New Modifications to Deer Urine Ban for 2019-2020 Deer Season

With deer season quickly approaching we knew it was only a matter of time until deer urine and the potential ban of natural deer scents made its way back on the docket. With the threat of CWD entering Louisiana, LDWF is working to ensure it doesn’t make its way here through any back door methods such as natural deer scents and attractants. Until recently the production of deer urine scents has been unregulated. But with the release of new CWD testing methods manufacturers are able to test deer fluids for the prion found in CWD more quickly. With the creation of the Archery Trade Association Deep Protections Program hunters will have 2 choices for this upcoming season:

  1. Use artificial deer scents and attractants
  2. Purchase natural deer urine products from approved ATA DPP manufacturers.

Information on the ATA Deer Protection Program and a list of approved manufactures can be found here.

Approved ATA Deer Protection Program scents and attractants will be labeled with a Checkmark verifying the manufacturer’s participation in the Deer Protection Program and ensure they adhere to the program’s regulations.

July 2, 2019 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) passed a declaration of emergency during its July meeting Monday (July 1) that modifies the deer urine ban for the 2019-20 hunting season. The ban is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) and LWFC’s effort to prevent chronic wasting disease (CWD) from entering the state.

New testing procedures have been made available to producers of deer urine that can detect the presence of CWD in urine-based products.

The modified regulation reads as follows: It is unlawful to use or possess scents or lures that contain natural deer urine or other bodily fluids while taking, attempting to take, attracting or scouting wildlife, except natural deer urine products produced by the manufacturers or entities that are actively enrolled and participating in the Archery Trade Association Deer Protection Program, which have been tested using real-time quaking induced conversion and certified that no detectable levels of CWD are present and clearly labeled as such.

To see the full list of approved manufacturers visit http://archerytrade.org/manufacturers/deer-protection/

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. 
  
It has been found in 26 states, including Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. 
  
LDWF has tested more than 8,600 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD in Louisiana. For more information, go to  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD .

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. 

Road Closures On Richard K. Yancey WMA

Oct. 30, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed several roads to vehicle traffic at the Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding, including Union Point Road, Lincecum Road, Blackhawk Road and Blackhawk Boat Launch.

In addition to these roads, several ATV trails have also been closed, including Jacks Bayou ATV Trail, Lincecum ATV Trail and Blackhawk ATV trail.

While the WMA will remain open, users are asked to comply with road and ATV trail closures deemed necessary to ensure safety and prevent road damage. Once the water recedes, LDWF will reopen these roads and trails when conditions are deemed safe for travel.

Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Highway 15 in lower Concordia Parish.

For information on this WMA, go to htt://www.wlf.la.gov/wma/36994 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-735-8682 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-735-8683 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov .

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.

Thistlethwaite Deer Hunting Regulations Omitted From Regs

Oct. 23, 2018 – Deer hunting season dates for some of the Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area (WMA) either-sex modern firearm dates were inadvertently omitted from the 2018-19 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

The complete dates are listed on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website at ( www.wlf.la.gov/wma ).

The correct dates for either-sex modern firearms season are as follows: Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-9 and Dec. 22-23, 2018.

In addition to the either-sex season the following dates are also open for deer hunting: Bucks only – Dec. 24, 2018 and Jan. 6, 2019; Primitive firearms – Nov. 10-11, 2018 and Jan. 7-13, 2019.

Thistlethwaite WMA is located in north central St. Landry Parish, immediately northeast of Washington, off Louisiana Highway 10. Access to the WMA via I-49 is also possible by using the Lebeau exit.

For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.la.gov/wma or contact Tony Vidrine  at tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or  337-735-8682 or Steven David sdavid@wlf.la.gov or 337-735-8683.

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.

Robeline Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Robeline Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations in Natchitoches Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Robeline subject for alleged deer hunting violations on Sept. 15 in Natchitoches Parish.

Agents cited Justin S. Matthews, 20, for taking deer during a closed season, possession of an illegally taken deer, hunting without resident and big game licenses, fail to possess deer tags and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received a tip about an eight-point buck that was shot northwest of Robeline.  After further investigation, agents made contact with Matthews.

Matthews admitted to agents that he shot the deer the evening before around 6:30 p.m. using a Marlin 30/30 rifle with a scope.  Agents seized the deer meat, antlers and the rifle with the scope.

Taking a deer during a closed season 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.  Failing to possess deer tags and comply with deer tagging requirements each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses each carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Matthews may also face civil restitution totaling $2,033 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

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 email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Deer Hunting Violation Season Kicks Off Early This Year

Alexandria Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations in Rapides Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited an Alexandria man for alleged deer hunting violations on Sept. 1 near Alexandria.

Agents cited Boyd Q. Martin Jr., 64, for taking deer during a closed season, taking deer during illegal hours, taking deer with an illegal weapon and possession of an illegally taken deer.

Agents received a tip about a dead deer that appeared to have been shot near Alexandria behind a pond.  After investigating the tip, agents made contact with Martin Jr. who then admitted to agents that he shot the deer on his way to fishing before daylight by using his .22 caliber rim fire rifle and headlight.

Martin Jr. said he took the hindquarters off the deer and then dragged the deer carcass into the woods.  Agents seized the deer meat.

Hunting deer during a closed season and hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Possession of an illegally taken deer brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting deer with an illegal weapon carries a $250 to $500 fine and 90 days in jail.

Martin Jr. may also face civil restitution totalling $1,624 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

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.

LWFC Approves Resolution Adding 8,172 Acres to Maurepas Swamp and Joyce WMAs

Sept. 10, 2018 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a resolution adding 8,172 acres to Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and nearby Joyce WMA during its monthly meeting here Thursday (Sept. 6) in Baton Rouge.

The addition of the property will add 5,114 acres to Maurepas Swamp WMA and give it a total of 117,729 acres. Joyce WMA will tack on 3,101 acres with the addition, giving it a total of 39,190 acres. Both Maurepas Swamp WMA and Joyce WMA are near Lake Maurepas.

Joyce WMA is located five miles south of Hammond in Tangipahoa Parish. For more information on Joyce WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2774 .

Maurepas Swamp WMA is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans, along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west of Sorrento in Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist and St. James parishes. For more information on Maurepas Swamp WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2791 .

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.

LDWF Warns Deer Urine Scents Could Contain CWD

Aug. 3, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is cautioning deer hunters about the use of deer urine lures because of the potential these products could contain chronic wasting disease (CWD). 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.

CWD has not been discovered in Louisiana but has been in 25 states including Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Urine production and sale is not regulated by any state or federal agency. The production of these lures includes collecting urine through grates at captive cervid facilities. That allows mixing with saliva and feces, which typically have a higher CWD prion content than urine. The CWD prion is shed by infected animals through saliva, feces, urine, blood, antler velvet and decomposing carcasses.

LDWF Veterinarian Dr. Jim LaCour said there is no way to guarantee deer urine lure products do not contain the deadly disease. “There is no rapid, cost effective test to determine if commercial urine contains prions,’’ LaCour said.

Seven states have banned the use of deer urine lures, including Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia.

LDWF worked with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) in 2017 to implement a carcass importation ban, a viable step in preventing the disease from entering the state via infected carcasses.

When CWD was discovered in a Mississippi deer near the Louisiana border in January of this year (2018), the LWFC enacted a feeding ban in order to minimize comingling of animals at feeder locations in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes, parishes nearest to the discovery. Although that ban was rescinded in June, LDWF encourages hunters not to utilize supplemental feeds for hunting as this increases the chance of spreading diseases among animals using bait stations.

LDWF continues cooperative discussions with other state and federal agencies in the fight against CWD and to prevent it from entering the state.

Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, introduced a bill in July aimed at stopping the spread of CWD. The bill would require the Secretary of Agriculture to partner with the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science (NRCNAS) to study and identify the ways CWD is transmitted between wild, captive and farmed cervids. This will provide a credible and scientifically-based foundation of understanding of the disease that can help end its spread.

CWD 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.

LDWF has tested nearly 9,000 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD in Louisiana. For more information, go to  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD .

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.

Cadet Passes Away During LDWF Training

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) cadet passed away on July 19 in Baton Rouge.

Cadet Immanuel Washington, 38, of Youngsville, passed away at Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge on July 19, a day after being rushed to the hospital.

“Our hearts are broken by this tragedy,” said Jack Montoucet, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “The whole Wildlife and Fisheries family offer our prayers for his wife, his children, his family and friends. From the accounts I received, Mr. Washington was an excellent cadet and an even better person. This is a loss for Louisiana.”

Washington was in the third week of his training to become an LDWF Enforcement Division Agent at the LDWF Training Academy located off N. Flannery Road in Baton Rouge.  After completing a two-and-a-half mile run on the morning of July 18, the cadets were in the cool down period of their physical training when Washington collapsed to the ground.

Training agents immediately called for an ambulance and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Washington.  Agents continued CPR until the ambulance arrived to take him to Ochsner Medical Center.  Once at the hospital, Washington was placed on life support in the intensive care unit until his passing on the morning of July 19.

“All of our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Washington’s family at this point. This is a very sad time for his family, the agents and the cadets that came to know him during his training,” said Col. Sammy Martin, head of the enforcement division.  “From everything I’ve heard about this man his dream was to become a Wildlife and Fisheries agent.  We were very happy to hire him and believe he would have made a great agent.”

Washington’s body was turned over to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death. He is survived by his wife, a three-year-old-son and a one-year-old daughter.

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 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 .