Deer Control Tags. (1) A landowner wishing to apply for deer control tags shall contact the department through:

      (a) A conservation officer; or

      (b) The private lands biologist for the county in which the property is located.

      (2) If required by Section 2 of this administrative regulation, a department representative shall visit the property and assess the nature and extent of deer damage.

      (3) A request for an assessment shall be made on or before September 30 to be eligible for current year deer control tags.

      (4) A request for an assessment made after September 30 shall be considered for the following year.

 

      Section 4. Number of Tags Issued. (1) The department shall determine the number of deer control tags to be issued for each landholding based on the recommendation of the department representative.

      (2) Except as provided in Section 2(2) or (4) of this administrative regulation, the department shall not issue a deer control tag if:

      (a) The county deer season is adequate to achieve the desired reduction in deer numbers; or

      (b) Crop or environmental damage is not present.

 

      Section 5. Transfer of Deer Control Tags. (1) Deer control tags shall be issued in the landowner’s name.

      (2) A landowner:

      (a) May transfer a deer control tag to another person;

      (b) Shall not issue more than five (5) deer control tags to an individual; and

      (c) Shall require hunters to sign a deer control tag at the time of transfer.

 

      Section 6. Use of Deer Control Tags. (1) A deer control tag shall not be valid except on the landholding for which it was issued.

      (2) A deer control tag shall expire after the license year for which it was issued.

      (3) A person using a deer control tag:

      (a) Shall have in possession:

      1. A valid deer control tag; and

      2. A valid hunting license and current deer permit, unless exempt from license or permit requirements pursuant to KRS 150.170;

      (b) May use deer control tags during archery, crossbow, and gun or muzzle-loader seasons to take antlerless deer;

      (c) Shall not take more than five (5) deer per license year with deer control tags; and

      (d) Shall abide by the provisions of 301 KAR 2:172, except that:

      1. Antlered deer shall not be taken; and

      2. The control tag shall remain attached to the carcass until final processing or disposal.

      (4) Deer taken with a deer control tag shall not count toward the annual limit as specified in 301 KAR 2:172.

 

      Section 7. Deer Destruction Permits. (1) The department may issue a deer destruction permit:

      (a) To a person authorized by the commissioner to remove deer that are or may become a public safety or environmental threat or that have entered a permitted captive cervid facility;

      (b) To a landowner:

      1. Who continues to experience damage after being issued deer control tags; or

      2. Whose property cannot be hunted legally and deer are posing a public safety or environmental threat;

      (c) To a captive cervid facility permit holder or applicant:

      1. Whose fence meets the fencing and holding requirements in 301 KAR 2:083; and

      2. Who has attempted to remove wild deer using nonlethal methods or statewide deer seasons as set forth in 301 KAR 2:172.

      (2) A deer destruction permit shall specify:

      (a) The number and sex of deer to be destroyed;

      (b) The method of destruction;

      (c) The name of the person who will destroy the deer; and

      (d) The dates during which the destruction will take place.

      (3) A deer destruction permit shall not be issued without the recommendation of a representative of the department and the approval of the commissioner.

      (4) A person destroying deer shall:

      (a) Attach a disposal permit provided by the department to each carcass;

      (b) Not remove the disposal permit until the carcass is processed or disposed of; and

      (c) If an antlered deer was taken, turn the antlers in to the department.

      (5) A deer destruction permit shall not be used except as specified on the permit.

      (6) Nothing in this administrative regulation shall prohibit a landowner or tenant from taking action to control deer that are posing a direct and immediate threat to life or property.

 

      Section 8. Denial or Revocation or Deer Control Tags or Destruction Permits and Appeal Procedures. (1) The department may revoke a deer control tag or destruction permit and deny a future tag or permit to a person who:

      (a) Fails to comply with the requirements of this administrative regulation;

      (b) Is convicted of a violation of 301 KAR 2:083, 2:132, 2:172, or 2:178.

      (2) An individual whose request for a permit has been denied or revoked may request an administrative hearing pursuant to KRS Chapter 13B. (35 Ky.R. 347; 794; eff. 10-8-2008.)