US Forest Service Decision to Prohibit Deer Hunting with Dogs on Kisatchie National Forest Upheld by Federal District Court Ruling

Release Date: 12/04/2013

Dec. 4, 2013 -- The US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana has ruled that the US Forest Service acted properly in their ban of hunting deer with dogs in the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF).
 
The Nov. 27 decision upholds a ban proposed by the Forest Service in 2009 that was delayed for further study and legal action by the Louisiana Sportsmen Alliance, LLC.
 
Earlier this year, the 2013-2014 hunting season dates and regulations on KNF were approved by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. A deer hunting with dogs season was not included for KNF. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will revisit the issue in the event the decision is appealed and the ruling is reversed or revised.
 
The court’s decision included the plaintiff’s arguments and the court’s findings on behalf of the Forest Service on multiple points, stating among other considerations:

  • The agency sufficiently analyzed the historical and social needs of and impact on the local community.
  • The agency properly considered the economic consequences of the decision on the community and did not capriciously disregard the financial impact.
  • The court finds there was a proper deliberation of competing recreational activities.
  • The decision to ban dog-deer hunting is narrowly tailored to balance the need to mitigate conflicts in KNF with other recreational users as well as the need to allow participation in a diverse range of recreational activities.

To view the full court ruling, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/deer/seasons and open the PDF file under Documents.
 
For 2013-2014 hunting season details, visit the Forest Service’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/kisatchie or the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov.
 
For additional information contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.