LDWF Accepting Applications for Disabled Vets and Physically Challenged Deer Lottery Hunts

LDWF Accepting Applications for Disabled Vets and Physically Challenged Deer Lottery Hunts

July 2, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting deer lottery hunt applications for physically challenged hunters on Sabine and Floy McElroy Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and disabled veterans on Camp Beauregard WMA for the 2018-19 hunting season.

These special hunts are restricted to hunters selected through the lottery application process. These hunts offer the opportunity for selected hunters to experience an enjoyable, wildlife oriented outdoor experience on these WMAs.

Details on the qualifications, application requirements and dates of the hunts are listed on the application forms. The application deadline is Aug. 31.

Successful applicants will be selected by a random computer drawing.  Applications for the lottery must be submitted to LDWF by the deadline listed on the application. A $5 administrative fee must be submitted with each application.

Applications and more information may be obtained by contacting your local LDWF field office or by visiting the LDWF web site at  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts  .

Applications may be delivered in person to Room 442 of the LDWF headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Dr. in Baton Rouge or by mail. The mailing address is: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.

For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or  ssmith@wlf.la.gov .

No Signs of CWD – Feeding Ban Lifted

CWD Tests Show No Detections of the Disease in Louisiana

June 7, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) did not detect chronic wasting disease during its initial testing of white-tailed deer in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes, LDWF announced during Thursday’s (June 7) Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) meeting.

As a result, the feeding ban enacted by LWFC in order to minimize comingling of animals at feeder locations in East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes is officially rescinded today, Thursday, June 7, 2018. However, LDWF encourages hunters not to utilize supplemental feeds for hunting, as this increases the chance of spreading diseases among animals using bait stations.

The testing is part of LDWF’s CWD Response Plan that was triggered by the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.

LDWF sampled 300 deer within the buffer zone, which is within 25 miles of the case in Issaquena County. This sample size provides a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect CWD at a prevalence rate of 1 percent.

CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting members of the family Cervidae, which includes white-tailed deer. The disease is caused by misfolded proteins called prions. These prions can be shed in saliva, urine, feces and decomposing carcasses.  Infectious material can contaminate soil, becoming available for uptake by plants, increasing transmission to additional individuals when plants are consumed.

CWD is 100 percent fatal. Once a deer consumes the prion and becomes infected, it develops clinical signs including weight loss, salivation, neurological signs and ultimately death. Clinical signs may not become apparent until 16 to 24 months after the deer is infected.

LDWF will perform increased hunter-harvested deer surveillance for CWD in East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes this hunting season, and continue normal CWD surveillance across the state. LDWF has tested nearly 9,000 deer for CWD since 2002.  CWD has not been detected in Louisiana.

For more information, contact LDWF veterinarian Dr. Jim LaCour at Jlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0823.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Makes Case For Black Bear Killed in St. Mary Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two Louisiana men for alleged Louisiana Black Bear violations in St. Mary Parish.

Agents cited Cody J. Charpentier, 31, of Glencoe, and Bailey Rogers, 21, of Youngsville, for taking and/or possessing a black bear during a closed season and intentional concealment of wildlife.

Agents received a tip that Charpentier had shot and killed a Louisiana black bear on Nov. 12, 2017 in St. Mary Parish.  Charpentier and Rogers then moved the bear from the kill site six miles to a field off of Hwy. 83 near Glencoe that night.

On April 30, agents acquired a search warrant for Charpentier’s residence, handheld global positioning system (GPS) and cell phone.  Agents were able to use the cell phone and GPS to track where Charpentier was on the night of Nov. 12.

Agents used the GPS and cell phone to track Charpentier’s location from the kill site to the location of a black bear skeleton and claws in the mitigation field.

Agents seized Charpentier’s 7 mm rifle in connection with the case.

Taking or possessing a black bear during a closed season and intentional concealment of wildlife each brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men may also face up to $10,000 in civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken bear.

The bear in this case is not tied to the other two illegally killed black bears that were found earlier this year in St. Mary Parish.  Agents are still looking for leads for the killing of two black bears that were discovered on Feb. 14 off of Humble Canal 10 miles south of Franklin.  If anyone has information about these two bears, please call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511 to qualify for up to a $5,500 reward.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov

New Hog Hunting Regulation Proposal Moves to Senate

Something major happened yesterday regarding feral hogs and hunting seasons for our state. State Representative Sherman Mack from Albany, LA created HCR83 on May 1st and on May 14th it was received by the Senate for consideration. It is set to be read a second time by title only on Tuesday, May 15th. After reading the House Concurrence Resolution ourselves, we’re leery of its intentions and we plan to clarify what we are in support of as well as what we are against.

First, let’s cover what an HCR is. “Like a bill, a joint resolution requires the approval of both Chambers in identical form and the president’s signature to become law. There is no real difference between a joint resolution and a bill. Joint resolutions and bills are presented to the President and, once signed or approved over a veto, are enacted and have the force of law. Concurrent resolutions are generally used to address the sentiments of both chambers or to deal with issues or matters affecting both houses.”

If you’d like to read this proposal you can follow this link and click “text”.

http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/BillInfo.aspx?i=235124

But we’ll save you the trouble and post the last 4 sections for you here:

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission establishes, maintains, and manages wildlife management areas and is charged with establishing all rules and regulations pertaining to the propagation, protection, and harvest of all species of wildlife on wildlife management areas; and

WHEREAS, many owners of farm and hunting land are using the tools created by recent changes to hunting laws aimed at reducing feral hog infestations, including taking feral hogs any day of the year, on certain nights of the year, with firearms equipped with sounds suppressers, and by aircraft; and

WHEREAS, these landowners’ efforts have been stymied by the refuge for feral hogs created on wildlife management areas due to decreased hunting pressure as feral hogs can only be taken on wildlife management areas on days during an open hunting season with the method of take for that particular open season.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby urge and request the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to increase the opportunities to take feral hogs from wildlife management areas and to make any recommendations to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission necessary to accomplish that goal.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a suitable copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Do you notice anything? How about the complete absence of intention or detail? This proposal, simply put, does not offer any value other than asking that LDWF listen to recommendations for hog eradication on WMAs which leaves the door wide open for conversations regarding running dogs and night hunting – which we feel is the true intention of this bill. If this happens our deer population would never have any reprieve on public land.

As bowhunters, our first priority is stealth and our second is to be non-disruptive. It is the absolute essence of bowhunting and our success as bowhunters depends on the combination of those things. Quite frankly, this proposed HCR threatens that.

Do not confuse this with our stance being against hog hunting as that could not be further from the truth. The difference is that we want all hogs dead – not just some of them so we can go back and hunt more later. Hogs are the #1 threat to Louisiana’s deer population and therefore anyone that values the deer herd should be for eradication of all hogs as well. But at the same time, we are not so naive to believe this legislature could eradicate hogs. More stringent measures are necessary, but we simply cannot entertain options that could potentially do more harm than good.

What we are in favor of is a much more conservative option such as being allowed to hunt hogs during any open season with appropriate weapons such as shotguns, rifles and bows. In addition, we would fully support a bounty program similar to the state’s nutria bounty program. Of course this would have to be carefully regulated and would need to provide proof of the hog’s death to mitigate a new population of tailless hogs roaming the woods…

Finally, before you come for our heads with pitch forks and torches, ask yourself this: If manual methods of hog removal were so effective, why do they still run rampant on private land? Are they really taking refuge on public land, the most heavily hunted property in the state? Or is this simply an attempt to pass new legislation under the guise of good intentions just to open the flood gates for hog hunters to hunt new, easily accessed land?

Until we get some clarity on this we are highly skeptical. No one wants to see a hog die more than we do. But that doesn’t mean our deer herd should suffer more because of it.

No Positive CWD Cases Discovered After Continued Testing

May 4, 2018 – Continuing sampling efforts conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes have turned up no positive results of the disease.

LDWF has sampled 239 deer from the three parishes, located in northeast Louisiana, with results received back on 188 of the specimens as of May 2 with no positive results detected. The results from the samples will be received within the next three weeks, while additional sampling continues inside the buffer zone area within these parishes.

The sampling measures are part of LDWF’s CWD Response Plan. It was triggered by the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.

LDWF’s target sample size is 300 deer within the buffer zone, which is within 25 miles of the case in Issaquena County. This sample size will provide a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect CWD at a prevalence rate of 1 percent. LDWF continues to work with private landowners to obtain consent for sampling efforts and would like to thank landowners who have been willing to assist and cooperate with LDWF’s sampling project.

Mississippi has also sampled in the area in its state and, with 275 results back, has not detected the disease outside the one case in Issaquena County.

In addition to the LDWF sampling, supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes has been suspended as part of the response plan.

CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.

Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

For more information, go to  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD .

No Positive CWD Cases Found After Continued Testing

May 4, 2018 – Continuing sampling efforts conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes have turned up no positive results of the disease.

LDWF has sampled 239 deer from the three parishes, located in northeast Louisiana, with results received back on 188 of the specimens as of May 2 with no positive results detected. The results from the samples will be received within the next three weeks, while additional sampling continues inside the buffer zone area within these parishes.

The sampling measures are part of LDWF’s CWD Response Plan. It was triggered by the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.

LDWF’s target sample size is 300 deer within the buffer zone, which is within 25 miles of the case in Issaquena County. This sample size will provide a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect CWD at a prevalence rate of 1 percent. LDWF continues to work with private landowners to obtain consent for sampling efforts and would like to thank landowners who have been willing to assist and cooperate with LDWF’s sampling project.

Mississippi has also sampled in the area in its state and, with 275 results back, has not detected the disease outside the one case in Issaquena County.

In addition to the LDWF sampling, supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes has been suspended as part of the response plan.

CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.

Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

For more information, go to  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD .

LDWF Approves Hunting Regulation Changes for 2018-19 Season

May 4, 2018 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved the 2018-19 and 2019-20 resident game hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons, rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season, rules and regulations and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season, rules and regulations at its May meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.

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 February.

Approved amendments to the NOI included alteration of the season structure for deer hunting areas 5 and 7. The new dates for Deer Area 5 will occur earlier within the normal season framework, beginning with primitive firearms season, which will start Nov. 10, 2018.

The beginning and closing of archery season is all that will be affected in Deer Area 7. It will open Sept. 15, 2018, and close Jan. 15, 2019. The adjustment will allow Deer Area 7 to run concurrent with deer areas 3, 8 and 10.

An amendment to allow gill and trammel nets for commercial fishing on Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA) passed as did an amendment to close Bussey Brake WMA to all activities until further notice.

Changes from previous hunting seasons in the approved NOIs include but are not limited to:

* Deer Area 9 change in either-sex primitive and modern firearms days. Dates will occur earlier within the normal season framework to facilitate antlerless harvest earlier in the season with the intent to improve sex ratios in advance of breeding. There is no reduction or addition of available hunting days.

* Move West Feliciana Parish from Deer Area 4 to Area 6.

* Prohibition on the use of drones on WMAs.

* Addition of Small Game Emphasis Area to Tunica Hills WMA.

* Addition of PCHP wheelchair bound waterfowl blinds on Bayou Pierre and Russell Sage WMAs.

*  Addition of vessel language for allowable means of camping on WMAs.

* Addition of language to clarify where camping can occur on WMAs.

*  Reduction of available either-sex modern firearm days from three to two and reduction of primitive firearms bucks only days from seven to two for deer on Attakapas WMA.

*  Allowance for use of yo-yo’s and trot lines for fishing in Big and Chain lakes on Big Lake WMA.

*  Establishment of Limited Access Areas (LAAs) for the Topan Unit and the Old Waterfowl Refuge on Boeuf WMA, prohibiting the use of motorized vessels.

*  Reduction of deer youth lottery and PCHP Wheelchair bound opportunity on Buckhorn WMA.

* Adjustment of dates for primitive weapon deer season on Clear Creek WMA.

* Grassy Lake WMA reduction of deer either-sex primitive weapon days from seven to two days.

*  Elimination of antlerless deer harvest on Pass-A-Loutre WMA.

*  Reduction of deer either-sex primitive weapon days from seven to two days on Richard K Yancey WMA.

*  Changing the Joyce WMA deer season structure to run concurrent with Maurepas Swamp WMA deer season.

*  Establishment of LAAs for all waterfowl impoundments EXCEPT Wham Brake on Russell Sage WMA, prohibiting the use of motorized vessels.

*  Adjustment of Sabine WMA deer season(s) to make them later in the season.

*  Increase in the number of deer either-sex days for modern firearms from five to14 days on Thistlethwaite WMA.

*  Adjustment of dates for primitive weapons deer season on West Bay WMA.

*  Addition of a part of St. Martin Parish into Area A for turkey hunting.

To view the full notice of intent and all hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .

Grassy Lake and Boeuf WMAs to Reopen Friday

April 24, 2018 – Grassy Lake and Boeuf Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) will reopen to the public Friday (April 27), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. The WMAs closed March 30 due to flooding.

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet issued a declaration of emergency reopening the WMAs in accordance with the emergency provisions of R.S. 49:953 of the Administrative Procedure Act and under authority of R.S. 56:115.

LDWF staff have inspected area roads and have deemed the WMAs suitable and safe for public access.

Grassy Lake WMA, made up of 12,983 acres is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville. For more information on this WMA, go to  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 .

Boeuf WMA, which consists of 51,110 acres, is located 10 miles southeast of Columbia in Caldwell and Catahoula parishes. For more information on Boeuf WMA, go  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/32649 .

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Boyce Man Cited For Night Hunting Violations

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents cited a Rapides Parish man on April 3 for alleged deer hunting violations.

Agents cited Jonathan Pace, 31, of Boyce, for taking deer during a closed season, taking deer during illegal hours, taking deer from a public road, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, possession of an illegally taken deer and intentional concealment of wildlife.

Agents were contacted by a Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Deputy that stated he discovered a freshly killed deer at a resident in Boyce.  Upon arriving and examining the remains, agents determined the deer was recently killed with a firearm.

Agents located other items around the property that were consistent with a deer being killed and processed at the residence.  Agents spoke with Pace later that evening when he admitted to killing the deer off of Hwy. 28 on April 2 around 11:30 p.m.

During the investigation, Pace also admitted to killing two other antlerless deer during nighttime hours this year with one on Jan. 13 and the other on Jan. 15.  Neither of these deer were tagged or validated.

Agents seized an antlerless deer and a 12 gauge shotgun.

Taking deer during a closed season, during illegal hours and intentional concealment of wildlife each brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking deer from a public road and failing comply with deer tagging requirements each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Pace may also face civil restitution totaling $4,873 for the replacement value of the three illegally taken deer.

Initial Results Negative for CWD in Northeast LA

April 6, 2017 – Initial sampling efforts by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes have not turned up any positive results of the disease.

LDWF has sampled 188 deer from the three parishes, located in northeast Louisiana, with results received back on 114 of the specimens on April 3, with no positives detected. The results from the other 74 samples will be received within the next three weeks while additional sampling continues inside the buffer zone area within these parishes.

The sampling measures are part of LDWF’s CWD Response Plan. It was triggered by the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.

LDWF’s target sample size is 300 deer within the buffer zone, which is within 25 miles of the case in Issaquena County. This sample size will provide a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect CWD at a prevalence rate of 1 percent. LDWF continues to work with private landowners to obtain consent for sampling efforts and would like to thank landowners who have been willing to assist and cooperate with LDWF’s sampling project.

Mississippi has also sampled in the area in its state and, with 158 results back, has not detected the disease outside the one case in Issaquena County.

In addition to the LDWF sampling, supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes has been suspended as part of the response plan.

CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.

Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD .