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 .

Grassy Lake WMA Closed Due to Flooding

From News Report

March 12, 2018 –   The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed all roads at the Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding.

Increasing water levels in associated river systems and heavy rainfall has caused flooding on these roads. Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect, repair and reopen the roads when deemed safe for travel.

Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville, Louisiana.

For information on this WMA, go to htt://www.wlf.la.gov/wma/36994 or contact Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov or Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov .

East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas Parish Feeding Ban Now in Effect

From News Report

March 6, 2018 – A ban on supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes is now in effect in an effort to potentially curb the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), recently discovered in Issaquena County, Mississippi, about five miles from the Louisiana border.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a Declaration of Emergency to cease supplemental deer feeding in those parishes at its March meeting Thursday (March 1). It became effective Monday (March 5). To read the entire Declaration of Emergency go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .

The action comes after the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Mississippi on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana.

The action is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) CWD Response Plan, designed to monitor and curb the potential spread of CWD into Louisiana.

According to the declaration, the use of bait not normally ingested by deer for feral hog trapping will still be allowed.  All bait must be placed and contained within the trap itself. Backyard bird feeders are also exempt from the declaration.

Baits that are permitted include commercially sold baits formulated and labeled for feral hog trapping, commercial fish based baits and soured grains, including whole shell corn soaked in water and fermented. Rice bran, non-fermented or whole cracked corn, soybeans, protein pellets and commercial feeds formulated for deer are prohibited from use in feral hog traps during the ban.

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.

LDWF has tested more than 8,300 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD .

RECAP: Scores & Earnings from LABH 3D Challenge

It was a picture perfect day to be in the woods of Central Louisiana, participating in the 1st Annual LABH 3D Challenge. Sponsored by Hardcore Custom Bowstrings. Thanks to CENLA Bowbenders for providing the beautiful property, our sponsors, vendors, spectators, volunteers and especially the shooters. We had over 150 shooters from 3 different states travel to Pollock for the inaugural event. Men and women, boys and girls competed in the ultimate 3D competition Louisiana Bowhunters have been begging for. Over $2,000 cash was awarded, plus a bow, cooler, and tons of other items were given away to over a dozen participants.

Our first novelty shoot was the Iron Buck Challenge. Shooters shot at a 1/4″ aluminum silhouette of a buck with soft target vitals. Starting at 20 yards moving back in specific, known increments until only 1 shooter remained. Hitting the metal destroyed dozens of arrows and the errant shots were immediately confirmed with a “Gong” and explosion of carbon as they struck the metal buck.  Michael Cash was the last man standing with the Iron Buck reaching 70 yards! He took home $185.

Our second novelty shoot was the unknown range Long Shot. A brown bear stood 99 yards away and downhill. This shot had a long line of determined shooters all day. Jerod Perkins took home 50% of the pot at $183 and a PSE Infinity bow package donated by Man Cave Archery. The other 50% is being donated to the Archery in Louisiana Schools Program. 

Our main range had a mixture of sitting brush-blind shots, sitting and standing lock-on stand shots, some reverse and side angled shots from stands, a running bobcat shot and some pretty steep decline shots. We tried to give hunters a genuine “hunting” feel to the shoot with situations you would encounter during deer season. (We never recommend shooting running animals. That target was just for fun) 4 classes competed and their scores are as follows:

Traditional

  1. Anthony Denton   160
  2. James Nunn          155
  3. Daniel Binkly         148

General Hunter

 

  1. David Constance   208
  2. Stephen Severn     202
  3. Toni Romero          189

Open                                              Shootdown               Total

  1. Larry Edwards         220                52                          272
  2. Zach Hester            218                51                          269
  3. Jeremiah Oalmann 214                50                          264
Bowhunter                                  Shootdown                 Total
     1. Buddy Freeman    220                38                            258
     2. Logan Sobiesk      202                52                            254
     3. Justin Rushing      210                38                            248