Supplemental Feeding Banned In Select LA Parishes

FROM NEWS REPORT

March 1, 2018 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a Declaration of Emergency to cease supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes in an effort to curb the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) during its monthly meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge. The ban becomes effective Monday (March 5).

The action comes after 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.

The Declaration of Emergency reads, in part: “The immediate cessation of all supplemental feeding, including mineral or salt licks, is hereby initiated for East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes. The purpose of this feeding ban is to reduce the potential for the spread of CWD into Louisiana by reducing the risk of exposure when deer are concentrated around feeding sites.”

To read the entire Declaration of Emergency go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .

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.

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 .

ATTN: St Mary Parish and Surrounding Residents $5500 Reward

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents are seeking leads for two illegally killed black bears in St. Mary Parish.

A citizen alerted authorities on Feb. 14, 2018 about a dead black bear that was located off of Humble Canal in a marshy area about 10 miles south of Franklin.  Agents responded to the scene and found another dead black bear about a mile in a half away from the first reported black bear.

A necropsy revealed that both of the adult male bears were shot and illegally killed around Feb. 2 to 4, which was a weekend.

The Humane Society of the United States, the Acadiana Chapter of Safari Club International, the Safari Club International Foundation and LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program are teaming up to offer a reward totaling $5,500 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal killing of these black bears.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day. Upon request, informants can remain anonymous.

Multiple WMA’s Face Road Closures Due to Flooding

Road Closures due to rising flood waters across  state WMA’s are as follows:

Dewey W. Wills WMA

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close Sandy Bayou Road and Muddy Bayou Road from Deville Crossing to Nolan Bayou Road at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) once the water level on Larto Lake reaches 42 feet mean sea level (MSL), which is expected Tuesday (Feb. 27).

In addition, the portion of Hunt Road located south of the diversion canal will be closed to all traffic once the water level on Larto Lake reaches 45 feet MSL, which is expected Friday (March 2).

Current water level for the Larto Lake Gauge is available at: http://rivergages.mvr.usace.army.mil/WaterControl/stationinfo2.cfm?sid=CE7F3AA4&fid=&dt=S 

ATV/UTV usage on the WMA will be permitted for access to Sandy Bayou Road.

Increasing water levels in the Mississippi, Black and associated river systems will create backwater flooding on these roads. Once the water recedes and conditions allow, the roads will be reopened.

Richard K. Yancey WMA

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 Dobbs Bay Road, Union Point Road, Lincecum Road, Blackhawk Road and the partial closure of Blount Road paralleling Patton Lake Loop Road.

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.

Russell Sage WMA

 The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed the main road from Ruby Road Kiosk to Ouachita Parish Landfill on Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding.

Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on this thoroughfare. Once the water recedes, the road will be reopened.

CWD Cases Now Surround Louisiana

Texas and Arkansas are no strangers to dealing with the deadly disease that is striking down whitetail herds across the nation.  Now, Mississippi is the latest state to confirm a case within its state’s deer herd.

From News Report 

JACKSON – A white-tailed deer collected on January 25, 2018, in Issaquena County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  The deer was a 4.5-year-old male that died of natural causes and was reported to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

This is the first time an animal in Mississippi has tested positive for the disease, which is fatal to white-tailed deer.  MDWFP will immediately implement the CWD Response Plan under the auspices of the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Pursuant to the Order of the Executive Director on behalf of the Commission, effectively immediately, supplemental feeding is banned in the following counties:  Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo.

CWD was first documented among captive mule deer in Colorado in 1967, and has been confirmed in 24 states, three Canadian provinces, and two foreign countries.  It has been found in the free-ranging herds in 22 states and among captive cervids in 16 states.

According to the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, CWD affects only cervids (hoofed animals in the cervidae family such as deer, elk, and moose).  CWD affects the body’s nervous system.  Once in the host’s body, prions transform normal cellular protein into an abnormal shape that accumulates until the cell ceases to function.  Infected animals begin to lose weight, lose their appetite, and develop an insatiable thirst.  They tend to stay away from herds, walk in patterns, carry their head low, salivate, and grind their teeth.

For more information regarding CWD in Mississippi, visit their website at www.mdwfp.com

Trespasser Caught By Trail Camera Photos

From News Report

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested a Bethany man for alleged criminal and hunting violations on Feb. 3 in Caddo Parish.

Agents arrested Richard Wilson Jr., 38, for resisting an officer, theft, hunting without basic and big game hunting licenses, hunting deer during illegal hours, failing to comply with deer tagging regulations, criminal trespassing, and hunting deer using illegal methods.

Agents received a tip about a man being caught on a game camera hunting at night on a private lease without permission.  Agents setup surveillance on the area and observed a man fitting the description hunting at night.  When agents approached the man and identified themselves as LDWF agents, the man fled the area on foot.

Through further investigation, agents were able to identify the man as Wilson Jr.  Agents then got a search and arrest warrant for Wilson Jr.  Upon serving the warrants and during questioning, Wilson Jr. admitted to illegally hunting at night, not possessing the required hunting licenses, stealing game cameras, and using a .17 caliber rifle to hunt deer.

Wilson Jr. also admitted to taking an antlered deer during the 2016-17 hunting season and two antlered deer during the 2017-18 hunting season all at night without tags.

Agents seized two rifles, three sets of antlers and packaged deer meat.

Hunting deer at night carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting deer using illegal methods brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting without basic and big game licenses each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for each offense.

Resisting an officer carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Theft brings up to a $3,000 fine and five years in jail.  Criminal trespassing carries a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

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

Operation Game Thief Cash Awarded

FROM NEWS REPORT

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $4,800 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on Jan. 27 in Baton Rouge.

The LOGT board reviewed 13 cases that included public tips from informants.  A total of 23 subjects were apprehended and a total of 181 offenses were written in regards to the reviewed cases.

The cases reviewed and awarded money to the public for their assistance consisted of 10 deer cases, an alligator case, and two migratory waterfowl cases.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF’s tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, tipsters can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android apps.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov.

LA and MS Work Together to Bust Night Hunters

From News Release

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents and Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) enforcement agents working on a joint operation cited two men for alleged night hunting violations on Jan. 27 in Washington Parish in Louisiana and Walthall County in Mississippi.

LDWF agents cited Holden W. Saucier, of Franklinton, La., 19, and Paul L. Page, of Poplarville, Miss., 19, for hunting deer during illegal hours with artificial light, hunting deer from a public road and hunting from a moving vehicle.

MDWFP agents also arrested Saucier and Page for spotlighting for deer, hunting from a public road, hunting from a vehicle and possession of alcohol by a minor.

LDWF agents and MDWFP agents were working in coordination after getting several complaints about night hunting in the Washington Parish and Walthall County areas.  After setting up surveillance in the area, LDWF agents observed a truck using a spotlight on the roof to shine fields first off Harvey Jefferson Rd. and then off State Line Rd.

LDWF agents notified the MDWFP agents working the Mississippi side about this behavior as the truck was going west on East Stateline Rd, which shares the border with Louisiana and Mississippi.  LDWF and MDWFP agents stopped the vehicle and found the men in possession of a spotlight, two rifles and a shotgun as well as alcohol in the vehicle.

The MDWFP agents seized the vehicle, spotlight and firearms and booked the men into the Walthall County Jail.

Hunting deer during illegal hours with artificial light in Louisiana brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a vehicle in Louisiana carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting deer from a public road in Louisiana brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Spotlighting for deer in Mississippi brings a $2,000 to $5,000 fine.  Hunting from a public road and from a moving vehicle in Mississippi each carries a $100 to $500 fine.

Leesville Man Caught Hunting at Night with Crossbow

From News Report

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested a Leesville man for alleged deer hunting violations on Dec. 21, 2017.

Agents arrested Heriberto Garcia, Jr., 49, for taking deer during illegal hours with artificial light, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and failing to comply with harvest report requirements.

Agents received a complaint on Dec. 20 about Garcia Jr. possibly hunting at night.  According to the complaint, Garcia would frequently park his truck at his hunting lease gate near Simpson and walk to his deer stand where he would stay several hours after dark.

Agents set up surveillance around 8 p.m. on Dec. 20 and observed that Garcia did not return to his vehicle until nearly 7 a.m. the following morning.  Agents made contact with Garcia and after questioning he admitted to shooting a buck sometime around midnight.  After shooting the deer, he stayed in his stand until daylight to give the impression that he legally harvested the deer in the morning.

He also admitted to shooting a doe during legal shooting hours on Dec. 9 and records show he failed to tag or validate this deer.

Agents then reviewed Garcia’s game camera, which had a video of Garcia shooting at another deer with his crossbow on Dec. 16 at 4:09 a.m.

Agents seized Garcia’s crossbow, bolts and eight point buck.  Garcia was booked into the Vernon Parish Jail.

Taking deer during illegal Hours with artificial light brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging and harvest report requirements each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

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

Security Guards Caught Night Hunting on the Job

From News Release 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three people for alleged night hunting violations in Terrebonne Parish on Jan. 6.

Agents cited Terry Hebert, 51, Clarence Thibodaux, 47, and Lacy Thibodaux, 29, all of Thibodaux, for hunting deer during illegal hours and for hunting from a moving vehicle.  Terry Hebert was also cited for illegal spotlighting from a public roadway.  Clarence Thibodaux was also cited for hunting across a public roadway.

Agents learned about security guards at the Modern American Recycling Services (MARS), located in Gibson, placing bait under street lights to attract deer and hunting them at night.  Agents learned the security guards would either set up on the bait after dark or patrol by vehicle slowly with lights off looking for deer.

Agents set up surveillance in various strategic locations around the baited area and were able to observe night hunting activities take place several nights. Just prior to midnight on Jan. 6, agents made contact with the three subjects when they were actively engaged in night hunting activities.

Agents seized two rifles with scopes.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle and hunting across a public roadway each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense. The fine for spotlighting from a public road is set by each judicial district accordingly.

Man Cited for Not Using Tags and Taking over the Limit

From News Report 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Jamestown man for alleged deer hunting violations on Dec. 29, 2017 in Bienville Parish.
Agents cited Kevin L. Woodall, 45, for taking over the daily bag limit of antlerless deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.
Agents received a complaint about Woodall harvesting two antlerless deer on the same day.  Agents met up with Woodall for questioning where he confessed to harvesting two antlerless deer during the same day.
He also said he harvested a total of five deer this deer season without validating the harvest or filling out the harvest card.  Agent further revealed that Woodall used an antlered tag on an antlerless deer he harvested.
Hunters are allowed to harvest one antlered and one antlerless deer per day for this area of the state.
Taking over the daily bag limit of deer brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
Woodall may also face civil restitution totaling $1,624 for the replacement value of the illegally taken antlerless deer that put him over the daily bag limit.