FRANKFORT, Ky. – Join wildlife photographer Kim Graham for a beginner-level photography class designed for nature enthusiasts at the Salato Wildlife Education Center from 1 – 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. You do not need expensive equipment for this workshop; however, a working knowledge of your camera is required. Digital cameras will work great for this program. Bring along a tripod if you have one and of course a love for the outdoors.
You will receive instruction about equipment and some basic photography techniques to help you build your skill level. All participants will receive an 8X10 of their favorite shot. Graham will also cover the ethics of nature photography and tips for creating a great outdoor photograph. During a guided walk outside the Salato Center, you will have a hands-on opportunity to photograph all the scenic beauty that nature offers in autumn. The cost of this program is $35 with registration required.
The Salato Center has a variety of native animals for the public to see, including a black bear, an eagle, bobcats, elk, deer, bison, snakes and fish. The center has numerous indoor exhibits and miles of hiking trails open to the public. Fishing is available at two lakes. While some programs may require a registration fee, general admission to the Salato Center is free.
For more information, call 1-800-858-1549, ext. 4445. Learn more about upcoming events at the Salato Center on the Internet at fw.ky.gov. The Salato Center, operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, is located at the department’s headquarters at #1 Sportsman’s Lane (formerly #1 Game Farm Road), off U.S. 60 in Frankfort, 1.5 miles west of U.S. 127. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. The center is closed Sundays, Mondays and state holidays.
Kentucky’s Youth-Only firearms season for deer, first held in 1996, is the weekend of Oct. 9-10.
The season was created to offer resident and non-resident boys and girls ages 15 and under an introduction to deer hunting with the maximum opportunity for success. Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult. This adult might be a parent, grandparent, relative, family friend or mentor at least 18 years of age. The adult must be in position to take immediate control of the youth hunter’s firearm at all times. Non-hunting adults accompanying youth during this season do not need a valid Kentucky hunting license or deer permit. Adults who plan to hunt with a youth during this season must use archery equipment only.
“Youth hunters must be able to handle and control the firearm independently,” said Brunjes. “Even though the adult has to be at the youth hunter’s side, the adult can’t hold the firearm for the youth.”
Deer of either sex may be taken during Youth-Only firearms deer season. Unless license exempt, boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 15 must possess a valid hunting license, deer permit and hunter education card. Hunters under age 12 aren’t required to possess a hunting license or a hunter education course to participate.
Youth hunters must abide by bag limits, zone restrictions and all other deer hunting regulations applicable to the county in which they hunt. They must use their own Social Security number to Telecheck harvested deer.
The deer harvest on this weekend can vary widely due to the season’s two-day length and October time frame. For example, youth hunters bagged 4,024 deer in 2009, while they took just 2,266 in 2008.
“Over the last five years, the harvest has averaged 3,747 deer,” said Brunjes. “Severe weather, such as a rainstorm or heat wave, can essentially wipe out a season.”
Deer typically feed on acorns in the woods in early October. They eat as much forage as they can find such as winter wheat, clover and alfalfa before the first frosts kill back greenery. But this year, the drought conditions of August and September made forage unavailable or unpalatable to deer because it is dry and in poor condition. Acorns started falling earlier than normal and many small creeks dried up. Look for deer to linger near water sources in woodlands.
The Youth-Only firearms season for deer is the first of five firearms deer seasons. The early muzzleloader season is Oct. 16-17. Modern Gun deer season opens Nov. 13 and closes Nov. 28 in Zones 1 and 2, and Nov. 22 in Zones 3 and 4. Late muzzleloader season is Dec. 11-19 and Free Youth Hunting Weekend is Jan. 1-2, 2011.
Kentucky’s 135-day archery season begins Saturday, Sept. 4. At the beginning of archery season, Kentucky deer are focused on food. Fields of clover, alfalfa, or sprouting wheat, planted as a cover crop, are good places to hunt.
Pick a tree that provides good cover in a fenceline for your treestand, or a brushy area in the corner of the field for a ground blind. Early in the season the wind predominately blows from the west or southwest, but frequently shifts to the northwest with the advance of cool fronts.
Facing your stand northwest is the ideal positioning for hunting cool front. That way you’ll have the sun set over your left shoulder, and the wind in your face. Deer approaching from upwind won’t be able to smell you, and you’ll be hidden in the shadows as the sun moves to the western horizon.
Early in the season, concentrate on hunting in the late afternoons, especially during the first and last quarter moon periods. This is when the moon is a thin crescent and positioned at 12 o’clock in the sky at dusk. Deer are most likely to converge on feeding areas before dark during this time.
Modern gun deer season opens Nov. 13 statewide. The season runs until Nov. 28 for Zone 1 and Zone 2 counties and until Nov. 22 for Zone 3 and Zone 4 counties. Picking the right entry and exit route to your treestand or ground blind might be more important to success in deer hunting than where you actually hunt.
Green River Marina will host its annual 4th of July fireworks show this Saturday at dusk ( around 9:30 pm EST). Their 2nd annual cornhole tournament will start at 7 p.m. Contact Somer Goff by 3 pm. Saturday to register. Five dollar buy in per team, winner takes the pot. The live band route 66 will perform at the marina directly after the fireworks.