DEER, RABBIT HUNTING SEASONS OPEN IN ADDITIONAL SECTION ON WEST BANK OF PLAQUEMINES PARISH

Release Date: 01/08/2006

Recent survey work by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists in Plaquemines Parish indicates a need to open another part of the parishs west bank for deer and rabbit hunting. The area opened by this notice had been closed due to habitat damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.


Effective Jan. 4, 2006, deer and rabbit season will open under the normal date and time restrictions, as published in the 2005-06 LDWF Hunting Regulations booklet, in:


That portion of Plaquemines Parish on the west bank of the Mississippi River, which lies north of the Ironton Road and north of an extension of the Ironton Road, due west to the Plaquemines-Jefferson Parish boundary.


"Hunters should be aware that this area contains a population of pen-raised elk that escaped following Hurricane Katrina and it is not legal to shoot these animals," said Dave Moreland, Wildlife Division administrator.


Continued survey work by the Deer Program Section has noted heavy browsing of deer on native habitat south of the Ollie community on the west bank. Hunting will remove some of the surplus animals and will reduce over browsing, providing more food for deer during remaining winter days.


The only remaining hunting season closures - relative to storm damage caused by recent hurricanes - still include all of St. Bernard Parish and those portions of Plaquemines Parish on the west bank of the Mississippi River that are south of the line delineated above; and on the east bank, those portions of the parish south of the area opened Dec. 23, as described below.


The Dec. 23 opening included the portion of Plaquemines, east of the Mississippi River, west of the Braithwaite Golf Course west levee, north and west of the Forty Arpent Canal to River Aux Chenes (Oak River), west of River Aux Chenes to Bayou Garelle, north and west of Bayou Garelle to Joe Graxolet Canal, north of Joe Gravolet Canal to Phoenix, and north of the levee at Phoenix.


The hunting season closures still in effect are limited to deer and rabbit hunting in those two specific areas and are effective until further notice.


Hunters should keep in mind that some U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuges continue to remain closed in the impacted areas and hunters should contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for information pertaining to these seasons. For the latest information on USFWS hunting season status within Louisiana, call 1-800-344-9453.


As conditions improve and more surveys are conducted, areas that are presently closed may be opened for hunting at some point in the future. For more information concerning the opening of hunting seasons contact the Wildlife Division at 225-765-2346 or go to LDWF's web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov.


For more information, contact Dave Moreland at 225-765-2348 or dmoreland@wlf.louisiana.gov.