Release Date: 03/01/2007

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a notice of intent that would allow the use of mallards on some bird dog training areas on designated Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and other public land at their March 1 meeting.  The notice of intent would also allow bird dog training areas to remain open all year, unless specified at designated areas.

This program is designed to help recruit and retain bird hunters by making bird dog training areas more accessible to hunters residing in urban areas of the state.

The bird dog training areas provide hunters the opportunity to train pointing dogs and flushing retrievers or spaniels with live released bobwhite quail or pigeons.  The notice of intent adds mallards to this list.  However, use of pigeons and mallards may be prohibited on specific bird dog training areas.  

Each party that is bird dog training must include at least one person with a bird dog training permit.  A party would be considered bird dog training when they possess or release live birds or if they are present on the bird dog training area with pointing dogs, spaniels or retrievers during the time quail, woodcock or waterfowl seasons are closed on the WMA or other public land. 

Bobwhite quail, mallards and pigeons may be shot in conjunction with dog training activities.  However, no more than six quail or mallards per day may be released, taken or possessed per permittee.  There is no limit on the number of pigeons that may be taken, released or possessed. 

Mallards must be toe-clipped or fitted with a seamless band or otherwise marked in accordance with federal regulations.  Persons in possession of live bobwhite quail or mallards must have a valid game breeders license or bill of sale from a licensed game breeder.

Only shotguns with shells containing shot not larger than lead size 8 or steel size 6 are permitted on the bird dog training area when the WMA or other public lands hunting seasons are closed.  Mallards may only be taken with steel or other approved non-toxic shot.  Pistols capable of firing only blanks are also permitted.

Any public comment on this issue can be submitted to Dave Moreland, Administrator, Wildlife Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, prior to June 6, 2007.

For more information, contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.louisiana.gov.