As a reminder, young’uns of the wild sort are especially plentiful in our environment at present.
White-tailed deer are beginning to reach the peak of fawning season. A high percentage of this year’s crop of baby deer will be born from about now through the next several days.
Meanwhile, many other species of birds and animals are producing and doing the early rearing of offspring during these spring days. Getting the new ones grown enough to face the next winter, nature sees to it that all kinds of baby critters are out there right now.
As a rule, when humans see or encounter wild babies in the yard or elsewhere around the landscape, the best favor they can do them is leave them alone.
In most instances, infant animals or birds that look abandoned or orphaned are neither. Often as not, a juvenile beastie that seems imperiled is just as it ought to be. Inasmuch as people seldom can provide adequate care for the little wild ones, they ought not try. “Saving” them usually dooms the animal, whereas they probably aren’t in a jam anyway.
Parent animals and birds frequently leave their offspring alone. The approach of a human will keep most of them from tending to their young, so give the kids a break and back off.
Mother deer purposely steer clear of their fawns except for brief periods to nurse them. Young birds often flounder out of their nests and are ground-bound for a short while as they are fledging. Parent birds routinely feed them on the ground until they’re flying.
Besides, taking charge of (or meddling with) most young wild species is simply against the law. One needs a special license, which requires specialized training, to take on caring for a wild baby.
The law, like wildlife biologists and managers, says hands off. Help by keeping pets and domestic animal dangers away from the youngsters and let nature work the way it should.
• During the now-lightening restrictions of the COVID-19 shutdown, a great many optional activities were prevented. Fishing was not one of them.
Maybe you want to keep that in mind for the future. And if the possibility of fishing begins to sound better, consider what Kentucky plans for next weekend: Free Fishing Days, June 6-7.
Free Fishing Days offers a time when people can try fishing throughout Kentucky — on any waters open to the public — without the obligation to have a fishing license. Kids younger than 16 never need a fishing license in Kentucky, but others do. But not June 6-7.
Free Fishing Days are offered annually by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources as an invitation to sample fishing. Managers know that a certain segment of the population is right on the edge of wanting to try their hand at fishing, but the price of a license to make it legal holds them back. Managers feel that the license-free opportunities will let many folks try fishing on for size — and a good slug of them may come to realize that it is an activity they would like to do much more thereafter.
Forgiveness of license obligations changes no other fishing regulations during the two special days. Creel limits and fish size limits are among other rules that are unchanged.
Free Fishing Days, of course, does not alter private land and water protection. While anglers can fish public waters, the “free” days don’t change the need to get permission to fish on private property. Ask first, or stick with public waters, and here in western Kentucky, there are crazy amounts of public waters to fish.
If there are doubts about Kentucky fishing regulations, see the KDFWR website, www.fw.ky.gov, click on the header for Fishing and follow your nose from options offered.
• Switching from fishing to hunting, the KDFWR is asking for hunting license customers from 2019 to complete a short online survey to gather information so that managers can best serve their Kentucky hunting community.
Those who bought hunting or combination hunting/fishing licenses last year for the 2019-20 hunting year are asked to take the free survey by going online to the site www.research.net/r/KY2019HunterSurvey.
KDFWR spokesmen say the survey takes only about 5 minutes, but in reality, it seems to go quicker than that. As brief as it is, the survey still gathers information about how many folks are hunting what, vital information for managers.
The survey wants to know more about their hunting community, so it asks the hunter’s age, gender and the kind of home area — rural, town, city? — in which each dwells.
The survey also provides the chance for each hunter to unload praise, criticism or neutral input on KDFWR wildlife managers. Without asking respondents’ names, the survey asks for a rating of Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources management and offers an optional spot for freelance input to the agency.
It makes good sense to help fill in the picture for wildlife managers. And like they say, even if you ended up not hunting during 2019, they want to know that, too. All the information that can be gathered from participants in the 2019-20 hunting year will help managers better structure seasons to come.
Steve Vantreese is a freelance outdoors writer. Email outdoors news items to email@example.com or phone 270-575-8650.