February 9, 2017

Kentucky: Enrollment Open for Cooperative Dove Field Program

The enrollment period for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) Cooperative Dove Field Program is open, and applications will be accepted through March 1.

With approximately 95 percent of the land in Kentucky under private ownership, the Cooperative Dove Field Program provides opportunities for hunters that may not otherwise have access to land. Access is commonly cited as one of the biggest barriers to participation in hunting, and the Cooperative Dove Field Program and other Public Access to Private Lands Programs, which incentivize landowners to permit public hunting on private property, support Hunter Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation by increasing the amount of land available to hunters.

Under the Cooperative Dove Field Program, landowners receive financial compensation in exchange for managing their property for doves and allowing public dove hunting. Payments to landowners vary depending on the number of acres enrolled, the types of crops planted and successful implementation of the plot management agreement with the KDFWR. Technical assistance for habitat management is available to landowners enrolled in the program. 

Over 713,000 sportsmen and women in Kentucky support more than 35,000 jobs across the state and contribute $1.9 billion to the state’s economy. In 2015 alone, sportsmen and women in the Bluegrass State generated $45,724,423 for conservation programs through the “user-pays, public-benefits” structure known as the American System of Conservation Funding.

Landowners interested in the Cooperative Dove Field Program may contact their KDFWR private lands biologist for additional information.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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