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Migratory sandhill cranes to be hunted in Kentucky [View All]

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-24-11 11:28 AM
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Migratory sandhill cranes to be hunted in Kentucky
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Source: St. Petersburg Times


For the first time in almost 90 years, hunters are allowed to kill a limited number of migratory sandhill cranes. The birds typically leave their nesting grounds in Canada and the Great Lakes each winter to fly to Florida.

The nearly monthlong season runs until Jan. 15, with no more than 400 birds being harvested. If the hunt goes smoothly, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to repeat it next year. Kentucky is the only state east of the Mississippi River to allow the hunt, although Tennessee has considered a similar proposal.


The news hit hard at the Florida Trail Association office in Gainesville, where plans are under way for the first Florida Crane and Nature Festival on Jan. 14. The event will celebrate the migration of thousands of sandhill cranes to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, said Dennis Miranda, the association's executive director.

"I am horrified to think that any state would open up a hunting season with the notion that shooting cranes is a sport," Miranda said.
Although Kentucky hunters have described the bird as a wary and challenging prey, Miranda described the cranes' behavior at Paynes Prairie as more like sitting ducks.

"These birds will land in any marsh or a field in flocks," he said. "I think it's a tragedy."


Read more:

Two sandhill cranes work their way through a field, foraging for food off of Town Center Boulevard in Brandon (FL) on Tuesday.

Each winter, sandhill cranes head to Florida from nesting grounds in Canada and the Great Lakes.

Endangered whooping cranes are currently on their way to Florida, led by ultralite aircraft and a dedicated team of migration experts. These birds recently passed through Kentucky, at times being joined by Sandhill cranes on the way south.

Follow their daily journey here.

Can we do no better for all of these magnificent birds than to hope hunters can tell the difference, that it is "past peak time" for whooping crane migration through Kentucky, and that for the survival of Sandhill cranes, pray for poor aim?

How about it, Mr. McConnell?

How about it, Mr. Paul?

This breaks my heart.

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