Squirrel season ends Friday

The five-week spring squirrel season concludes Friday, the last day of spring. Summer this year clicks in officially on Saturday. Recent Kentucky weather would argue that summer has been here for a while, but that was just hot, sultry spring.

Closure of the spring squirrel season will leave Kentuckians without an ongoing small game hunting period. The next on the sportsman’s calendar to arrive will be for squirrels again, but this one will be the traditional “fall” season that opens routinely on the third Saturday in August (Aug. 15 this year) and runs all the way through Feb. 28.

LBL working toward normal

Following shutdowns for precautions related to the coronavirus, things are working their way back to normal for people recreating in the Land Between the Lakes.

After a long idle period, LBL has reopened its popular developed campgrounds. Hillman Ferry, Energy Lake, Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area, and Piney campground all reopened last week.

As of this writing, there was yet no word of the reopening of Colson Hollow Group Camping Area.

Dispersed backcountry camping has been allowed all along, while basic and self-service camping areas have since reopened to the public.

Another major operational change came with the reopening of popular attractions and destinations in the federal recreation area. The Woodlands Nature Station, the Homeplace 1850s working farm, the Golden Pond Planetarium & Observatory, and the Hillman Heritage Trails accessible from Hillman Ferry Campground also opened again on that date.

Perhaps the most popular single feature in the LBL, the Elk & Bison Prairie remains closed. However, the drive-through wildlife viewing area remains closed to allow repair work, including culvert replacement, on the looping roadway over which critter-watching visitors travel through the 700-acre enclosure.

State park camping back

Camping again is allowed in Kentucky’s state parks with the passing of the set date for resumption after the coronavirus shutdown. Parks across Kentucky were allowed to accept campers beginning last Thursday.

Even so, in state resort park campgrounds, only self-contained camping units are yet allowed. Tenting is generally prohibited as are pop-up units for now. Guidelines say only one tent is allowed along with each self-contained camper if both are set up at the same time.

Likewise precautionary, bathhouses, pools, beaches and playgrounds in the parks remain closed. Social distancing and adherence to CD guidelines are called for, and that includes a prohibition against visitors at campsites.