Although the frosty mornings of autumn seem terribly far away, hunting seasons are creeping up on the unwary.
For instance, opportunities to apply for quota deer hunts in the Land Between the Lakes are here, right now but fleeting. Indeed, in a very few more days, they will be gone.
Nowadays, applications for both youth and adult quota deer hunts, firearm hunts in the federal recreation area managed by the U.S. Forest Service, can be taken only during July. Inasmuch as July 31, the final day to apply, is but a week away, immediate action is suggested for those who want to get in on the computer lottery to award those available permits.
Up for grabs for hunts in the Kentucky portion of the LBL are youth hunt permits for Nov. 6-7, 800 of which are general LBL permits (Area 8 closed to youth hunters) and 50 permits specifically for Area 17. A conventional, all-ages modern gun hunt Nov. 12-14 (Friday-Sunday) will offer a total of 1,015 permits.
Meanwhile, during that Nov. 12-14 regular gun hunt, muzzleloader hunters will be assigned to hunt Area 8 for whitetails.
Permits numbering 200 are set aside for applicants seeking to get in on that hunting.
In the Tennessee sector of the LBL, a total of 2,360 permits will be available for youth, modern firearms and muzzleloading firearms hunts there.
The fee to apply for LBL quota hunts is $10 per hunter. All applications must be made online. Seek the website lblquotahunt.usedirect.com/Web/Home.aspx. Hopeful applicants also can go to the regular LBL website, www.landbetweenthelakes.us and click on tabs for See And Do, Outdoor Recreation, Hunting and Quota Hunt Application System.
The websites have full information on the quota hunt process, deer hunt regulations, how to apply, season dates, LBL Hunter Use Permits and more.
LBL spokesmen say for those seeking to apply for quota hunts as a group, a group leader should be the first to apply.
After a credit card payment is accepted for that application, the leader receives a confirmation email that will include an assigned group number (which is to be provided to other members of the group, a maximum of five).
Other group members will be required to enter their assigned group number and group leader’s last name when they apply.
Another point applies to youth hunters. In Kentucky, kids younger than 16 can seek an LBL youth hunt permit, or they can apply with an adult for a regular quota hunt. They cannot apply for both routes to quota permits.
These quota hunts are strictly LBL doings. Statewide quota hunts managed and administered by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources call for applications during the month of September only. If the LBL activity is one’s interest, however, after another week, that window of opportunity closes.
• As Kentucky hunting seasons creep closer, those interested in participation should consider how they stand with hunter education qualification.
Certification granted for having successfully taken an approved hunter education course is required in general for those who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1975.
An exemption to that is for those who have not reached the age of 12.
They are not required to have either hunter education certification or a youth hunting license, but they must be accompanied by an adult who stays in position to take control of the young hunter’s firearm.
Another exemption is possible through the state’s one-year hunter education exemption permit. It is available only through the website, www.fw.ky.gov.
Then again, with time left before hunting starts, would-be hunters would do well to investigate taking the approved hunter education course online. Find out how by going to the same Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources website.
• In Illinois, youth firearms deer hunters and both youth and adult archery deer hunters nowadays can apply to hunt on private land this fall through the Illinois Recreational Access Program.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has 13,365 acres of land leased for public hunting through the IRAP program. A total of 323 sites in 39 counties will allow hunting at no cost by those approved through online application.
IRAP hunting sites are available for the youth firearms deer season Oct. 9-11 and for youth and adult archery hunting during October (divided into two periods, Oct. 1-15 and Oct. 16-31) and Dec. 16-31.
Applications can be made online at www2.illinois.gov/dnr under headings of conservation and IRAP with separate pages for youth shotgun deer hunting and archery deer hunting. The deadline for applications if 5 p.m. Aug. 13.
Hunters can submit as many as three applications, one for each hunting period. If the total number of hunter openings for each season/period is not exceeded, all who apply will be accepted for IRAP hunting options. If more applications are received than sites available, a lottery will select those who receive access to IRAP sites.
• Kentuckians and other non-resident bowhunters planning to hunt deer and turkey in Illinois during archery seasons this fall will have to purchase their appropriate permits over the counter.
As part of changes in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources license and permit system this year, online sales of certain non-resident hunting permits are not available this fall.
Non-resident permits for archery deer and turkey hunting can be purchased beginning Aug. 3 at official license and permit vendors throughout Illinois.