DOVE FIELD LEASE PROGRAM
Kentucky farmers can pocket some extra cash in the Dove Field
Lease Program offered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
(KDFWR) and itís not too soon to start thinking ahead toward spring planting.
Initiated in 1998, the statewide Dove Field Lease Program (DFLP)
has been successful not only in providing expanded public hunting opportunities,
but also in generating important new income for Kentucky farmers. In popular
terms, the DFLP is a "win-win" for dove hunters and private
If youíre interested in taking advantage of the money
making opportunities afforded under this department-sponsored program, read on!
WHAT ITíS ABOUT:
Through the DFLP, fields planted in the spring (sunflowers,
millet, etc.) and managed specifically as prescribed for dove hunting the
following fall can generate as much as $3,500 for a landowner when leased to
KDFWR for public hunting.
Fields accepted into the program vary in size. While 10-20
acre sites are generally preferred, the KDFWR encourages anyone interested to
Think about it! Plant an idle field to sunflowers, a
soybean/millet hayfield or any acceptable crop. An idle or fallow field planted
to winter wheat might also qualify. By working with your local wildlife
biologist, any field you intended to put into silage production anyway can
easily become a dove-hunting field.
Simply "OK" an agreement with KDFWR whereby
sportsmen and women needing a place to hunt doves next fall can come onto your
land during the legal season. Then plant and manage your dove field as
prescribed in the agreement. Thatís all there is to it! After seasonís end,
youíll get a check in the mail for as much as $3,500 in just a matter of days.
Actual payment amounts are based on the number of acres
enrolled and crop type, and specified in the initial agreement. Farm operators
must fully fulfill their planting and plot management agreement in order to
receive full payment. Fields are inspected in mid-August. In the event of crop
failure, the landowner is reimbursed for their planting costs. In cases of poor
crop management, payments may be pro-rated or, in extreme cases, withheld.
If youíve never before hosted hunters on your property, you may be
wondering about liability issues.
KYís Recreational Use Statutes (KRS 411.190 and KRS
150.645) are intended to encourage landowners to open their lands to the
public Ė without charging a user fee Ė for hunting, fishing and other
outdoor recreational activities. Participation in the Dove Field Lease Program
does not affect landowner liability.
FIND OUT MORE!
To learn more about enrolling your land in the Dove Field
Lease Program, contact your KDFWR Private Lands Biologist
(PLB) or Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Liaison.
Upon your invitation and under no obligation, your biologist
will schedule an appointment to meet with you, take a look at your property and
discuss your interest in DFLP (or any other KDFWR programs). Following the Ďsite
visití youíll be provided recommendations about how your property might best
be planted and managed for doves. Youíll also be given a firm dollar figure
for leasing your property to KDFWR during dove hunting season.
One phone call and a visit to your property Ė thatís all
there is to it! But do it today. Applications for DFLP-2005 will be accepted
only until mid-February.
KDFWR biologists, NRCS Liaisons and their contact information
are listed on the departmentís web site, http://fw.ky.gov/.
Click on Wildlife, then on Contacts.
If youíre still not sure who your biologist is, contact the
KDFWR; phone 1-800-858-1549.