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 .