Monday the squirrel season reopens along with the opening of the rabbit, quail, grouse and trapping seasons. For a few weeks, everyone will be sharing the woods, so everyone should keep both safety and courtesy in mind.
Obviously, the deer harvest numbers will change dramatically this weekend. If the weather continues to be favorably forecast, it should be a really good weekend for deer hunters.
Currently the harvest numbers are very good, both in raw numbers, and what I have come to call "herd management numbers." There have been a total of 295 deer harvested (raw numbers) with 57 percent (169) of those being does (herd management numbers). This is good, however, I imagine the percentages will grow closer together during the modern gun season.
While I haven't seen a lot of quail this year, I have seen numerous rabbits everywhere I go. It looks like it should be a really good season for you guys. The only problem you seem to have (and I can certainly identify with you on this) is that you are severely limited in where you can hunt during the deer season. Rabbit hunting and deer hunting just don't mix very well for obvious reasons, and for obvious reasons some type of adjustment really needs to be made. I am just not sure how that could be done, or for that matter, what could be done.
To a lesser extent other small game hunters are effected as well, as are trappers. However, when it comes to trapping, it usually isn't a problem. In areas where I trap (that are leased out for deer hunting), I make a point of coordinating with the deer hunters in order to ensure that I don't spoil or interfere with their hunt, and they don't shoot my critters (especially coyotes, fox, and cats).
Currently, three of the farms I trap on are leased out to deer hunters. In one case, the land owner tells the hunters they have to work around my schedule. I understand the owners position in that his priority is to get rid of the coyotes that harass his cows during the calving season. Still, I make a point to work with those deer hunters, and for the past five years there have been no problems.
On yet another, those guys only hunt on the weekends, and so I schedule my checks for between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and on the third one, my traps are set no where near where those guys are hunting anyway. In other words, there are ways to work things out so that everyone can enjoy their pursuits. It just takes a little effort on the parts of both sides of the issue.
Rabbit hunters, though, are kind of stuck out there on their own. Running dogs and deer hunting just don't mix. In reality, the way things now stand, for the most part, rabbit hunters will not get to hunt until after Thanksgiving weekend for the most part.
There are numerous public hunting areas spread across the state, but the problem there is that both seasons are open at the same time. If you turn your dogs into an area where people are also deer hunting, you stand a chance of having your dog shot. This has a tendency to cause some hard feelings.
One solution (and really about the only one I can come up with) is to rearrange the seasons as they have in so many other states. Instead of opening rabbit season on the Monday following the deer season opener, why don't we open that season in late October, close it during the deer season, and then reopen it either upon the closing of the deer season, or during the final week of that season? Let's face it, our hunting seasons have been arranged around the deer season, and I don't see that changing. The management of our herds are important, and currently the plan to do so is working. What is not working is setting the seasons in such a way as everyone can enjoy them equally.
How do we go about this? You have a voice here in Kentucky in the form of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen. Every county has a representative organization, and that outfit has a voice with the commission. Unless I am mistaken, Coon Range Fish and Game Club has that representative solely for the Land of Logan. There are a number of meetings held at the Club House each year with one of the purposes of that meeting is an opportunity to voice your concerns.
It does no good to sit back and complain about how things are being done, if you don't express your concerns to those who can bring about changes.
At any rate, nothing can be done this year beyond working around the situation as it now stands. Seek out those public lands that are open to you and continue to avoid interfering with deer hunters or exercise a self imposed ban on rabbit hunting until after the deer seasons are closed. Sad situation, I know, but unfortunately those are the only options you currently have.
There isn't very much to say about fishing this week. The weather has been kind of funky for the most part with a number of fronts moving through either prompting a really good bite, or slowing it down quite a bit. Currently the local reports I am hearing say that it is hit and miss, and the reports for Kentucky and Barkley are about the same. The one bright spot out there is Barren River Lake. The reports from over there state that the bite is good on all species of bass.