hunting

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Scheduled to Meet March 15, 2011

Release Date: 03/10/2011

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, March 15 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of December 7, 2010
  3. Welcome and Opening Comments Chairman
  4. Wildlife Division Report: Proposed Hunting Seasons, Regulations Changes
  5. Enforcement Division Report
  6. Office of Fisheries: Rigs to Reefs Program
  7. Office of Management and Finance: Conservation Fund Update
  8. Coastal and Nongame Resources Division: NRDA – Natural Resource Damage Assessment
  9. Sector Separation Discussion Chairman
  10. Set Next Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12. Adjournment

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Reminds Turkey Hunters that Tags and Harvest Reporting are Required for the 2011 Season

Release Date: 03/10/2011

March 10, 2011- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is reminding hunters that tags must be in possession by all turkey hunters regardless of age during the upcoming 2011 turkey season that opens March 19. Turkey hunters are also reminded that harvested turkeys must be tagged prior to being moved from the site of harvest. Also of extreme importance for the proper management of the species, each tagged turkey must be reported by phone (1-866-484-4805) or internet (www.la.wildlifelicense.com).

If you haven’t hunted since last year’s turkey season, remember these details:

When in the field, and immediately upon harvesting a turkey, the hunter must:

  • Tag the turkey with the appropriate Carcass Tag from the license before it is moved and document the kill on the Harvest Report Card portion of the turkey tag.
  • Record the date of kill and the parish of kill on the Carcass Tag.

When transporting the harvested turkey:

  • The tag must remain attached to the turkey while kept at camp, or while it is transported to the domicile of the hunter.
  • If a successful hunter wishes to divide their game with other hunters, a possession tag must be used.
  • Possession Tags are printed in the of the 2010-11 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet, or can be downloaded via the LDWF Web site, and document the identification of the hunter who harvested the turkey. Correctly completed Possession Tags identify the hunter responsible for the carcass and allow anyone to transport the meat legally.

Within 72 hours of the harvest of each turkey, the hunter must:

  • Validate the kill by toll-free phone at 866-484-4805 or via the Internet at https://www.la.wildlifelicense.com .
  • Record the confirmation number obtained by phone or Internet on the Harvest Report Card.

Additionally: Hunters are advised not to remove the Carcass Tags from the Turkey Harvest Report Card until a turkey is harvested. Single tags are automatically voided if detached from the license prematurely, not placed on a harvested turkey, and then lost by a hunter. Duplicate tags will be available to replace lost tags at a charge to the hunter. Hunters must record validated turkey on the duplicate turkey tag.

Anyone purchasing a license by phone or the Internet will be given both an authorization number and a LDWF identification number that will serve as their temporary license until the actual license arrives by mail. Hunters must tag turkeys using any piece of paper with legibly written authorization number and LDWF identification number, along with the hunters name, address, date and parish where the turkey was taken. This will serve in lieu of the absent carcass tag. Hunters will maintain documentation of any harvested turkey and will validate any harvested turkey as required by law when the hunter’s actual license is received. The hunter will validate the license information from any harvested turkey and will discard the license tags for those validated turkey. NOTE: Hunting license purchases by phone or the Internet will include a handling fee, as will turkey tag requests by Lifetime license holders, Resident Seniors and hunters under age 16.

A complete listing of all rules pertaining to turkey season and tagging is provided in the 2011 Louisiana Turkey Regulations pamphlet which can be downloaded at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/publication/turkey-regulations-2011. To view an instructional video on turkey tagging, click on the link provided on the LDWF Web site home page at www.wlf.la.gov.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@wlf.la.gov .

LDWF Public Meetings in March Provide Hunters Opportunity to Comment on Proposed 2011-13 Hunting Seasons, WMA Rules Changes, DMAP Re-organization, Waterfowl Season Options

Release Date: 03/01/2011

March 1, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host six public meetings around the state to present proposed 2011-13 hunting season dates, Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) general rules and regulation changes, changes in the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) and waterfowl season options.

Public comment will be taken on all items under consideration by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission through May 5. The meeting dates and locations include:

  • March 9 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas
  • March 16 at 6 p.m., Ponchatoula High School Cafeteria, 19452 Hwy. 22.
  • March 17 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
  • March 22 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles.

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting season, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items. Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from March through May or can be submitted directly to Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, LDWF, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, until May 5.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Presents 2011-2013 Hunting Seasons, 2011-2012 W.M.A. Rules to Commission

Release Date: 02/09/2011

Feb. 9, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted notices of intent for the 2011-13 hunting seasons and the 2011-12 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) General Rules and Regulations at their Feb. 8 meeting.

The notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming fall hunting season and provide for a public comment period.

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Combining Deer Hunting Area 4 with Area 1 for the 2012-13 hunting season.
  • Extending the primitive firearm season in Deer Hunting Areas 1 and 6 for the 2012-13 hunting season to the end of January.
  • Removal of the requirement that deer hunters must record the validation number on their license after validating their harvested deer and extension of the amount of time required to report harvested deer from 72 hours to seven days.
  • Amending the language pertaining to the take of crows, blackbirds, cowbirds and grackles on private land and WMAs due to a change in federal regulations. Non-toxic shot and an annual report submitted to USFWS will be required.
  • Modifying firearms regulations pertaining to WMAs to be consistent with state law.
  • Eliminating the vehicle tag requirement from the self-clearing permit required to use WMAs.
  • Establishing Limited Access Areas on Joyce and Manchac WMAs.
  • Modifying the hunting season on several WMAs to provide additional opportunities. 

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting season, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from March through May and can be submitted to Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, LDWF, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, until May 5.

The public meeting schedule for the proposed 2011-12 hunting season is as follows:

  • March 9 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas 
  • March 16 at 6 p.m., Ponchatoula High School Cafeteria, 19452 Hwy. 22. 
  • March 17 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
  • March 22 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.

Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area Lease Renewed

Release Date: 11/05/2010

John R. "Ric" Thistlethwaite III, Patrick F. Thistlethwaite, LDWF Sec. Robert Barham and Lawrence Thistlethwaite III

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Thistlethwaite heirs announced the renewal of the lease agreement for Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area (WMA) at the Nov. 5 commission meeting.  

This agreement renews the 10-year lease, free of charge, for Thistlethwaite WMA, encompassing 11,000 acres in St. Landry Parish.  Through the cooperative effort of the private landowners, Thistlethwaite WMA has been a part of LDWF’s WMA system since 1966.

“The Thistlethwaite’s gift is a perfect example of the commitment outdoorsmen have to conservation,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “We honor the Thistlethwaite family for their generous contribution and for ensuring future generations enjoy wildlife and related recreation in this area.”

This property features a vast array of outdoor recreational opportunities for the public. The WMA includes 11 miles of nature trails to make hunting as well as birding and nature walks more accessible.

The WMA is a bottomland hardwood area and is home to a variety of game and non-game wildlife species including whitetail deer, squirrels, rabbits, woodcock and wood ducks.  Various species of songbirds and wading birds reside on the property as well.  

Additional information may be obtained by calling 337-948-0255.

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Kansas Man Wins 2011 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Release Date: 11/04/2010

2011 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp

A Kansas man took home first place in the 2011 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The contest determines the image to be used on the LDWF hunting permit commonly known as the Louisiana Duck Stamp.

Wes Dewey unanimously beat out 14 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 4 meeting as the 2011 winner.  Dale Pousson of Egan, LA, the 2003 winner, came in second place, and third place went to 1994 winner Don Edwards from Keithville, LA.  Last year, Richard Clifton of Delaware won the contest.

Dewey has previously won the 1990 Kansas Duck Stamp, was the 2007 Kansas Ducks Unlimited sponsored print artist and has placed eighth two different years in the Federal Duck Stamp contest.  Dewey's painting of a male and female wood duck perched on a weathered stump will be featured on the 2011 Louisiana Duck Stamp.

"The department was happy with the quantity of entries this year, but we were blown away by the quality of the paintings," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds.  "Dewey's painting showed exceptional attention to detail with the features and scale of wood ducks and will make a fine duck stamp."  

For this years' competition, LDWF let the artist choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana except for pintails, which were featured on this year's duck stamp.

The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana’s ducks and geese.  This program has generated over $11 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $400,000 from last year’s stamp sales alone.

The 2011 stamp, featuring Dewey's work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2011.  The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.

Judges for the competition were Luke Laborde, R.C. Davis, Dean Bergeaux, Jerry Bowers, and Dr. Clint Jeske.  Laborde is a PhD student at LSU on a Delta Waterfowl scholarship doing research on human dimensions in waterfowl management; Davis, a professional artist in Amite, is a past winner of the Louisiana Duck Stamp contest for the 1998-99 stamp design; Bergeaux is a pharmacist in Crowley and current State Chairman for Ducks Unlimited; Bowers is a duck stamp collector and owns Stitch and Frame gallery and frame shop in Lafayette; and Dr. Jeske is a research ecologist specializing in wetland birds for the USGS National Wetland Research Center in Lafayette as well as a decoy carver.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456.

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EDITORS: Contact Thomas Gresham at tgresham@wlf.la.gov to request a high-resolution copy of the 2011 duck stamp.

L.D.W.F. Agents Rescue Missing Father And Two Sons

Release Date: 11/03/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents rescued a missing father and his two sons on Nov. 3 in Union Parish.

Agents received a call from the Union Parish Sheriff's Office shortly after 9 p.m. on Nov. 2 about Timothy Thomas, 36, and his two sons, age 7 and 10, who hadn't returned from a deer-scouting trip in D'arbonne National Refuge.  The man and his two sons left the Holland's Bluff boat launch around 2 p.m. on Nov. 2.

LDWF agents found Thomas and his two sons shortly after midnight on Nov. 3 on the bank of Bayou D'arbonne about five miles from the Holland's Bluff boat launch.

Agents transported the family back to the Joe Bob's landing where medical personnel were already standing by.  Everyone was treated for mild dehydration and hypothermia and released.

"These agents performed a search and rescue mission under very adverse conditions and successfully returned a man and his two sons to safety.  The rainy, foggy and nighttime conditions made it very difficult to traverse the waterway and to find the lost party, but these agents were able to persevere," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "This is a very fortunate event as now the man and his two sons can reunite with the rest of the family and move forward with a good story to tell."

Agents participating in the search and rescue were Sgt. Lane Kincaid, Agent Scott Jeansonne, Agent Mike Jones, Agents Scott Bullitt, Lt. Rick Owens, Sgt. Duane Taylor, Agent David Harrell and Scott Bullitt.  The Union Parish Sheriff's Office also participated in the search.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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Lesson Learned: Hog or Bear? Know Your Target

Release Date: 10/12/2010

Gary Kinsland is an experienced hunter who has hunted Red River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Concordia Parish for 34 years since he moved to Louisiana from Oregon in 1977.  Kinsland, 63, of Sunset, typically harvests two deer per year from the WMA along with several feral hogs.
 
During one hunt last season, Kinsland harvested a 13-point non-typical deer from the Red River WMA. However, it was also during the 2009-10 hunting season that Kinsland faced his biggest hunting disappointment.
 
Sitting on a deer stand in his favorite tree on the WMA last November, and after having already seen a buck earlier in the day without getting a clear shot, Kinsland heard hogs squealing.
 
"I didn't head to my stand that morning to get a hog," said Kinsland.  "I was deer hunting and wanted a deer.  But, these hogs were there and I said to myself that if they pass a clearing I will go ahead and shoot at them."
 
Kinsland said that after a little while the sound of hogs moving and squealing went away.  However, later in the day he again heard some commotion and movement coming from the same area where he had heard hogs squealing earlier.
 
This time he saw what he thought were the hogs he had heard moving from the area of the noise and crossing at an angle in front of him at about 100 yards in light brush.  Kinsland guessed their path and picked out a clear spot in the brush that was about 75 yards from his deer stand and set his crosshairs on that mark in case one of the "hogs" passed through the clearing.
 
"The first one entered the clearing and I fired," said Kinsland.  "I then waited a little while longer for the second one to come through, which I knew was a little smaller. After getting tired of waiting, I went ahead and dismounted my stand and walked over to the downed animal.  When I got about 40 yards away I noticed the other one sniffing around and shot that 'hog' too.
 
"It wasn't until I got within about 20 yards of the smaller, second one that I realized what I had shot.  The first indication was seeing a round ear.  I then got close enough to the two animals to get confirmation of what I had done and I just stood there for a while in disbelief and in sadness for the two bears."
 
Kinsland had mistaken a Louisiana black bear and her cub for feral hogs.  He then contacted his longtime friend and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Red River WMA Supervisor Johnny Warren.  Warren quickly notified the LDWF Enforcement Division.
 
"I immediately knew I was in a tough bind, but I am glad that I turned myself in since I try to teach my two young daughters and family honesty.  By walking away from this incident I would be living a lie," said Kinsland.  "It was not a pretty picture that I was facing, but I had to deal with it."
 
Kinsland directed the LDWF agents to his stand and the bears by using his cell phone.  The agents issued Kinsland citations for two counts of taking bear in a closed season.
 
In August, Kinsland pled no contest and was sentenced to 120 days in jail (suspended), a $950 fine, 24 months of supervised probation and had to pay restitution of $5,000 with $3,000 of that going to LDWF and the other $2,000 going to the District Attorney.  He was also ordered to get his hunter education certification and to speak in 24 other LDWF approved hunter education courses to share his experience.
 
Kinsland has already attended a few LDWF approved hunter education courses and has offered his story in front of the classes during the wildlife identification part of the course.
 
"I'm really enjoying my time with the hunter education courses and plan on becoming a volunteer certified hunter education instructor even after my court ordered courses are finished," said Kinsland.  "I try to explain to the class that even the most experienced hunter can make the same mistake I did and that you have to be able to see the snout, head and ears and make a positive i.d. before shooting at a feral hog."  
 
With Louisiana black bear and feral hog populations on the rise in many areas in the state, hunters are reminded that positive target identification is the most important rule in hunter safety and a basic component of legal game harvest.
 
Black bears and feral hogs share similar body styles and appearance, so hunters must be especially careful when hog hunting in areas where bears may be found.  LDWF has posted signs at state WMAs to warn hunters about the similarities between the two species.
 
Since 2001, the Louisiana Black Bear Repatriation Project has moved 48 adult female black bears with 104 cubs from the dense black bear population in the Tensas River Basin to the area called the Red River Complex, totaling 179,604 acres, which includes Grassy Lake, Red River, Three Rivers and Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Areas and Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge.  The Repatriation Project was initiated to help rebuild the historic population of black bears in central Louisiana.
 
Since 1992, the Louisiana black bear has been protected because of its threatened status under the Endangered Species Act.  Restoration and conservation efforts of the LDWF, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Black Bear Conservation Coalition and many private landowners have led to increasing numbers of black bears.  LDWF is working aggressively toward the goal of removing the Louisiana black bear from the threatened species list and having sustainable populations that offer regulated hunting opportunities in the foreseeable future.
 
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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Hunter Tips: Sharing Habitat with Bears in the Fall

Release Date: 10/08/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds hunters that bears are actively foraging at this time of year in preparation for the winter. Louisiana black bear populations throughout the state are growing and their ranges are expanding, as noted in record numbers of trail camera photos capturing activity at deer feeders.

Hunters can still enjoy a safe hunting experience and have success harvesting game species by following a few, simple recommendations.

TO MINIMIZE ATTRACTING BEARS:

  • Plant food plots instead of distributing feeding corn, a favorite bear food item. For those hunters who prefer to use feed, it is advisable to switch to soybeans. The switch from corn to soybeans may be enough to drastically decrease the number of bears returning to a site.
  • Hang your feeder out of reach of bears. A feeder should be at least 8 feet off of the ground and 4 feet away from the tree or pole used to suspend the feeder.
  • Bears are less likely to forage for one grain at a time, as dispersed on the ground from a timed feeder. A corn pile or trough type feeder is more likely to attract bears for repeat feedings.

HOW TO HANDLE BLACK BEAR ENCOUNTERS

It is important for hunters to educate themselves about bears and bear behavior, take the proper precautions and remain aware while in the woods. Younger hunters should be coached on how to respond to a bear’s presence and provided with bear spray and taught how to use it.

  • Black bears are extremely inquisitive and will sometimes follow a hunter’s track to the deer stand. It is not uncommon for a black bear to place his front feet on the ladder and peer up into the stand in an attempt to discover what’s there. This situation can usually be resolved by standing and moving about on the stand and speaking to the bear to allow him to see and hear you. Once their curiosity is satisfied, bears will usually move on.
  • A hunter moving through thick brush will occasionally come upon a black bear nest. Females readily nest on the ground and produce cubs. This occurs during the den season (late December through April). Ground nests are most often located in slash piles, felled tree tops, blackberry thickets and thick palmetto. This type of encounter will usually cause the female to run away from her nest. The cubs will bawl loudly in protest at being abandoned, but this vocalization will bring the female back quickly as soon as you leave the area.
  • If you encounter a black bear in the woods, detour around the bear. If necessary, go back the way you came and access your intended destination from another direction.
  • If you encounter a black bear at close range, raise your hands above your head to appear larger than you are, speak in a normal voice to allow the bear to identify you as human, and back away until it is safe to turn and walk away -- DO NOT RUN.
  • The best tip for insuring hunter safety and peace of mind is to carry bear spray. It is available at some retail outlets selling camping and hunting merchandise, and via the Internet. Be sure to buy a product labeled “bear spray”; most come with a convenient belt holster.
  • If a black bear attacks, DO NOT PLAY DEAD; that is a technique used for grizzly bears. Fight back with anything available, as black bear attacks have often times been stopped when the person fought back violently.

Hunters are also reminded that feral hogs and black bears can look very similar, especially in low light conditions. It is critical to know your target before pulling the trigger. Killing a Louisiana black bear can result in fines and/or jail time, as well as hindering LDWF’s progress toward delisting the black bear.

The goal of LDWF’s black bear program is to restore bear numbers to a sustainable level that will allow a regulated legal harvest of bears in the future.

For more information, contact Maria Davidson at 225-931-3061 or mdavidson@wlf.la.gov.

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 09/15/2010

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010 - 1:30 p.m.
Louisiana Room
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries Headquarters
2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La.  70808

1.    Roll Call

2.    Approval of Minutes of March 16, 2010

3.    Welcome and Opening Comments Chairman

4.    Enforcement Division Report: Oil Spill Response

5.    Bird Rescue Mission: Oil Spill Response Office of Wildlife, Coastal & Non-game Resources Division

6.    2010-11 Duck Season Forecast / Oil Spill Impacts on Habitat Office of Wildlife, Wildlife Division

7.    Fisheries Report: Oil Spill Response Office of Fisheries, Research Division

8.    Set Next Meeting Date

9.    Receive Public Comments

10.    Adjournment

 

 

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