State wildlife commission concerned about turkey, deer populations

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Disease, predators and poor property management are taking their toll on two of the state’s most popular game animals…

And it has the group responsible for managing the state’s hunting and fishing rules worried.

Extensive research presented to the state Fish and Wildlife Commission said the state’s deer and turkey populations are in danger in some areas of the state.

It means fewer hunters which means less economic impact. Similar problems in other states have led to drastic changes in hunting seasons and bag limits. Kentucky is trying to avoid the same situation.

“We’re going to be making some really hard changes like Arkansas has, or Louisiana is talking doing or Tennessee has done. I mean these states are at the point where it is kind of like a crisis mode. I don’t want to get to crisis mode. I want to keep it where we have a stable population and we also can make some real minor changes now that have a positive impact. Put the tools in our sportsmen and see what they are willing to give up right now to insure we don’t get to that point. And I think this moment is the critical moment for those type of decisions,” Fish and Wildlife Commission member Brian Fischer said.

The board will consider some recommendations next month and also develop programs to help land owners better manage their wildlife, especially wild turkeys, which are falling prey to bobcats, coyotes and other predators.

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