The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved the 2017-19 hunting season dates and 2017-18 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting rules and regulations at its April meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
The season dates approved include the 2018 turkey season and associated rules and regulations along with the 2017-18 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations.
The notices of intent presented in January by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons were approved with amendments made subsequently in March.
The commission voted to approve two amendments to the Notice of Intent. The amendments read, in part:
· Deer Area 8 - Change that portion in Allen Parish east of Louisiana Highway 113 from the parish line to U.S. Highway 190, north of U.S. Highway 190 eastward to Kinder, west of U.S. Highway 165 northward to Louisiana Highway 10 at Oakdale and south of Louisiana Highway 10 from Oakdale westward to parish line, and in Beauregard Parish that portion east of Louisiana Highway 113, and in Vernon Parish that portion east of Louisiana Highway 113 from the parish line northward to Pitkin and south of Louisiana Highway 10 from Pitkin southward to the parish line; to become a portion of Deer Area 3, with the same seasons as Deer Area 3, Except to include allowing hunting with or without dogs during the last segment of the Firearms Deer Season (Dec. 3, 2017-Jan. 8, 2018) within this new portion of Deer Area 3.
· To expand the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Limited Access Areas on the Main Delta and Wax Delta approximately 25 percent. Access would be allowed within the active passes within those areas but once out of the passes, it reverts to limited access.
Changes from previous hunting seasons in the approved NOIs include but are not limited to:
· Change in deer seasons in Deer Areas 4 and 10, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest. Also changing season limits in these areas from a limit of six (not to exceed three antlered or four antlerless), to a limit of three (not to exceed two antlered or two antlerless).
· Change in deer seasons for Deer Area 7, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest while still maintaining the six deer season limit.
· Modification to water level benchmark closure language to facilitate reopening the season at a lower level than the closure level in Deer Area 5.
· Adding water level benchmark closure and reopening language for certain roads on Dewey Wills WMA.
· Change in reporting time period for the validation of deer and turkey tags from seven days to 72 hours following harvest of deer or turkey.
· Implementation of shot restrictions for dove hunters on WMAs and on LDWF leased dove fields, restricting shot to non-toxic shot, size 6 and smaller.
· Removal of restrictions on weapons that can be carried by deer hunters for personal protection during primitive seasons on private lands. Hunters must still abide by primitive weapon rules as previously defined in Louisiana hunting regulations.
· Addition of Small Game Emphasis Area to Pomme de Terre WMA.
· Addition of available days of opportunity within the Small Game Emphasis Areas on Richard K. Yancey and Sherburne WMAs.
· Addition of youth squirrel season on Pomme de Terre and Grassy Lake WMAs, to be held the fourth Saturday of September for two days.
· Elimination of live transport permits for feral hogs during February hog dog seasons on WMAs.
· Modification of opening day of statewide turkey season from the last Saturday of March to the first Saturday of April.
· Modification of teal season to change from the last three weekends in September to the last 16 days of September.
· Change in daily bag limit for pintail from two to one.
· Change in youth age requirements for youth waterfowl seasons, from 15 years of age and younger to 17 years of age and younger.
· Elimination of Experimental Quality Deer seasons on WMAs.
· Adjustments to deer seasons on Bodcau, Bayou Macon, Boeuf and Dewey W. Wills WMAs.
· Addition of opportunity for youth deer and squirrel hunting on Kisatchie National Forest.
To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.