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Hunting in Kentucky: 3 Invasive Species to Kentucky and Its Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Monday, 25 May 2015 04:45 PM

In a state with such a rich spectrum of ecosystems like Kentucky, managing invasive species can prove a struggle. Nonnative animals thrive in an environment not designed with the proper checks and balances in place, and expend valuable resources that native species of flora and fauna depend upon heavily for population survival and stability.

The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) maintains strict policies for the management of such invasive species populations.

Here are three invasive species to Kentucky:

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1. Wild Boar
The North American presence of this Eurasian species dates back to European settlers who brought them as domestic livestock. It is largely assumed that the current, modern population of this species within the state expanded north from existing Tennessee populations. They are responsible for extensive crop damage and transmittal of disease to livestock of all kinds.

Within the state of Kentucky, it is illegal to possess, transport, or release wild, feral, or European pigs, regardless of the purpose. It is also illegal to intentionally release domestic swine.

While those wishing to hunt wild boar must obtain a hunting license unless they're hunting on their own land, the KDFWR maintains an unlimited open season year-round for the express purpose of eradicating these creatures by hunting or trapping methods. Trappers should be aware that ensnared pigs must be killed at the sight of their capture and transported as carcass only.

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2. European Starling
Transported to North America in 1890, this bird species competes with at-risk species populations for limited resources such as prime nesting sites. Within Kentucky, for instance, they have been observed utilizing Kestrel nesting boxes, specifically placed to encourage successful breeding by at-risk raptors.

Their aggressive natures have resulted in adverse effects on other native songbird populations as well, including bluebirds and red-headed woodpeckers. They tend to prefer urban regions over undisturbed wilderness or forestland. KDFWR regulations permit year round hunting with no limits. A hunting license is required unless the hunter is otherwise exempt.

3. House Sparrows
Also known as English Sparrows, these birds were introduced into New York in 1851 and are one of the most abundant and widespread songbirds in the world. Like the starling, their formula for success is highly dependent on their proximity to human populations.

They are notorious for hostile takeovers of prime nesting spots in more rural areas. While a hunting license is required unless the hunter is otherwise exempt, KDFWR permits year-round take without limit.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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In a state with such a rich spectrum of ecosystems like Kentucky, managing invasive species can prove a struggle.
hunting in kentucky, invasive species, rules
Monday, 25 May 2015 04:45 PM
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