TOURISM, ARTS AND HERITAGE CABINET

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

(Amendment)

 

††††† 301 KAR 2:300. Black bear seasons and requirements.

 

††††† RELATES TO: KRS 150.010, 150.092, 150.170, 150.175, 150.990

††††† STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 150.025(1), 150.390(1)

††††† 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 150.390(1) prohibits the taking of bears in any manner contrary to any provisions of KRS Chapter 150 or Title 301 KAR[its administrative regulations]. This administrative regulation establishes bear hunting and chasing seasons; bear hunting areas; legal methods of take; and permitting, checking, and recording requirements.

 

††††† Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Adult" means an individual who is at least eighteen (18) years of age.

††††† (2) "Archery equipment" means a long bow, recurve bow, or compound bow incapable of holding an arrow at full or partial draw without aid from the archer.

††††† (3) "Arrow" means the projectile fired from a bow or crossbow.

††††† (4) "Baited area" means an area where feed, grains, or other substances capable of luring black bears have been placed.

††††† (5) "Barbed broadhead" means a point or portion of a blade projecting backward from a broadhead designed to hold an arrow within an animal.

††††† (6) "Bear" means the species Ursus americanus.

††††† (7) "Bear chase area" means a designated area within the Bear Zone where hunters may use dogs to chase bears.

††††† (8) "Bear chase permit" means a permit, which in conjunction with appropriate licenses, seasons, and methods, allows the holder to use dogs to chase a bear.

††††† (9) "Bear permit" means a permit, which in conjunction with appropriate licenses, seasons, and methods, allows the holder to harvest[take] one (1) black bear of either sex.

††††† (10) "Bear zone" means the following Kentucky counties: Bell, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Letcher, Martin, McCreary, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Wayne, and Whitley.

††††† (11) "Chase-only season" means a designated season when a person may use dogs to chase a bear, without killing or intentionally injuring a bear.

††††† (12) "Crossbow" means a bow designed or fitted with a device to hold an arrow at full or partial draw without aid from the archer.

††††† (13) "Firearm" means a breech or muzzle-loading rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

††††† (14) "Junior bear chase permit" means a permit, which in conjunction with appropriate licenses, seasons, and methods, allows a youth to use dogs to chase a bear.

††††† (15) "License year" means the period from March 1 through the following last day of February.

††††† (16) "Modern gun" means a rifle, handgun, or shotgun loaded from the rear of the barrel.

††††† (17) "Muzzle-loading firearm" means a rifle, shotgun, or handgun loaded from the discharging end of the barrel or discharging end of the receiver.

††††† (18) "Youth" means a person under the age of sixteen (16) by the day of the hunt.

 

††††† Section 2. Feeding Black Bears. A person shall not engage in any direct or indirect feeding of black bears.

 

††††† Section 3. Bear Chase Requirements. (1) Unless exempted by KRS 150.170, a person, while using dogs to chase a bear, shall carry proof of purchase of a valid Kentucky hunting license and a valid:

††††† (a)[first obtain the appropriate] Bear chase permit; or

††††† (b) Junior bear chase permit[from the department before chasing bears].

††††† (2) A bear chase permit or junior bear chase permit shall only be purchased by a resident of Kentucky.

††††† (3)[Unless exempted by KRS 150.170, a person shall carry proof of purchase of a valid Kentucky hunting license and valid bear chase permit while using dogs to chase bears.

††††† (4)] A bear chase permit shall be purchased on the departmentís Web site at fw.ky.gov from July 1 through December 31.

††††† (4)[(5)] A person shall not:

††††† (a) Kill or intentionally injure a bear during a chase-only season;

††††† (b) Chase a bear except during daylight hours while a chase season is open;

††††† (c) Chase a bear from a baited area:

††††† 1. While bait is present; or

††††† 2. For thirty (30) days after the bait has been removed; or

††††† (d) Disturb a bear in a den.

††††† (5)[(6)] Individual hunt groups shall include no more than five (5) people and eight (8) dogs, except[:

††††† (a)] a hunt party may total seven (7) people if two (2) additional youths accompany the party[;

††††† (b) The two (2) additional youths do not have to be drawn as part of a quota hunt party; and

††††† (c) The two (2) additional youths shall not be allowed to harvest a bear].

††††† (6)[(7)] Any dog transported in a motorized vehicle by members of a hunt group shall not be considered a member of that hunt group.

††††† (7)[(8)] The department shall supply a Bear Chase Survey to each person purchasing a bear chase permit.

††††† (8)[(9)] A person who purchases a bear chase permit shall submit to the department a completed Bear Chase Survey by the last day of January following each bear season.

††††† (9)[(10)] A person who fails to submit a Bear Chase Survey shall be ineligible to purchase a bear chase permit for the following yearís chase seasons.

††††† (10)[(11)] A person shall only use a dog to chase a bear in the following designated areas:

††††† (a) Eastern bear chase area;

††††† (b) Central bear chase area; and

††††† (c) Western bear chase area.

 

††††† Section 4. Chasing Bears with Dogs. A person shall not use a dog to chase a bear except during the[following] seasons established in this section:

††††† (1) The chase-only season, which shall be from August 1 through August 31; and

††††† (2) The bear quota hunt with dogs season pursuant to Section 8(1) of this administrative regulation.

 

††††† Section 5. Bear Permit Requirements. (1) Only a resident of Kentucky shall be allowed to purchase a bear permit.

††††† (2) Unless exempted by KRS 150.170, a person hunting a bear shall possess proof of purchase of a valid Kentucky hunting license and valid bear permit while hunting during the seasons established in Section 8(1) of this administrative regulation.

 

††††† Section 6. Hunter Restrictions. (1) A person shall not:

††††† (a) Harvest a bear except during daylight hours;

††††† (b) Use a dog[dogs] during the modern gun season for bears, except leashed tracking dogs may be used to recover a wounded or dead bear;

††††† (c) Hunt bear on a baited area:

††††† 1. While bait is present; or

††††† 2. For thirty (30) days after the bait has been removed;

††††† (d) Harvest:

††††† 1. A female bear that has a cub; or

††††† 2. A bear that weighs less than seventy-five (75) pounds;

††††† (e) Harvest a bear that is swimming;

††††† (f) Harvest a bear if the person is in a vehicle, boat, or on horseback, except that a hunter in possession of a disabled hunting exemption permit issued by the department may use a stationary vehicle as a hunting platform;

††††† (g) Harvest a bear in a den; or

††††† (h) Disturb a bear in a den for the purpose of taking the bear if the bear exits the den.

††††† (2) An adult shall accompany and maintain control of a youth who is hunting bear with a firearm.

††††† Section 7. Weapon Restrictions. (1) A person shall only use the weapons and ammunition established in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this subsection to take a bear:

††††† (a) A crossbow or archery equipment loaded with a non-barbed broadhead of seven-eighths (7/8) inch or wider upon expansion;

††††† (b) A firearm:

††††† 1. With an action that fires a single round of ammunition upon each manipulation of the trigger;

††††† 2. Of..270 caliber or larger; and

††††† 3. Loaded with centerfire, single projectile ammunition designed to expand upon impact;

††††† (c) A muzzle-loading firearm of .50 caliber or larger;

††††† (d) A shotgun of twenty (20) gauge or larger loaded with a shell containing one (1) projectile; or

††††† (e) A handgun loaded with:

††††† 1. Centerfire cartridges;

††††† 2. Bullets of..270 caliber or larger designed to expand upon impact; and

††††† 3. Cartridges with a case length of 1.285 inches or larger.

††††† (2) A crossbow shall contain a working safety device.

††††† (3) A bear hunter shall not use a magazine capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds.

 

††††† Section 8. Bear Season Dates and Bag Limits. (1) A legal bear hunter shall only kill a bear in the bear zone during the seasons established in paragraphs (a) through (d)[(c)] of this subsection:

††††† (a) The archery Ė crossbow season for bears, which shall be for seven (7)[nine (9)] consecutive days beginning on the fourth Saturday in October[before Thanksgiving];

††††† (b) The modern gun season for bears, which shall be for three (3) consecutive days beginning on the second Saturday in December;[and]

††††† (c) The bear quota hunt with dogs season, which shall be for:

††††† 1. Two (2)[five (5)] consecutive days beginning on the Saturday after Thanksgiving; and

††††† 2. Two (2) consecutive days beginning on the third Saturday in December; and

††††† (d) The youth-only bear[Monday following the modern gun] season which shall last for two (2) consecutive days beginning on the Saturday after Christmas[bears].

††††† (2) A person shall not harvest[take] more than one (1) bear in a license year.[(3) A hunt party drawn for the bear quota hunt with dogs season shall not take more than one (1) bear in a license year.]

 

††††† Section 9. Bear Season Closure. (1) The archery - crossbow season for bears shall close after daylight hours on the day the following quota has been reached:

††††† (a) Ten (10) bears; or

††††† (b) Five (5) female bears.

††††† (2) The modern gun season for bears shall close after daylight hours on the day the following quota has been reached:

††††† (a) Fifteen (15)[Ten (10)] bears; or

††††† (b) Five (5) female bears.

††††† (3) The bear quota hunt with dogs season shall close after daylight hours on the day the quota of five (5) bears has been reached.

††††† (4) The youth-only bear season shall close after daylight hours on the day the quota of five (5) bears has been reached.

††††† (5) A bear hunter shall call 800-858-1549 after 9 p.m. each day of any open bear season to determine if the annual quota has been reached.

 

††††† Section 10. Bear Quota Hunt with Dogs Requirements. (1)[A person shall complete the Bear Quota Hunt with Dogs Application on the departmentís Web site at fw.ky.gov from September 1 through September 30.

††††† (2) An applicant shall possess a bear chase permit before applying.

††††† (3) A person shall not:

††††† (a) Apply more than one (1) time per year;

††††† (b) Apply as a party of more than five (5) people; or

††††† (c) Be eligible to take a bear unless drawn by the department in the bear quota hunt lottery.

††††† (4)] A person shall only harvest a bear with the use of unleashed dogs.

††††† (2)[(5) A person or each member of a hunt party selected for the quota hunt shall possess a bear permit in order to kill a bear.

††††† (6)] The bear quota hunt with dogs season shall also be open as a chase-only season for any person who possesses a valid bear chase permit.

 

††††† Section 11. Hunter Orange Clothing Requirements. (1) During any modern gun or muzzle-loading season for bears, a person hunting any species, and any person accompanying a hunter, shall display solid, unbroken hunter orange visible from all sides on the head, back, and chest, except these requirements shall not apply to a person hunting:

††††† (a) Waterfowl; or

††††† (b) Furbearers at night during a legal furbearer season.

††††† (2) The hunter orange portions of a garment worn to fulfill the requirements of this section:

††††† (a) May display a small section of another color; and

††††† (b) Shall not have mesh weave openings exceeding one-fourth (1/4) inch by any measurement.

 

††††† Section 12. Bear Reserves. (1) The areas within the Bear Zone established in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this subsection shall be closed to bear hunting:

††††† (a) Cumberland Gap National Historical Park;

††††† (b) Hensley-Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area;

††††† (c) Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area; and

††††† (d) The area surrounding Hensley-Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area: starting at the intersection of Sand Hill Bottom Road and North US Hwy 119 in Cumberland, the boundary proceeds northeast along North US Hwy 119 to the intersection of US Hwy 119 and Kentucky Hwy 2035. The boundary then proceeds west along Kentucky Hwy 2035 to the intersection of Kentucky Hwy 2035 and Kentucky Hwy 931. The boundary continues southwest along Kentucky Hwy 931 to the intersection of Kentucky Hwy 931 and Kentucky Hwy 160, then proceeds southwest along Kentucky Hwy 160 to the intersection of Kentucky Hwy 160 and Kentucky Hwy 463 in Gordon. The boundary then proceeds south and east along Kentucky Hwy 160 to the intersection of Kentucky Hwy 160 and Sand Hill Bottom Road in Cumberland, then south along Sand Hill Bottom Road to the intersection with North US Hwy 119, completing the boundary.

††††† (2) Kentucky resident landowners, their spouses, and dependent children may hunt bears on their own property within the closed area established in subsection (1)(d) of this section.

 

††††† Section 13. Harvest Recording and Check-in Requirements. (1) Immediately after harvesting a bear, and before moving the carcass, a person shall record on a hunterís log the:

††††† (a) Species taken;

††††† (b) Date taken;

††††† (c) County where taken; and

††††† (d) Sex of the bear.

††††† (2) A person who has harvested a bear during the modern gun season for bears shall:

††††† (a) Retain a completed hunterís log;

††††† (b) Check a harvested bear at a department-operated check station immediately after leaving the field;

††††† (c) Telecheck the bear before leaving the check station by:

††††† 1. Calling 800-245-4263 and completing the telecheck process or checking the bear on the departmentís Web site at fw.ky.gov; and

††††† 2. Recording the confirmation number on the hunterís log; and

††††† (d) Attach to the carcass a department issued tag prior to leaving the check station.

††††† (3) A person who has harvested a bear during the archery Ė crossbow season, youth-only bear season, or the bear quota hunt with dogs season shall:

††††† (a) Retain a completed hunterís log;

††††† (b) Telecheck the bear by 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time the day the bear was harvested by:

††††† 1. Calling 800-245-4263 and completing the telecheck process or checking the bear on the departmentís Web site at fw.ky.gov; and

††††† 2. Recording the confirmation number on the hunterís log;

††††† (c) Arrange for department personnel to inspect the bear by:

††††† 1. Calling the department at 800-858-1549 within twenty-four (24) hours of harvest; and

††††† 2. Presenting to department personnel the bear carcass or an intact hide that contains the skull and proof of sex; and

††††† (d) Attach to the carcass a department issued tag after having the bear inspected by department personnel.

 

††††† Section 14. Incorporation by Reference. (1) The following material is incorporated by reference:

††††† (a) "Eastern Bear Chase Area" map, 2015[2013] edition;

††††† (b) "Central Bear Chase Area" map, 2015[2013] edition;

††††† (c) "Western Bear Chase Area" map, 2013 edition; and

††††† (d) "20__ Bear Chase Survey", 2014 edition[; and

(e) "Bear Quota Hunt With Dogs Application", 2014 edition].

††††† (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.

 

GREGORY K. JOHNSON, Commissioner

ROBERT H. STEWART, Secretary

††††† APPROVED BY AGENCY: April 9, 2015

††††† FILED WITH LRC: April 14, 2015 at 10 a.m.

††††† PUBLIC HEARING AND PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: A public hearing on this administrative regulation shall be held on May 21, 2015, 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 close of business June 1, 2015. 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) 564-7109, ext 4507, 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 black bear chase and hunt seasons, chase and hunt requirements, bag limits, and legal methods of take.

††††† (b) The necessity of this administrative regulation: To establish bear hunting season requirements and methods of take to provide reasonable hunting and chasing opportunity, while properly managing bear populations in Kentucky.

††††† (c) How this administrative regulation conforms to the content of the authorizing statutes: KRS 150.025(1) authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to promulgate administrative regulations to establish open seasons for the taking of wildlife, regulate bag limits, and to make these requirements apply to a limited area. KRS 150.390(1) prohibits the taking of bears in any manner contrary to any provisions of Chapter 150 or Title 301.

††††† (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 chase and take used to manage black bears 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 will shorten the archery-crossbow season from nine (9) to seven (7) days and move the season opening date from the Saturday after Thanksgiving to the fourth Saturday in October. This amendment also splits the existing five (5)-day bear quota hunt with dogs season in December into two (2)-day seasons in November and December. This amendment will also establish a two (2)-day youth-only bear season with a harvest quota of five (5) bears that opens the Saturday after Christmas. Additionally, the harvest quota for the modern gun season will be increased from ten (10) to fifteen (15) bears. This amendment will also abolish the online registration process for the bear quota hunt with dogs season, allow any legal hunter to harvest a bear during the bear quota hunt with dogs season, and clarify that dogs transported in a motorized vehicle shall not be included in the eight (8)-dog limit for individual hunt groups. Lastly, amendments will expand the geographic boundaries of the Eastern and Central Bear Chase Areas; these changes are reflected in new maps that are incorporated by reference.

††††† (b) The necessity of the amendment to this administrative regulation: This amendment is necessary to increase hunting success for persons participating in the archery-crossbow season by moving it early in the fall when bears are more active. Likewise, splitting the bear quota hunt with dogs season will increase participation by moving this hunt from the week of Christmas to two earlier weekends. Establishing a youth-only bear season and increasing the harvest quota for the modern gun season will increase hunting opportunity and promote interest in bear hunting. Proposed amendments to adjust the structure of the bear quota hunt with dogs season will remove technical and logistical barriers for hunters, and increase opportunity by allowing any member of a dog hunt group to harvest a bear. Lastly, expansion of the Eastern and Central Bear Chase Areas will increase hunter opportunity and hopefully enable hunters to meet bear harvest quotas.

††††† (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 hunters that pursue black bears will be affected by this regulatory amendment. In 2014, there were 729 Bear Permits, twenty-six (26) Bear Chase Permits, and two (2) Junior Bear Chase permits sold in Kentucky.

††††† (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: Those who hunt bears must comply with the individual requirements and restrictions for respective hunt or chase-only seasons for bears, as listed in the fall hunting guide published by the department.

††††† (b) In complying with this administrative regulation or amendment, how much will it cost each of the entities identified in question (3): This amendment does not modify the costs of bear hunt and chase permits.

††††† (c) As a result of compliance, what benefits will accrue to the entities identified in question (3): Archery and crossbow hunters should experience increased hunter success with this season change from November to October when bears are more active. Additionally, more opportunity will be generated for bear hunters with creation of a youth-only season, increased harvest quota for the modern gun season, and expansion of the Eastern and Central Bear Chase Areas. Newly proposed changes will allow any participant in the bear quota hunt with dogs season to harvest a bear, rather than a one (1)-bear limit per hunt group. Lastly, removal of the online registration process for the bear quota hunt with dogs season will eliminate technical and logistical barriers to hunters.

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

††††† (a) Initially: There will be small administrative cost to the department to implement this regulation.

††††† (b) On a continuing basis: There will be a small 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 established or increased.

††††† (9) TIERING: Is tiering applied? No. Tiering was not used because all persons who hunt bears are required to 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 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) and 150.390(1).

††††† 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? The amount of revenue generated by bear hunt and bear chase permits pursuant to 301 KAR 3:022 was approximately $22,670 in 2014. It is unknown how the amendments to this administrative regulation will affect this number.

††††† (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? The amount of revenue generated by this administrative regulation for subsequent years is expected to be stable to slightly increasing.

††††† (c) How much will it cost to administer this program for the first year? There will be a small administrative cost to administer this program for the first year.

††††† (d) How much will it cost to administer this program for subsequent years? There will be a small administrative cost 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 (+/-): None

††††† Expenditures (+/-): None

††††† Other Explanation: