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LKS Message June 2017

The LKS annual convention is now upon us. I encourage everyone to attend and bring along family and friends. The convention is being held at Jenny Wiley State Park at Dewey Lake.

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen is, and always will be, the voice of Kentucky Sportsmen. With like-minded and dedicated sportsmen working together, we have and will continue to improve upon and protect the natural resources of our great state.

One might, and some have ask:  What is the League of Kentucky Sportsmen and what can it do for me?  

Lets start with the later. Within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, you may be the weekend angler or the avid fisherman. It may be that precise cast that nets that large mouth bass that you knew was there and hoped you had just the right lure to make him curious enough to strike, or that crappie, small mouth, musky or trout fisherman that has spent hours making your own flies to head out to your own honey hole. Or, are you the bow, modern gun or more traditional firearms hunter that catches that hunting fever well before your choice of season counts down on the calendar.  That trapper that has worked to perfect just the right bait in hopes of filling that trap line.

Several of those opportunities and increases in resources that we view as common place were few and far between a short few years ago. A deer was a rare sight to see, there was no elk herd in the state, there were basically no wild turkey and other resources seemed to be on the decline. Now, with the harvest bountiful, it is easily forgotten the ones that got us to this point. Sportsmen, Sportswomen, sportsmen clubs and groups unified together to form a League of Kentucky Sportsmen to ensure that this and future generations can enjoy the resources that only other states can envy.

Now we are asked, what is the League and what can it do for me? One of the greatest saying of all times was by President John F. Kennedy. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Here is my quote, or saying ” A forest is not just one tree, it’s several standing together.” With those two sayings in mind, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen is its membership, you the member. As a member, your concerns, ideas and changes becomes part of the Leagues. Our power is within our people, the membership. Join, be active, attend meetings in your federation and hold those you elect accountable. Be a part and stand with us as we stand with you, the sportsman.

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen WILL be your unified voice, monitoring legislation, addressing  your concerns to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and continuing to protect and preserve the natural resources of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Our Position on Fee increases

25 May 2017

RE: Proposed Resident License Fee Increases

To Whom It May Concern:

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen (LKS), representing the sportsmen and women of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, disagree with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) proposed resident license fee increases. It is the position of LKS that the residents of our state should not bear the burden of compensating for financial shortfall at the state level.

KDFWR consistently report that resident license/tag/stamp sales are declining, yet the numbers reported to the US Department of Fish and Wildlife are in conflict with these statements. In 2014 resident fishing license/tag/stamp sales were reported at 485,596, 2015 reported 528,124 and 2016 reported 533,279 – an increase of 47,683 licenses sold over a three-year period. In 2014 resident hunting license/tag/stamp sales were reported at 494,854, 2015 reported 504,097 and 2016 reported 520,032 – an increase of 25,178 licenses sold over a three-year period. It is evident from these numbers that license/tag/stamp sales are increasing rather than decreasing.

What is disturbing to LKS is the exclusion of non-resident sportsmen and women from the proposed fee increases. Kentucky non-resident license/tag/stamp sales are soaring. Although this is a financial windfall for KDFWR, non-residents and commercial outfitters are making it harder for resident hunters to find lands on which to hunt. Between 2014 and 2016 non-resident fishing license/tag/stamp sales increased 7% for a reported 89,167 sold in 2016. Non-resident hunting license/tag/stamp sales increased 14% for a reported 97,097 sold in 2016. Therefore, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen would propose the following increases in non-resident license/tag/stamp and commercial outfitter pricing:

 Annual fishing $75

1 day fishing $15

 7 day fishing $35

 14 day fishing $50

 Trout permit $20

 Annual hunting $150

 1 day hunting (small game only) $25

 7 day hunting (small game only) $75

 Annual trapping $140

 Statewide deer permit (2 deer) $150

 Youth deer permit (ages 12-15/1 deer) $25

 Additional deer permit (2 deer) $50

 Spring turkey permit (2 turkeys) $100

 Youth turkey permit (ages 12-15/1 turkey spring or fall) $25

 Fall turkey permit (4 turkeys) $100

 Migratory game bird-waterfowl permit $25

 Pheasant quota hunt permit (if drawn) $35

 Sandhill crane permit (if drawn) $10

 Quota bull elk permit (if drawn) $600

 Quota cow elk permit (if drawn) $450

 Youth elk permit (if drawn) $50

 Out-of-Zone elk permit $450

 Non-resident commercial hunting/fishing guide business $500 with each individual guide obtaining a $50 permit

 Resident commercial hunting/fishing guide business $250 with each individual guide obtaining a $50 permit

If each of the reported 89,167 non-residents reported purchasing fishing license/tag/stamps in 2016 were to purchase the annual license, revenue for KDFWR would increase $2,229,175. This is a best-case scenario as the license/tag/stamp sales are not broken down into categories. Comparatively, if the reported 97,097 non-residents reported purchasing hunting license/tag/stamps in 2016 purchased only an annual license, revenue for KDFWR would increase $2,912,910. This is only revenue at the state level. As license sales have a 2:1 matching funds ratio from US Fish and Wildlife, there is the potential of $10,284,170 in increased matching funds for a total increase of $15,426,255 in revenue.

KDFWR has reported a minimum $1.5 million shortfall in providing for the Youth Conservation Camps and the Salato Wildlife Education Center. Although increased license sale revenues would be appropriated to the General Fund in order to obtain matching funds, there is no guarantee that the General Fund would budget for these shortfalls. Increases in tag/permit revenues could be ear-marked specifically for these programs as they are not part of the matching funds program. As these youth programs are essential to the continuation of our hunting and fishing traditions, LKS would have them financed with a sustainable revenue stream.

Kentucky has become a premier vacation destination. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, The Bourbon Trail, The Kentucky Horse Park, or any other “only in KY” venue; nonresidents are coming to our state in record numbers. It is the position of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen to increase “admission” fees for the tourists who want to hunt and fish our lands and waterways instead of having our residents, seniors and disabled bear the burden of KDFWR’s monetary shortfalls.

Sincerely,

League of Kentucky Sportsmen

Presidents Message: April 2017

With Spring upon us, the small game season has come to a close. Now we can anticipate the strutting and gobbling of Spring turkey and a new year of excitement for our sportsmen and women. As the weather increasingly brings forth a new season of growth and warmth, it also brings forth youth events and activities.

The saying “Our Youth Is Our Future” still holds true and will be a mainstay as time goes on. Plan a youth event, take a child hunting or fishing or just introduce them to the great outdoors. The League of Kentucky Sportsmen offers Casting and Squirrel Riffle competitions across the commonwealth. If your child has not been involved in the past, contact the League office or a sportsman’s club near you and inquire about getting your child or other youth involved. These and other programs offered by League clubs has and will continue to make a difference in the lives of our youth.

If you are not a member of or know a local club that is not a member of the League,  join and encourage them to join and offer these free programs to local youth as a League member club.

The League will continue to work closely with the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to ensure that your concerns as sportsmen and women across the Commonwealth are voiced and taken seriously. We will also continue to monitor legislation and oppose anti hunting, trapping and fishing groups and legislation.

Be an active part of keeping the tradition alive and well, our future as sportsmen depends on you, the sportsman, and your level of involvement. Join today and become a part of an organization that has, and will continue to be not only “The Voice of the Sportsmen”, but an organization comprised or sportsmen and women with a passion to build on our future and resources across this great Commonwealth.

 

Need A Reason To Go Fishing?

This is the fourth year we have stocked white crappie in Blood River (Kentucky Lake). We just stocked about 200,000 this past week. This study was initiated in 2009. Although, very few studies of stocking white crappie have shown to be beneficial, it is being attempted at Kentucky Lake on a small scale by only using Blood River. Jonathan Creek is not being stocked so that it can be used as a comparison during this study. Continue reading Need A Reason To Go Fishing?