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,[150.400,] 150.415, 150.416, 150.990, 150.995

††††† STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 150.025(1), 150.175(7), (9), 150.360[(6)], 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 places restrictions on the taking of wildlife and[(6)] authorizes the department to promulgate administrative regulations establishing the requirements for hunting coyotes at night[with or without the use of lights or other means designed to make wildlife visible 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 may be spring-assisted, but not for the purpose of applying tension to the closing device[which is not power or spring assisted].

††††† (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.[Harvest Methods for Furbearers. Unless specified in Section 3(9) of this administrative regulation, a person shall only use the following to take furbearers:

††††† (1) Centerfire gun;

††††† (2) Rimfire gun;

††††† (3) Shotgun;

††††† (4) Bow and arrow;

††††† (5) Crossbow; or

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

††††† Section 3.] 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)[(3)] 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)[(4)] A hunter in a boat shall not use a light to take a raccoon or opossum.

††††† (6)[(5)] 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)[(6)] A person may use a squaller year-round.

††††† (8)[(7)] There shall not be a closed season on:

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

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

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

††††† (10)[(9)] 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.[4.] 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 on dry land 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.

 

††††† Section 4.[5.] 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) Accessing 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[is] valid for the life of the holder.

 

††††† Section 5.[6.] Hunting Season Dates. Except as specified in 301 KAR 2:049 or 301 KAR 2:125, a person shall not take the following wildlife except during the dates specified in this section:

††††† (1) Bobcat: from one-half hour before sunrise[noon] 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: from one-half hour before sunrise[noon] 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.[7.] Trapping Season Dates. Except as specified in 301 KAR 2:049 or 301 KAR 2:125, a person shall not take furbearers except from noon on the third day of the modern gun deer season through the last day of February.

 

††††† Section 7.[8.] 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.[9.] 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.[; and]

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

 

††††† Section 9.[10.] 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 hunterís log section on the reverse side of a license or permit;

††††† (b) The hunterís log section in the current hunting and trapping guide;

††††† (c) A hunterís log available from any KDSS agent; or

††††† (d) An index card or similar card.

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

 

††††† Section 10.[11.] 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 described in Section 9[10] 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 described 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 when:

††††† (a) Completing the hunterís 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 is prohibited unless authorized by the department.

 

††††† Section 11.[12.] 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 described in Section 10[11] 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.

 

MATT SAWYERS, Acting Commissioner

ROBERT H. STEWART, Secretary

††††† APPROVED BY AGENCY: February 11, 2014

††††† FILED WITH LRC: February 13, 2014 at 3 p.m.

††††† PUBLIC HEARING AND PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: A public hearing on this administrative regulation shall be held on March 21, 2014, at 9 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 by March 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 40601, 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 furbearer hunting and trapping seasons, bag limits, legal methods of take, and other furbearer hunting and trapping requirements.

††††† (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 establishing open seasons for the taking of wildlife, to regulate bag limits, to regulate any method of taking, 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 places 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 regulations on the approved sizes and types of traps that can be used. KRS 150.410 authorizes the department to regulate trap 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 of take for 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 establishes that trappers may use a spring-assisted throwing mechanism to deploy the loop of a snare over the head of a furbearer. This amendment also changes the time of the day when the furbearer hunting and trapping seasons open.

††††† (b) The necessity of the amendment to this administrative regulation: This amendment is necessary to allow the use of specialized snare deployment mechanism that are canine-specific and designed for use to capture coyotes in suburban environments. Moving the season opening from noon to thirty (30) minutes before sunrise will offer increased opportunity to trappers and make this season opener consistent with most times for other hunting seasons.

††††† (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 trap furbearers could potentially benefit from these regulatory amendments. The Department sold 2,372 trapping licenses during the 2013-14 license year. In addition, the Department also sold 159 Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator permits; these are persons permitted to trap nuisance wildlife. Those individuals who hunt furbearers would also be affected.

††††† (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: Legal trappers may begin trapping thirty minutes before sunrise, as opposed to noon, on the third day of the modern gun deer season. Likewise, furbearer hunters will also benefit from this earlier opening. In addition, trappers may now use a spring-assisted device designed to deploy the loop of a snare over the head of a furbearer,

††††† (b) In complying with this administrative regulation or amendment, how much will it cost each of the entities identified in question (3): No additional cost to trappers.

††††† (c) As a result of compliance, what benefits will accrue to the entities identified in question (3): Furbearer hunters and trappers will have increased opportunity as the time of day the season opens will be earlier on opening day. Trappers and Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators can now increase capture success for coyotes in suburban environments with regulatory clarification that spring-assisted mechanical devices designed to deploy the loop of a snare over the head of canines may be used.

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

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

††††† (b) On a continuing basis: There will be no additional 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: This administrative regulation does not establish fees or directly or indirectly increase any fees.

††††† (9) TIERING: Is tiering applied? No. Tiering is not applied because all furbearer hunters and trappers in Kentucky must comply with the requirements of this administrative regulation.

 

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 Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Divisions of Wildlife and Law Enforcement 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(7),(9), 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 will 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 will be generated by this administrative regulation during subsequent years.

††††† (c) How much will it cost to administer this program for the first year? There will be no additional costs incurred for the first year.

††††† (d) How much will it cost to administer this program for subsequent years? There will be no additional costs incurred in subsequent years.

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

††††† Revenues (+/-):

††††† Expenditures (+/-):

††††† Other Explanation: