Several Changes Made by State Fish and Wildlife to Hunting Regulations

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is providing updated information about several fish and wildlife-related regulation amendments that have received final legislative approval and are now in effect.

Changes affect trapping, migratory game birds, falconry, black bear season and Special Commission permits.

The following is a summary of the changes:
301 KAR 2:049 – Small game and furbearer hunting and trapping on public areas
The amendments allow other small game hunters to hunt on Clay, Green and Yellowbank wildlife management areas (WMAs) outside of the pheasant hunt units during the pheasant quota hunt, and also allows the option for a third quota fox hunting field trial on Clay WMA.

301 KAR 2:090 – Means by which migratory game birds may be taken
The amendments remove the three-shotshell limit on shotguns for the snow goose conservation order season following a statutory change. The snow goose conservation order season helps reduce rapidly growing populations of snow geese that are damaging fragile Arctic habitat for other waterfowl and wildlife. The amendments also remove restrictions on the use of electronic calling devices when hunting light geese during the light goose conservation order season, and eliminate the requirement to hunt from a pit or blind in Ballard County.

301 KAR 2:195 – Falconry, raptor take, and raptor propagation
The amendments allow one licensed master falconer who resides in Kentucky to capture one immature passage tundrius peregrine falcon per year for falconry purposes per the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit process. Applicants will be entered into a random drawing for a special permit to possess the species. Take of passage tundrius peregrine falcons is allowed only in areas outside of active nesting sites and restoration locations. The master falconer awarded the permit will not be eligible to enter the drawing again for three years. The permit is non-transferable and will be revoked if someone is found in violation of the peregrine falcon take regulation.

301 KAR 2:251 – Hunting and trapping seasons and limits for furbearers
The amendments allow the use of lights or night vision equipment to hunt coyotes from Dec. 1 – May 31. In addition, they allow a person hunting coyotes at night on private land to use a rifle of 6.5 mm or smaller bore from Dec. 1 – March 31. Shotguns using a multiple projectile load (slugs are prohibited) may be used to hunt coyotes after daylight hours from Dec. 1 – May 31 on public or private land. A person hunting coyotes on public land at night cannot use any firearm other than a shotgun. Lights or other night vision equipment meant to make coyotes visible at night cannot be connected to or cast from a mechanized vehicle. The amendments also prohibit night hunting for coyotes in a county or area where a deer or elk firearm or muzzleloader season is open.

301 KAR 2:300 – Black bear seasons and requirements
The amendments raise the overall bear quota from 36 to 39 bears by establishing a new Wayne County zone with a six female bear quota and adjusting the West Zone 2 quota from seven to four bears. Also, they adjust the start of the chase-only season to June 1 and establish that a person shall only use a dog to chase a bear on public hunting areas, or on private land with permission of the landowner, in all bear zones except in the McCreary Zone, Daniel Boone National Forest, Miller-Welch Central Kentucky WMA, Beaver Creek WMA, Cane Creek WMA, Mill Creek WMA, Pioneer Weapons WMA and Redbird WMA.

301 KAR 3:100 – Special Commission permits
The amendments resolved inconsistencies within the regulation and more clearly define the process and criteria for applying for a permit, the selection process used by the Commission, and reporting requirements for wildlife conservation organizations.

For updated information about proposed and recently enacted amendments to administrative regulations, visit