Release Date: 02/02/2007

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved two notices of intent that included changes for the 2007-09 Resident Small Game and Deer Seasons and Regulations and the 2007-08 Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Seasons and Regulations at their Feb. 1 meeting.

Of particular interest to deer hunters, the deer tag requirement for each harvested deer will go into effect for the 2007-08 season. Any person purchasing a deer hunting license will be provided his or her deer tags by license sales outlets using the agency's point of sale system.  For people who are not required to purchase a deer license every year (i.e. hunters under 16 years of age, exempt seniors, lifetime license holders), deer tags will be available upon request at the same outlets that sell deer licenses. 

Prior to hunting deer, all deer hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain deer tags and have in possession when hunting deer.  Immediately upon harvesting a deer, the hunter must tag the deer with the appropriate carcass tag and document the kill on the deer tag license.  Within 72 hours, the hunter must validate the kill and record the validation number on the license.  Hunters harvesting deer on Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) or Landowner Antlerless Deer Tag Program (LADT) areas can validate deer per instructions by LDWF using DMAP and LADT harvest data sheets.  Hunters on WMAs can validate harvested deer during mandatory deer check hunts, when deer check stations are in operation.  Hunters can also validate harvested deer by calling the validation toll free number or using the validation Web site.

The notices of intent included some changes to past regulations.  The following amendment changes are open for public comment through April and will be voted for adoption at the May LWFC meeting.

 In the 2008-09 Resident Small Game and Deer Hunting Seasons and Regulations, that portion of East Carroll Parish east of the mainline Mississippi River Levee and south and east of La. 877 from the West Carroll Parish line to La. 580, south of La. 580 to U.S. 65 to the Madison Parish line will move to Area 1.  The remainder of the parish will remain in Area 4.  Only still hunting will be allowed.

 Antlerless deer may be harvested during the entire deer season on private lands except in West Carroll Parish and portions of East Carroll Parish.  This does not apply to public lands, which will have specified either-sex days.

 The new spring squirrel season would be made available on Bodcau, Boeuf, Clear Creek, Little River, East Tract of Maurepas Swamp, Russell Sage and Sherburne WMAs from May 3 to 11.

 Reservations would be accepted for physically challenged deer hunters on Alexander State Forest, Big Colewa Bayou, Clear Creek, Buckhorn and Sherburne WMAs. 

 Bird dog training areas would be provided on Bodcau, Lake Ramsey, Sandy Hollow and Sherburne WMAs.  Areas will be generally open all year round except during the either-sex modern hunts for deer and turkey seasons and some dove hunts.

 Youth Hunts would be provided on the following WMAs

 Bayou Pierre, Elbow Slough and Ouachita for waterfowl lottery youth hunts.  Dates will be determined after the Waterfowl Season has been set.
 Buckhorn would have a deer lottery youth hunt on Oct. 27-28, Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 29-30 and 5-6.

 A physically challenged waterfowl hunting area would be provided on Sherburne WMA.

 The Atchafalaya Delta WMA would allow no waterfowl hunting after 2 p.m.

 Bens Creek WMA deer seasons would have the following dates:

 Archery: Oct. 1-Jan. 31 either sex
 Youth and Handicapped: Nov. 3-4 either sex
 Firearms Either Sex: Nov. 23-25 mandatory deer check, Dec. 1-7, 22-28 self-clearing permit
 Firearms bucks only: Dec. 29-Jan. 13
 Muzzleloader: Dec. 15-21 and Jan. 14-20 either sex.

 The Bodcau WMA would have the entire Oct. 27-Nov. 25 deer season be either sex.

 The Buckhorn WMA would add a youth and physically challenged deer hunt on Oct. 27-28.  The modern firearms either sex dates would be Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-2 and 8-9 with muzzleloader either sex dates being Jan. 7-20.  Modern firearms bucks only dates would be Dec. 29-Jan. 6.

 Grassy Lake, Pomme de Terre and Spring Bayou WMAs would add one day to their modern firearm either-sex season, which would be Nov. 23-25.

 Jackson Bienville WMA would have either-sex deer hunting the entire season with dates from Nov. 17-Dec. 30.

 Ouachita WMA would allow crawfishing through June 30.

 Pass-a-Loutre WMA would allow deer taken with shotguns by using either slugs or buckshot from the day after the first split of the duck season closes for seven days.

 Sandy Hollow WMA would have modern firearms either-sex deer seasons from Nov. 23-25 and Dec. 15-16 and muzzleloader either-sex dates from Dec. 8-14 and Dec. 22-30.

 Sherburne WMA would host a youth lottery either-sex deer hunt on Dec. 21, 26, 28 and 31.

 Hunters may enter a WMA no earlier than 4 a.m.

 Hunters camping on a WMA would only have to check out once during any 72 hour period.

 The Bayou Macon WMA general lottery deer hunt would be eliminated and will be open on Nov. 17-18 to all hunters for either-sex deer. 

 All hunters would be allowed to retrieve their own downed deer and hogs with the aid of an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV).

 Hunters would be mandated to use non-toxic shot for snipe, rail and gallinule hunting.

LDWF proposed no changes to the 2007-08 or the 2008-09 seasons for resident small game or deer. The season for 2007-08 for resident small game hunting seasons are:

 Quail -Nov. 17-Feb. 29 with a daily bag limit of 10 and possession limit of 20.
 Rabbit and Squirrel -Oct. 6-Feb. 29 with a daily bag limit of 8 and possession limit of 16.
 Spring Squirrel - May 3-25 with a daily bag limit of 3 and possession limit of 6.

The season limit for deer is still six.  However, of these six deer, only three may be antlered bucks and only three may be antlerless deer.  These limits for deer include all methods of take, except antlerless harvest on property enrolled in the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) or the Landowner Antlerless Deer Tag Program (LADT).  Property enrolled in DMAP or LADT do not count for the season bag limit for hunters.  One antlered and one antlerless deer (when legal) per day will be accepted, except on some Federal Refuges and National Forest Lands where daily limits shall be one deer per day.

The following is the deer hunting season dates broken down by area:

 Area 1 -  Archery: Oct. 1-Jan. 31
   Muzzleloader (Either-Sex): Nov. 10-16 and Jan. 21-27
   Still Hunt: Nov. 17-Dec. 7 and Jan. 7-20
   With or Without Dogs: Dec. 8-Jan. 6

 Area 2 -  Archery: Oct. 1-Jan. 31
   Muzzleloader (Either-Sex): Oct. 20-26 and Jan. 14-20
   Still Hunt: Oct. 27-Dec. 7
   With or Without Dogs: Dec. 8-Jan. 13

 Area 3 -  Archery: Sept. 15-Jan. 15
   Muzzleloader (Either-Sex): Oct. 13-19 and Nov. 26-30
   Still Hunt: Oct. 20-Nov. 25 and Dec. 1-Jan. 6

 Area 4 -  Archery: Oct. 1-Jan. 31
   Muzzleloader (Either-Sex): Nov. 3-9 and Jan. 7-14
   Still Hunt: Nov. 10-Jan. 6

 Area 5 -  Archery: Oct. 1-Jan. 31
   Muzzleloader (Either-Sex): Nov. 10-16 and Dec. 26-Jan. 1
   Still Hunt: Nov. 23-Dec. 9

 Area 6 -  Archery: Oct. 1-15 bucks only and Oct. 16-Feb. 15 either sex
   Muzzleloader (Either-Sex): Nov. 10-16 and Jan. 21-27
   Still Hunt: Nov. 17-Dec 7
   With or Without Dogs: Dec. 8-Jan. 20

 Area 7 -  Archery: Oct. 1-Jan. 31
   Muzzleloader (Either-Sex): Oct. 13-19 and Nov. 3-9
   Still Hunt: Oct. 20-Nov. 2 and Nov. 10-25
   With or Without Dogs: Nov. 26-Dec. 30

 Area 8 -  Archery: Sept. 15-Jan. 15
   Muzzleloader (Either-Sex): Oct. 13-19 and Nov. 26-30
   Still Hunt: Oct. 20-Nov. 25
   With or Without Dogs: Dec. 1-Jan. 6

Public hearings will be held throughout the state during March.  Comments will also be accepted at regularly scheduled LWFC meetings from March through May.  People may also submit written comments about the proposed notice of intents until the end of April to David Moreland, Wildlife Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898. 

For more information, contact Jimmy Anthony at 225-765-2347 or janthony@wlf.louisiana.gov.