301 KAR 2:251. Hunting and trapping seasons and limits for furbearers.

 

      RELATES TO: KRS 150.170, 150.180, 150.370, 150.399, 150.415, 150.416, 150.990, 150.995

      STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 150.025(1), 150.175(7), (9), 150.360, 150.400, 150.410

      NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 150.025(1) authorizes the department to promulgate administrative regulations to establish open seasons for the taking of wildlife, to regulate bag limits and methods of take, and to make these requirements apply to a limited area. KRS 150.175(7), (9) authorizes the department to issue licenses, permits, and tags for hunting and trapping. KRS 150.410 authorizes the department to regulate trap tags, trap visitation, and trap placement to protect domestic animals. KRS 150.360 requires restrictions on the taking of wildlife and authorizes the department to promulgate administrative regulations establishing the requirements for hunting coyotes at night. This administrative regulation establishes seasons, bag limits, and legal methods for hunting and trapping furbearers.

 

      Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Body-gripping trap" means a commercially manufactured spring-loaded trap designed to kill the animal upon capture.

      (2) "Dry land set" means a trap that is not set to submerge an animal in water upon capture.

      (3) "Foothold trap" means a commercially manufactured spring-loaded trap with smooth, metallic or rubber soft-catch jaws that close upon an animal's foot.

      (4) "Furbearer" means mink, muskrat, beaver, raccoon, opossum, gray fox, red fox, least weasel, long-tailed weasel, river otter, bobcat, coyote, or striped skunk.

      (5) "Hunter" means a person hunting furbearers with gun, gun and dog, bow and arrow, dog, or by falconry.

      (6) "Otter Zone 1" means the following counties: Anderson, Ballard, Bath, Boone, Bourbon, Bracken, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carlisle, Carroll, Christian, Crittenden, Daviess, Fayette, Fleming, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin, Grant, Graves, Grayson, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Hopkins, Jefferson, Kenton, Larue, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, Mason, McCracken, McLean, Meade, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Nicholas, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Rowan, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trigg, Trimble, Union, Webster, and Woodford.

      (7) "Otter Zone 2" means all Kentucky counties not included in subsection (6) of this section.

      (8) "Snare" means a wire, cable, or string with a knot, loop, or a single piece closing device, the deployment of which is or is not spring-assisted, but any spring-assisted device is not for the purpose of applying tension to the closing device.

      (9) "Squaller" means a hand-operated, mouth-operated, or electronic call capable of mimicking the vocalizations of furbearers.

      (10) "Trap" means a body-gripping trap, box trap, deadfall, foothold trap, snare, or wire cage trap used to catch furbearers.

      (11) "Water set" means a trap set to submerge an animal in water upon capture.

      (12) "Youth" means a person who has not reached sixteen (16) years of age.

 

      Section 2. Hunting Requirements. (1) Unless exempted by KRS 150.170, a person shall carry proof of purchase of a valid hunting license while hunting furbearers.

      (2) Unless established in subsection (10) of this section, a hunter shall only use the weapons established in paragraphs (a) through (f) of this subsection to take furbearers:

      (a) Centerfire gun;

      (b) Rimfire gun;

      (c) Shotgun;

      (d) Bow and arrow;

      (e) Crossbow; or

      (f) An air gun using pellets at least.22 caliber in size.

      (3) Furbearers may be taken during daylight hours only, except for the following, which may also be taken after daylight hours:

      (a) Coyote;

      (b) Opossum; or

      (c) Raccoon.

      (4) A person shall not take a raccoon or opossum during daylight hours during the modern gun deer season, as established in 301 KAR 2:172.

      (5) A hunter in a boat shall not use a light in conjunction with taking a raccoon or opossum.

      (6) A person shall not use the following while chasing a raccoon or opossum from noon on March 1 through September 30;

      (a) A firearm;

      (b) Slingshot;

      (c) Tree climber; or

      (d) Any device to kill, injure, or force a raccoon or opossum from a tree or den.

      (7) A person may use a squaller year-round.

      (8) There shall not be a closed season on:

      (a) Chasing red and gray foxes during daylight hours for sport and not to kill; or

      (b) Chasing raccoons or opossums for sport and not to kill.

      (9) A hunter may use a hand or mouth-operated call, electronic call, or any other attracting device during a furbearer hunting season.

      (10) A person may take a coyote after daylight hours, with the following restrictions:

      (a) A person shall not use artificial light or other means designed to make wildlife visible at night from June 1 through January 31;

      (b) Any artificial light or other means designed to make wildlife visible at night shall not be connected to or cast from a mechanized vehicle;

      (c) A person shall not use any weapon other than a shotgun; and

      (d) A person shall not use a shell with a single projectile.

 

      Section 3. Trapping Methods and Requirements. (1) Unless exempted by KRS 150.170, a person shall carry proof of purchase of a valid trapping license while trapping furbearers.

      (2) A person who is trapping with a dry land set shall not:

      (a) Set traps closer than ten (10) feet apart; or

      (b) Use any trap except for the following:

      1. Deadfall;

      2. Wire cage or box trap;

      3. Foothold trap with a maximum inside jaw spread of six (6) inches measured perpendicular to the hinges;

      4. Body-gripping trap with a maximum inside jaw spread of seven and one-half (7.5) inches measured parallel with the trigger; or

      5. A snare.

      (3) There shall be no restrictions on the size or type of trap used as a water set.

      (4) A trap shall not be set in a trail or path commonly used by a human or a domestic animal.

      (5) A trapper may use lights from a boat or a vehicle in conjunction with trapping furbearers.

 

      Section 4. Trap Tags. (1) Each trap shall have a metal tag attached to it that clearly shows one (1) of the following:

      (a) The name and address of the person setting, using, or maintaining the trap; or

      (b) A wildlife identification number issued by the department and the 1-800-25ALERT department hotline phone number.

      (2) A person applying for a wildlife identification number shall apply by:

      (a) Completing the Wildlife Identification Number for Trap Tags – Application available on the department's Web site at www.fw.ky.gov; or

      (b) Calling the department's information center at 1-800-858-1549.

      (3) The following information shall be required for a person to apply for a wildlife identification number:

      (a) Name;

      (b) Current home address;

      (c) Social Security number;

      (d) Current phone number;

      (e) Date of birth; and

      (f) Driver's license number, if available.

      (4) A person shall:

      (a) Not use a trap tag that has an inaccurate or outdated address;

      (b) Not use a trap tag that has a wildlife identification number that corresponds to an inaccurate or outdated address or phone number; and

      (c) Contact the department to provide updated address and phone number.

      (5) A wildlife identification number shall be valid for the life of the holder.

 

      Section 5. Hunting Season Dates. Except as established in 301 KAR 2:049, a person shall not take the following wildlife except during the dates established in this section:

      (1) Bobcat: from one-half hour before sunrise on the fourth Saturday in November through the last day of February;

      (2) Coyote: year round;

      (3) Raccoon and Opossum: October 1 through the last day of February;

      (4) All other furbearers except as established in subsection (5) of this section: from one-half hour before sunrise on the third day of the modern gun deer season through the last day of February; or

      (5) Furbearers taken by falconry: September 1 through March 30.

 

      Section 6. Trapping Season Dates. Except as established in 301 KAR 2:049, a person shall not take furbearers except from one-half hour before sunrise on the third day of the modern gun deer season through the last day of February.

 

      Section 7. License-Exempt Season for Youth. For seven (7) consecutive days beginning on the Saturday after Christmas, a youth may hunt or trap furbearers without a license, but all other statewide requirements shall apply.

 

      Section 8. Bag Limits. There shall not be a bag limit on furbearers except as established in this section.

      (1) A person shall not take more than five (5) bobcats per season, no more than three (3) of which shall be taken with a gun.

      (2) A person shall not take more than ten (10) river otters per season in Otter Zone 1.

      (3) A person shall not take more than six (6) river otters per season in Otter Zone 2.

      (4) The total river otter bag limit per season shall be ten (10) per person, only six (6) of which can be taken from Otter Zone 2.

      (5) A falconer hunting within the falconry season, but outside the dates specified in Section 5(3) and (4) of this administrative regulation, shall not take more than two (2) of any furbearer per day.

 

      Section 9. Harvest Recording. (1) Immediately after taking a river otter or bobcat, and before moving the carcass, a person shall record in writing the following information:

      (a) The species;

      (b) The date;

      (c) The county where taken; and

      (d) The sex of the animal.

      (2) The information listed in subsection (1) of this section shall be recorded on one (1) of the following:

      (a) The hunter’s log section on the reverse side of a license or permit;

      (b) The hunter’s log section in the current hunting and trapping guide;

      (c) A hunter’s log available from any KDSS agent; or

      (d) An index card or similar card.

      (3) A person shall retain and possess the completed hunter’s log while hunting or trapping during the current season.

 

      Section 10. Checking a River Otter or Bobcat. (1) A person who takes a river otter or bobcat shall:

      (a) Check each animal by calling the toll free number listed in the current hunting and trapping guide on the day the river otter or bobcat is harvested;

      (b) Provide the information requested by the automated check-in system; and

      (c) Write the confirmation number provided by the automated check-in system on the hunter's log established in Section 9 of this administrative regulation.

      (2) A person who intends to sell the raw fur of a river otter or bobcat to a licensed fur processor, fur buyer, or taxidermist or wishing to export a river otter or bobcat pelt outside the United States shall:

      (a) Contact the department and request a Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) tag by providing:

      1. A valid confirmation number as established in subsection (1) of this section; and

      2. A street address where the tag is to be mailed; or

      (b) Access the department's Web site at www.fw.ky.gov and complete and submit the CITES tag request form to the department.

      (3) A person who intends to transfer to another person a river otter or bobcat that does not have an attached CITES tag shall attach to the carcass a handmade tag that contains the following:

      (a) The confirmation number;

      (b) The hunter or trapper's name; and

      (c) The hunter or trapper's phone number.

      (4) A person shall not provide false information while:

      (a) Completing the hunter’s log;

      (b) Checking a river otter or bobcat; or

      (c) Creating a handmade carcass tag.

      (5) A CITES tag shall be attached to the raw fur, pelt, or unskinned carcass per the instructions provided by the department and remain with the pelt until it is processed or exported outside the United States.

      (6) Possession of an unused CITES tag that is issued by the department shall be prohibited.

 

      Section 11. Transporting and Processing a River Otter or Bobcat. (1) A person shall not sell the raw fur of a river otter or bobcat except to a licensed:

      (a) Fur buyer;

      (b) Fur processor; or

      (c) Taxidermist.

      (2) A taxidermist, fur buyer, or fur processor shall:

      (a) Not accept a river otter or bobcat carcass or any part of a river otter or bobcat without a proper carcass tag or CITES tag established in Section 10 of this administrative regulation; and

      (b) Keep the following information from a hunter or trapper:

      1. Name;

      2. Address;

      3. Confirmation number or CITES tag number; and

      4. Date received for each river otter or bobcat.

 

      Section 12. Incorporation by Reference. (1) “Wildlife Identification Number for Trap Tags – Application”, April 2014, is incorporated by reference.

      (2) This material may be inspected, copied, or obtained, subject to applicable copyright law, at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, #1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (20 Ky.R. 2928; Am. 3193; eff. 6-2-1994; 21 Ky.R. 1915; 2478; eff. 4-6-1995; 22 Ky.R. 1491; eff. 4-5-1996; 23 Ky.R. 3879; eff. 7-9-1997; 25 Ky.R. 1435; eff. 2-10-1999; 27 Ky.R. 214; 754; eff. 8-24-2000; 3340; 28 Ky.R. 363; eff. 8-15-2001; 2423; eff. 7-15-02; 29 Ky.R. 2139; eff. 4-11-03; 2964; eff. 8-13-2003; 31 Ky.R. 838; 1077; eff. 1-4-2005; 1717; eff. 6-8-2005; 32 Ky.R. 1765; eff. 6-2-2006; 33 Ky.R. 519; eff. 10-11-2006; 3426; 3604; eff. 6-13-2007; 35 Ky.R. 1008; 1743; eff. 3-6-2009; 36 Ky.R. 865; 1199; eff. 10-23-2009; 37 Ky.R. 797; eff. 11-4-2010; 38 Ky.R. 1661; 1948; eff. 6-7-2012; 39 Ky.R. 2397; 40 Ky.R. 542; eff. 9-5-2013; 2216; 2430; eff. 6-6-2014.)