TOURISM, ARTS AND HERITAGE CABINET

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

(Amendment)

 

††††† 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 150.360 requires restrictions on the taking of wildlife and authorizes the department to promulgate administrative regulations establishing the requirements for hunting coyotes at night. KRS 150.400 authorizes the department to establish the types of traps that can legally be used by trappers. 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 of take, and checking and recording requirements 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 in, or floating upon, the[to submerge an animal in] water of a stream, river, pond, lake, wetland, or other water course[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 legally taking[hunting] furbearers[with gun, gun and dog, bow and arrow, dog, or] by means other than trapping[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 in, or floating upon, the[to submerge an animal in] water of a stream, pond, lake, wetland, or other water course[upon capture].

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

 

††††† Section 2. License[Hunting] Requirements. [(1)] Unless exempted by KRS 150.170, a person shall carry proof of purchase of a:

††††† (1) Valid hunting license while hunting furbearers; or

††††† (2) Valid trapping license while trapping furbearers.

 

††††† Section 3. Furbearer Hunting Seasons. Except as established in 301 KAR 2:049, a person shall only take furbearers by hunting during the seasons established in subsections (1) through (5) of this section:

††††† (1) Bobcat, from one-half (1/2) 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 (1/2) hour before sunrise on the third day of modern gun deer season through the last day of February; and

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

 

††††† Section 4. Furbearer Trapping Season. Except as established in 301 KAR 2:049, a person shall only take furbearers by trapping from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise on the third day of the modern gun deer season through the last day of February.

 

††††† Section 5. License-Exempt Youth Season. 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 6. Legal Hunting Weapons. Except as established in Section 7(8) of this administrative regulation[(2) Unless established in subsection (10) of this section], a hunter shall only use the weapons established in subsections (1)[paragraphs (a)] through (6)[(f)] of this section[subsection] to hunt[take] furbearers:

††††† (1)[(a)] Centerfire gun;

††††† (2)[(b)] Rimfire gun;

††††† (3)[(c)] Shotgun;

††††† (4)[(d)] Bow and arrow;

††††† (5)[(e)] Crossbow; or

††††† (6)[(f)] An air gun using pellets at least .22 caliber in size.

 

††††† Section 7. Hunter Restrictions (1)[(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.

††††† (2)[(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.

††††† (3)[(5)] A person hunting[hunter] in a boat shall not use a light in conjunction with taking a raccoon or opossum.

††††† (4)[(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.

††††† (5)[(7)] A person may use a squaller year-round.

††††† (6)[(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.

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

††††† (8)[(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 8. Legal Traps[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 only use traps as established in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this subsection[not]:

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

††††† (b) Use any trap except for the following:

††††† 1.] Deadfall;

††††† (b)[2.] Wire cage or box trap;

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

††††† (d) A snare; or

††††† (e) Except as established in 301 KAR 2:049, a[4.] body-gripping trap with a maximum inside jaw spread of seven and one-half (7.5) inches measured parallel with the trigger:

††††† 1. In the center of the trap; and

††††† 2. In the unset position[; or

††††† 5. A snare].

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

 

††††† Section 9. Trapper Restrictions. (1)[(4)] A trap shall not be set in a trail or path commonly used by a human or a domestic animal.

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

 

††††† Section 10. Hunter Orange. A person trapping furbearers shall be exempt from hunter orange clothing requirements as established in 301 KAR 2:132, 2:172, and 2:300.

 

††††† Section 11.[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 Ė 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 12.[8.] Bag Limits. (1) There shall not be a bag limit on furbearers except as established in subsections (2) through (6) of this section.

††††† (2)[(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.

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

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

††††† (5)[(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.

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

 

††††† Section 13.[9.] Harvest Recording. (1) Immediately after harvesting[taking] a river otter or bobcat, and prior to[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 river otter or bobcat on:

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

(a)] The hunterís log section on the reverse side of a license or permit;

††††† 2. A[(b) The] hunterís log printed from the departmentís Web site at fw.ky.gov[section in the current hunting and trapping guide];

††††† 3.[(c)] A hunterís log available from any KDSS agent; or

††††† 4.[(d)] An index card or similar card.

††††† (2)[(3)] A person shall retain and possess the completed hunterís log while hunting or trapping during the current season.

 

††††† Section 14.[10.] Checking a River Otter or Bobcat. (1) A person who harvests[takes] a river otter or bobcat shall check each animal by:

††††† (a) Completing[Check each animal by calling] the telecheck process after calling 800-245-4263 or completing the check-in process on the departmentís Web site at fw.ky.gov:

††††† 1. Before midnight [toll free number listed in the current hunting and trapping guide] on the day the river otter or bobcat is recovered[harvested];

††††† 2. Prior to processing the carcass[(b) Provide the information requested by the automated check-in system]; and

††††† 3. Prior to transporting the raw fur, pelt, or unskinned carcass out of Kentucky; and

††††† (b) Writing[(c) Write] the check-in confirmation number[provided by the automated check-in system] on the hunter's log as established in Section 13[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 check-in confirmation number as established in subsection (1) of this section; and

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

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

††††† (3) A person who is transferring[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 knowingly provide false information when[while]:

††††† (a) Completing the hunterís log;

††††† (b) Checking a river otter or bobcat;[or]

††††† (c) Completing a CITES tag request form; or

††††† (d) Creating a handmade carcass tag.

††††† (5) A CITES tag shall be attached to the raw fur, pelt, or unskinned carcass upon receipt of the tag from the department per the instructions provided by the department and remain attached[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 15.[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 thereof[of a river otter or bobcat] without a proper carcass tag or CITES tag established in Section 14[10] of this administrative regulation; and

††††† (b) Retain[Keep] the[following] information established in subparagraph 1. through 4. of this paragraph 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 16.[12.] Incorporation by Reference. (1) The following material is incorporated by reference:

††††† (a) "Wildlife Identification Number for Trap Tags Ė Application", April 2014 edition; and

††††† (b) "CITES Tag Request" form, 2014 edition[, 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 Sportsmanís Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.

 

KAREN WALDROP, Deputy Commissioner

††††† For GREGORY K. JOHNSON, Commissioner

ROBERT H. STEWART, Secretary

††††† APPROVED BY AGENCY: November 8, 2014

††††† FILED WITH LRC: November 12, 2014 at 4 p.m.

††††† PUBLIC HEARING AND PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: A public hearing on this administrative regulation shall be held on December 22, 2014, at 10 a.m. at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in the Commission Room of the Arnold L. Mitchell Building, #1 Sportsmanís Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky. Individuals interested in attending this hearing shall notify this agency in writing by five business days prior to the hearing of their intent to attend. If no notification of intent to attend the hearing is received by that date, the hearing may be canceled. This hearing is open to the public. Any person who attends will be given an opportunity to comment on the proposed administrative regulation. A transcript of the public hearing will not be made unless a written request for a transcript is made. If you do not wish to attend the public hearing, you may submit written comments on the proposed administrative regulation through December 31, 2014. Send written notification of intent to attend the public hearing or written comments on the proposed administrative regulation to:

††††† CONTACT PERSON: Rose Mack, Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Arnold L. Mitchell Building, #1 Sportsman's Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky 4060, phone (502) 564-3400, fax (502) 564-9136, email fwpubliccomments@ky.gov.

 

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS AND TIERING STATEMENT

 

Contact Person: Rose Mack

††††† (1) Provide a brief summary of:

††††† (a) What this administrative regulation does: This regulation establishes season bag limits, legal methods of take, and checking and recording requirements for furbearer hunting and trapping.

††††† (b) The necessity of this administrative regulation: This regulation is necessary to provide adequate furbearer hunting and trapping opportunities and to properly manage furbearer populations in Kentucky.

††††† (c) How this administrative regulation conforms to the content of the authorizing statutes: KRS 150.025(1) authorizes the department to promulgate administrative regulations to establish open seasons for the taking of wildlife, 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 150.360 requires restrictions on the taking of wildlife and authorizes the department to promulgate administrative regulations establishing the requirements for hunting coyotes at night. KRS 150.400 authorizes the department to promulgate administrative regulations to establish the types of traps that can legally be used by trappers. KRS 150.410 authorizes the department to regulate traps tags, trap visitation, and trap placement to protect domestic animals.

††††† (d) How this administrative regulation currently assists or will assist in the effective administration of the statutes: This administrative regulation will assist in administering the above statutes by defining the seasons, bag limits, and methods used to trap and hunt furbearers in Kentucky.

††††† (2) If this is an amendment to an existing administrative regulation, provide a brief summary of:

††††† (a) How the amendment will change this existing administrative regulation: This amendment eliminates an existing ten (10) foot spacing requirement between traps set on dry land, amends the definition for "water sets," eliminates hunter orange clothing requirements for trappers, requires CITES tags to be attached to furbearers upon receipt from the department and requires that river otters and bobcats must be telechecked before leaving Kentucky. It also contains modifications to conform to administrative regulation style requirements.

††††† (b) The necessity of the amendment to this administrative regulation: This amendment is necessary to manage hunter and trapper opportunity without negatively impacting the furbearer resource.

††††† (c) How the amendment conforms to the content of the authorizing statutes: See (1)(c) above.

††††† (d) How the amendment will assist in the effective administration of the statutes: See (1)(d) above.

††††† (3) List the type and number of individuals, businesses, organizations, or state and local governments affected by this administrative regulation: All those who hunt or trap furbearers may be affected by this regulatory amendment. The Department sold 3,390 trapping licenses during the 2013-14 license year. Those individuals who hunt furbearers would also be affected, but that number is unknown.

††††† (4) Provide an analysis of how the entities identified in question (3) will be impacted by either the implementation of this administrative regulation, if new, or by the change, if it is an amendment, including:

††††† (a) List the actions that each of the regulated entities identified in question (3) will have to take to comply with this administrative regulation or amendment: A person trapping on private land may now set traps on dry land without a minimum spacing requirement between traps. Trappers setting traps as "water sets" will need to comply with the definition of a "water set". A person trapping furbearers will no longer be required to wear hunter orange when trapping during a modern firearm season for bear, deer, or elk. Trappers and hunters must comply with new checking requirements for river otters and bobcats.

††††† (b) In complying with this administrative regulation or amendment, how much will it cost each of the entities identified in question (3): There will be no direct cost to hunters and trappers as a result of this amendment to the administrative regulation.

††††† (c) As a result of compliance, what benefits will accrue to the entities identified in question (3): New trap restrictions will increase trapping efficiency and success. Elimination of the hunter orange clothing requirement for fur trappers will make trap lines less visible to the public and therefore lessen potential for theft of traps. New checking requirements for river otters and bobcats will assist in keeping fur trappers in compliance with federal restrictions that govern the sale of fur. Trappers will also benefit from the new definition of "water set", which is more inclusive of common water trapping methods.

††††† (5) Provide an estimate of how much it will cost the administrative body to implement this administrative regulation:

††††† (a) Initially: There will be no administrative cost to the department to implement this administrative regulation.

††††† (b) On a continuing basis: There will be no cost to the department on a continuing basis.

††††† (6) What is the source of the funding to be used for the implementation and enforcement of this administrative regulation: The source of funding is the State Game and Fish Fund.

††††† (7) Provide an assessment of whether an increase in fees or funding will be necessary to implement this administrative regulation, if new, or by the change if it is an amendment: It will not be necessary to increase any other fees or to increase funding to implement this administrative regulation.

††††† (8) State whether or not this administrative regulation established any fees or directly or indirectly increased any fees: No fees were established directly or indirectly.

††††† (9) TIERING: Is tiering applied? No. Tiering was not applied because all furbearer hunters and trappers in Kentucky must abide by the same seasons, methods of take, bag limits, harvest recording procedures, and checking requirements.

 

FISCAL NOTE ON STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

 

††††† (1) What units, parts, or divisions of state or local government (including cities, counties, fire departments, or school districts) will be impacted by this administrative regulation? The Departmentís Wildlife Division and Law Enforcement Division will be impacted by this administrative regulation.

††††† (2) Identify each state or federal statute or federal regulation that requires or authorizes the action taken by the administrative regulation. KRS 150.025(1), 150.175, 150.360, 150.400, and 150.410.

††††† (3) Estimate the effect of this administrative regulation on the expenditures and revenues of a state or local government agency (including cities, counties, fire departments, or school districts) for the first full year the administrative regulation is to be in effect.

††††† (a) How much revenue will this administrative regulation generate for the state or local government (including cities, counties, fire departments, or school districts) for the first year? No additional revenue is expected to be generated by this administrative regulation during the first year.

††††† (b) How much revenue will this administrative regulation generate for the state or local government (including cities, counties, fire departments, or school districts) for subsequent years? No additional revenue is expected to be generated by this administrative regulation during subsequent years.

††††† (c) How much will it cost to administer this program for the first year? Administrative costs for the first year are expected to remain the same.

††††† (d) How much will it cost to administer this program for subsequent years? Administrative costs for subsequent years are expected to remain the same.

††††† Note: If specific dollar estimates cannot be determined, provide a brief narrative to explain the fiscal impact of the administrative regulation.

††††† Revenues (+/-): None.

††††† Expenditures (+/-): None.

††††† Other Explanation: