LDWF Proposes Changes to Deer Season for 17-18

From LDWF News Report:

Jan. 6, 2017 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted notices of intent for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 hunting seasons, 2017-18 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, Experimental Dove Field Leasing Program, 2018 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2017-18 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations at its January meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
The notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons and provide for a public comment period.

Some of the proposed changes include:

·         Change in deer seasons in Deer Areas 4 and 10, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest. Also changing season limits in these areas from a limit of six (not to exceed three antlered or four antlerless), to a limit of three (not to exceed two antlered or two antlerless).

·         Change in deer seasons for Deer Area 7, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest while still maintaining the six deer season limit.

·         Modification to water level benchmark closure language to facilitate reopening the season at a lower level than the closure level in Deer Area 5.

·         Adding water level benchmark closure and reopening language for certain roads on Dewey Wills WMA.

·         Change in reporting time period for the validation of deer and turkey tags from seven days to 72 hours following harvest of deer or turkey.

·         Implementation of shot restrictions for dove hunters on WMAs and on LDWF leased dove fields, restricting shot to non-toxic shot, size 6 and smaller.

·         Removal of restrictions on weapons that can be carried by deer hunters during primitive seasons on private lands.

·         Addition of Small Game Emphasis Area to Pomme de Terre WMA.

·         Addition of available days of opportunity within the Small Game Emphasis Areas on Richard K. Yancey and Sherburne WMAs.

·         Addition of youth squirrel season on Pomme de Terre and Grassy Lake WMAs, to be held the fourth Saturday of September for two days.

·         Elimination of live transport permits for feral hogs during February hog dog seasons on WMAs.

·         Modification of opening day of statewide turkey season from the last Saturday of March to the first Saturday of April.

·         Modification of teal season to change from the last three weekends in September to the last 16 days of September.

·         Change in daily bag limit for pintail from two to one.

·         Change in youth age requirements for youth waterfowl seasons, from 15 years of age and younger to 17 years of age and younger.

·         Elimination of Experimental Quality Deer seasons on WMAs.

·         Adjustments to deer seasons on Bodcau, Bayou Macon, Boeuf and Dewey W. Wills WMAs.

·         Addition of opportunity for youth deer and squirrel hunting on Kisatchie National Forest.

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from February through March and/or can be submitted in writing by mail to: Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m., March 5, 2017.

LDWF will also collect public comment at public hearings to be held Feb. 20-March 1 throughout the state. Locations and times for those meetings will be announced later this month.

79 replies
  1. Trinity S. Hillestad
    Trinity S. Hillestad says:

    I want to see a draw or somthing implemented on all WMA’s where the locals within that parish are first to have a chance to hunt their own WMA’s. Year after year we see people coming into our WMA and disrespect the land and the locals trespass on property’s it’s really becoming a problem with congested hunting areas and the theft of game or poor retrieval of downed game being common also conflict with hunters also common as a hunter that wants to see my children and future generations of the locals have a place to hunt if something isn’t changed WMA’s where an influx of outside hunters are coming into our WMA’s will continue to degrade along with our limited available game.

    Reply
    • Michael Hatten
      Michael Hatten says:

      Wma’s are public land so when you say ours it includes everyone I understand trespassing and local authorities should be gotten involved with that issue or littering but all louisianaians pay for refuges unless federal and then all u.s. citizens pay I hunt refuges and understand the crowd and just have to do the best I can and am thankful we have them have a great day

      Reply
    • Beau Vige'
      Beau Vige' says:

      I vehemently disagree with trespassing, littering, breaking of game laws and disrespecting other hunters. It needs to be dealt with accordingly. However, State WMA’s are just that, State, meaning the entire state hunting population supports them and has access to them. Restricting access parish by parish is a silly notion. That would actually disallow some folks in certain parishes to not be able to hunt public at all possibly.

      Reply
    • Trevor
      Trevor says:

      So us hunters that live in the coastal area that have no WMA’s within an hour drive should do what? Maybe we should only let people who live along the coast fish salt water species. It’s called Louisiana public land. Believe me, I wish I could deer hunt out my back door and not have to drive two or three hours to hunt

      Reply
    • Dustin Wilbanks
      Dustin Wilbanks says:

      I love this idea. Keep the out of towners, out of town as much as possible. They’ve done killed off all the deer in their areas so they come up here and kill off all ours. I’ve found several deer gutshot and otherwise bad shots after the famous die days on boeuf. It sickens me.

      Reply
      • Roy
        Roy says:

        Yes this is exactly what I mean thank you wilbanks. People coming up there to kill a 40 pound fawns and buttin head bucks is not getting much meat at all, they say they hunt for the meat and not the horns Bulls***. All they want to do is kill something and that’s it. And if it doesn’t fall right there then Oh well. It’s ridiculous to walk around and see dead deer and crippled deer all over the place.

        Reply
        • Rob
          Rob says:

          Then let’s just use the taxes paid by the area residents to be used only at that WMA and see how fast these WMA’s have to be closed or sold and then you’d have no place to hunt or you would have to come and hunt in someone else’s parish. These are STATE WMA’s not your private hunting lease, the only alternative for you is to pay and join a hunting club.

          Reply
  2. Chris Comeaux
    Chris Comeaux says:

    I would like to see something put in for area 6 on size restrictions like we had numerous years back. The 6 point or better rule for the 3 years we had it really increased our odds of killing 4 1/2 year old deer and better. Now we are right back where we were before the 3 year program because of certain clubs shooting anything that walks. Hopefully something can get put back in place.

    Reply
    • Kiefer
      Kiefer says:

      I believe the entire state should be four on one side or better like parts of MO and IL. Also the season limit of deer needs to be reduced or at LEAST divided amongst methods of take. We would see an unbelievable increase in deer population and quality. Allowing everyone in the state to kill six deer a year with a high powered rifle is just ridiculous the deer don’t stand a chance

      Reply
  3. Guy Bell
    Guy Bell says:

    Why not go down to a shorter rifle season with 4 deer per season and a Antler Restriction like Arkansas has so we can have a decent deer herd in Louisiana . Why not a 40 day rifle season

    Reply
    • Michael
      Michael says:

      How about instad we have a size restriction. Nothing smaller than 4 on one side. Limit do tags to being used only on doe days, which would be maybe 10 days total. Shorten dog season to the last 21 days of open still hunt. Youth hunt dys would be the exception. Just my thoughts. Never been a horn hunter, but am tryinf to use restraint. Hard to do with leases allowing anythin with hair to be shot.

      Reply
    • Kiefer
      Kiefer says:

      Louisiana needs an antler restriction, less tags per year and divided between the three methods of take, with a FAR shorter rifle season. I believe 40 days is even too long. We should have four weekends MAXIMUM for high powered rifles I think 9 days would be best for the herd. Hunting is becoming more and more popular every year something needs to be done soon

      Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      More like just dnt give 60 tags to dmap hunters , while we are limited to 6, i haven’t shot a deer in 2 years, while ppl on dmap get to slaughter them!

      Reply
  4. Guy Bell
    Guy Bell says:

    I hunt in Arkansas and Louisiana I see more deer and better bucks in Arkansas. I hunt Area 2 in Louisiana we have 79 days of Modern Gun or Rifle season whatever you want to call it. They need to cut in down to 40 days and drop our limit from 6 to 4 deer 2 bucks and 2 does or 4 does and go to a 3 points on one side for bucks. If the state would do that it would give the young bucks a chance to grow and our deer herd would improve

    Reply
  5. David Fontenot
    David Fontenot says:

    So let’s get this straight because the WMA is in your parish the locals contribute more taxes than the sportsman thru out the rest of the state do! I always thought hunting license,firearms,ammo, etc. taxes fund the up keep of state wma properties.

    Reply
  6. Jody Maricle
    Jody Maricle says:

    It’s not the hunting season that is the problem it all the people spot lighting if they can get a handle on that are deer population would be just fine

    Reply
  7. Trevor
    Trevor says:

    Rifle season is too long, muzzle loader season should be actual muzzle loaders, rifle season needs to drastically be reduced, and our limits are entirely too liberal. Look at the states that consistently produce quality deer on public land and compare season lengths and method of kill.

    Reply
  8. Larry McMorris
    Larry McMorris says:

    I would like to see coon hunting allowed on all WMA as to be able to hunt with a coon dog from October tru May it’s been studies done that prove coon hunting has no effect on deer hunting allow hunter to start hunting 1 hr after sunset and 3hr before sunrise also dogs must be equipped with tracking and shocking systems as to assure hunter can retrieve and handle dog when time to go home

    Reply
    • Kiefer
      Kiefer says:

      I think all we would see much better results with four on one side restrictions because many deer are six pts with their first set of horns. Spikes should be considered antlerless to cull out weak genetics

      Reply
    • Jason Couvillion
      Jason Couvillion says:

      I agree 100% with what your saying. Either sex with primitive shouldn’t be allowed after Thanksgiving. Also to many young bucks taken on WMA.

      Reply
  9. Cody carroll
    Cody carroll says:

    Area 2 needs 2 bucks 3 on one side and 2 does. We need to have the exact same schedule at Arkansas they have a way better deer heard than we do.

    Reply
  10. Dustin
    Dustin says:

    I’d like to see deer and hog dogs shut down in area 5 for 5 years with a 6 point buck or better restrictions. It’s unreal how many people and mutts run through there every year. regardless off hunting season or not,dogs are constantly running the deer to death and the hunters tend to shoot everything that moves.

    Reply
    • Chad
      Chad says:

      Amen to that brother. I can’t still hunt within a quater mile of my camp without having dogs barking and people hollering in the woods pushing everything away. We are given 3 doe days before dogs open. Then dog hunters have 3 weekends to kill does. The still hunters should at least be able to actually have a chance to get meat before the dogs push everything out of the area.

      Reply
      • Ray Rhodes
        Ray Rhodes says:

        So a dog running “A” deer from another area/property runs deer on your property out? Dog hunting has been here longer than we have been alive. I still hunt the same areas we ran the same day and see deer. I know people who bow hunt food plots that dogs ran across 2-3hrs prior that have killed by class deer. Dog season is tradition. Have you ever been deer hunting with dogs? Good thing opinions don’t always equal knowledge.

        Reply
        • Chad
          Chad says:

          I have good amounts of deer on camera before dogs open up. Once them dogs hit the woods we see no more sign and nothing else on camera. Good thing opinions don’t always equal knowledge.

          Reply
        • Jordan Carpenter
          Jordan Carpenter says:

          You ain’t ever lied I think it’s b.s. how they cut out deer dogs for us in area 2 I’m like you I don’t think it pushes them out it just get them up and moving

          Reply
        • Jordan Carpenter
          Jordan Carpenter says:

          They should give us a few buck day so we can thin out the does it never tells I alway see does more then buck every year I probably see 50 does to 1 buck

          Reply
  11. Justen James
    Justen James says:

    2 buck tags and 2 doe tags until we build the deer herd back up. Then we could go back to 3 and 3. No does harvested after December 1st bc they could be pregnant. And a antler restriction 4 or 6 pts or better. Louisiana has potential for a lot of big bucks. Just needs better management.

    Reply
    • Matt.
      Matt. says:

      Agree totally. Had bucks running does yesterday morning. Couldn’t get shot on buck. But he breeds her today, why kill her tomorrow. No does killed after January 1

      Reply
  12. Chuck bailey
    Chuck bailey says:

    Please do not push turkey opening day ahead a week! The breeding time has been over the two last weeks of season for the past several years. If anything it needs to open a week earlier!

    Reply
  13. april gallagher
    april gallagher says:

    there needs to be more than two days a season of wheelchair bound deer hunting i am a wheelchair bound person an i personally love to hunt.

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan says:

      I wonder why they want to eliminate the experimental quality buck season on WMAs? I sure hope they leave that in place.

      Reply
  14. Brian
    Brian says:

    I would like the fact of less tags and antler restrictions state wide on all lands private and public not to necessarily increase the numbers but the quality and size of deer being taken after all I don’t think anyone needs to take six deer a year too many young deer being taken and too much poaching going on stricter sentences for poachers would be a plus mandatory take their Equiptment fines and jail time with loss of license for 5 years

    Reply
  15. Johnny Teekell
    Johnny Teekell says:

    Arkansas has always had a better deer herd than we do in north Louisiana. They also have issues of CWD in that state, as does Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and several other states that our state is often compared to. I want bigger and older deer to shoot at like most other people do. The biologists should be making recommendations on the way to achieve the age of the herd and size deer some are wanting to have to shoot. I read a study done in Mississippi, for the three years after they had implemented antler restrictions, and overall size of antlers went down. Be careful what you ask for.

    Reply
    • larry parker
      larry parker says:

      i live in Louisiana and have hunted in east texas for years and since they went to more restriction on bucks they are killing some monsters there now ..Louisiana i doubt will ever do it …….. only places we have with good deer populationshere is where its privately managed ….

      Reply
    • John Cunningham
      John Cunningham says:

      Exactly Johnny. The problem isn’t with the number of days or tags it’s with the “Hunters” who can’t let anything pass with horns on it and won’t shoot any does. We have plenty of deer. I’ve seen more deer killed this year than ever before. There are more people hunting than ever. It’s great that new people are hunting they need to be educated in the ways of the woods though. It’s not just see and kill.
      Back to your point Johnny. Wildlife and Fisheries will send somebody out to do a browse study at your property. Take advantage of it and find out what your deer are lacking in their diet. You will get a healthier, bigger, better herd. You are correct: Be careful what you wish for. You WILL want to change it back if you get it.

      Reply
      • Chad
        Chad says:

        Eliminate completely on state land if anyone is worried about the herd or having good bucks. If any dogs at all I believe it should be on private land only.

        Reply
  16. Jeff Fuller
    Jeff Fuller says:

    I would like to see it go back to the way it was 10-15 years ago. This either sex anyway of the week is what has killed out our deer population. I hunt private land on area 2 and our neighbors shoot whatever walks. We went from seeing deer all the time to not seeing a deer. If anything needs to be done it’s bucks only with certain doe days.

    Reply
    • Jordan Carpenter
      Jordan Carpenter says:

      I think What they need to do is swap that around we’re over ran by does we need less buck days to grow bigger buck

      Reply
  17. bernard daniels
    bernard daniels says:

    Enough about Deer they need to open a season on these Black Bear I hunt in area 7 and we are being over run by these bears. In the last 3 yrs I have seen an average of 6 different bears a year, so that makes a total of 18 bears. To me they are no longer endangered.

    Reply
  18. bernard daniels
    bernard daniels says:

    1 more thing they need to let area 7 season stay open later, about time it starts to get cold our season is over no real rut. Maybe let the season go until last weekend in January.

    Reply
  19. Micheal Ainsworth
    Micheal Ainsworth says:

    LDWF should try to improve the quality of the state’s deer herd. If they don’t know how they could ask our neighboring states for some advice. It seems their main goal is just selling hunting license.

    Reply
  20. Kiefer
    Kiefer says:

    I believe the entire state should be four on one side or better. At LEAST on all WMAs but I’d like to see it for the entire state. Also the season limit of deer NEEDS to be reduced AND tags need to be divided amongst methods of take. Allowing everyone in the state to kill six deer a year with a THREE MONTH Modern firearm season is simply RIDICULOUS the deer don’t stand a chance

    Reply
  21. Clint Giddens
    Clint Giddens says:

    We need to go to a state wide antler management there is to many small bucks being killed that would be good deer. It would not hurt my feelings if we closed the season for 2 years, let some of these small bucks grow doe heard would be back up in numbers and a total heard growth for the hole state. Just my thoughts!!!

    Reply
  22. Gerald Jones
    Gerald Jones says:

    Why not ban all dog hunting for deer so our her numbers can come back up. Every year our deer numbers go down and it’s harder to see a deer with dogs season right in the middle of the rut. All this does is push the deer farther into the swamps and makes it almost impossible to hunt them because they turn nocturnal. Especially in area 9 in atchafalaya basin after the floods last year and year before our deer herd has taken a tremendous hit from not only the flood but being stress even more by being run by dog hunters on a daily basis and killing large numbers of deer during this time. All I hear is we aren’t seeing deer like we used to back in the day. If the wildlife and fisheries doesn’t do anything soon our deer herds will continue to suffer.
    Another issue is the opening of hog dog season on February 1st on attackapas Wma. This is during the peak of the 2nd rut and there are guys running dogs everywhere. I don’t have anything against running hog dogs but at least wait until now season is over to give us hunters a chance to hunt the rut without dogs pushing the deer out of the area. The entire season first rut and second rut is almost impossible to hunt in our areas because of this dog problem.

    Reply
  23. Mike w
    Mike w says:

    Eliminate the either sex season, go back to doe days, antler restrictions, muzzleloader season of actual muzzleloading firearms, shorten the length of rifle seasons.

    Reply
  24. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    Antler restrictions? ? I could care less about anylers. I hunt to eat not to take trophies. You want trophies. ..go to another state or get on a managed lease. Some of us depend on the deer as it is meant to be…food for our families. No …I don’t go out and slaughter deer just to say I killed something. .usually 2-3 per year and I am trying to instill hunting into my kids. It’s hard to tell them…you can’t shoot that buck because it only has this many points. The response would probably be…well I dependent want tomato hunt anymore. Just from a meat hunter not a horn or trophy hunter.

    Reply
    • Butch Barbier
      Butch Barbier says:

      I agree.If you want to kill six point are better you do that.If you want a shorter season hang up your gun earlier.Just because you have too many days off and are able to hunt more doesn’t mean everyone does.

      Reply
  25. T brown
    T brown says:

    Need too shorten the deer season for gun totally all over the state , three months way too long. Limits way too liberal.

    Reply
  26. Mike
    Mike says:

    Antler restrictions might be good above Alexandria and East of the Mississippi but in southwest Louisiana it would be terrible. In Allen Parish you may hunt all year and not see a deer. Some areas sadly you have to shoot the first thing you see if you want any meat.

    Reply
  27. Beau Vige'
    Beau Vige' says:

    I’m good with the reduction of the season limit in area 4. Also, the NWR that I hung has already gone to either sex for the entire season which may be good idea however I think the herd needs to be more closely monitored to understand the results of such a change.

    Reply
  28. Weston Salter
    Weston Salter says:

    All some of us do is rifle hunt. I don’t think there should be a change to the amount of days to 40 days. That just minimizes the chances for those who can’t afford to bow hunt or aren’t physically able to bow hunt. Just change the limit from 6 to 4 per year. And make it to where the buck

    Reply
  29. Charlie Dupuis
    Charlie Dupuis says:

    Non toxic shot for dove season on leased or ldwf land is silly, why would that even be brought up other than a political move? I’ve hunted dove in Mexico and Nicaragua lead shot is not a problem nor was I’d ever a problem. One only needs to make a hint down there to prove what I just said.

    Reply
  30. Brandon Wilbanks
    Brandon Wilbanks says:

    I’m not a fan of the point restrictions mainly because of younger hunters to whom a 5pt would be a trophy. By reducing the limit from 3 and 3 to 2 and 2 hunters would be much more selective allowing more younger bucks to walk. As for turkey season it already opens at least one maybe a couple weeks too late. The last two weekends of the season your hard pressed to even hear a bird much less work one

    Reply
    • Jimmy Greer
      Jimmy Greer says:

      I want to say i hunt la. and ark. and i see what ark. has vs. la. one of the problems i see is there is always a certain percentage of people that don’t never tag a deer or they don’t ever call em in to report. I know in ark before you remove your kill from the woods you tag it there on the spot, You wear your orange vest and cap to the stand and you keep it on while hunting even in the stand. You don’t have a loaded gun in your vehicle on any road there either. They will make a believer out of you up there because they have the man power to enforce the law like it suppose to be. They also have a horn restriction and a shorter gun season. I guess thats why they have so many deer vs what la. has. I know everyone has an opinion on this matter but this is mine. We also have guys in our area thats on several different hunting clubs that think they can kill 3 bucks off each club during the year. That aint the way the law reads and you have some that that rather kill the number of deer than kill a good quality buck. So till they come to some kind of conclusion on what to do la. will always be behind from what other states are doing to maintain good deer hunting.

      Reply
  31. Jody Mancil
    Jody Mancil says:

    When did so many hunters turn into such well informed biologists? I don’t like the fact that killing a 150 class buck is very rare in our state but I also understand genetics and habit play a much greater role than any restrictions that can be imposed. As a nation we just voted against government intervention and restrictions in our lives but to read the comments here it sounds like a bunch of self serving liberals wanting to tell me and every other hunter how, where, what, and when to hunt. This is the greatest country in the world because of FREEDOM. Get a degree in biology AND deer management, then politely give your opinion.

    Reply
  32. Jimmy
    Jimmy says:

    Look where our country is today with all the highly College educated folks. And mr Jody wants to throw his bias opinion calling uneducated deer biologist. They just wanted our opinions and and we the hunter are giving our opinion. Not everyone has a college education that sits in the office and plays with a bunch of numbers and tells us how many deer we have. Most of us hunters stays in the woods year round you don’t see what we see and you think you have it all figured out. Most of us that hunt doesn’t hunt on public land most of us hunts on leased land. And when timber companies comes in and clear cuts these areas there is nothing we can do. Every season a lot of us are left out in a bald open clear cut where you can see for miles. Makes it frustrating to hunt these area so we go to the wmas. Yes we would all like to kill a trophy buck but they will never ever grow unless you let em go. So figure that out smarty pants.

    Reply
  33. Clint
    Clint says:

    I hunt southeast Louisiana, I agree antler restrictions should be in place, to help increase herd age. We have no agriculture here like the Mid East! Timber companies cut all the hard woods and replace with pine trees. Deer can’t grow good rack by eating pine needles! We need more mature hardwood this would help. Also where ever you hunt atleast 10% of land should be planted in foods plots year round! I wish they would cut season back. They are cutting amount taken in my area area 4 next year. Time will tell

    Reply
  34. Scotty Garvan
    Scotty Garvan says:

    How come the Hunters on here making theses comments, just change your clubs rules and regulations, I hunt in the old Jackson/ Bienville WMA which is now at least one of the tracts is Calhoun Bottom Hunting Club ourselves along with the other 2 Tracts have all agreed to kill 3.5 year old deer or older, you turn in your jaws, if it’s found out you killed one younger you pay a hefty fine, we have check in station where you weigh deer and measure it. You can Police your on club without messing with others, I personally love the length of our season because I enjoy going to woods to watch Gods Creation and getting away, Take a Child Hunting and Enjoy yourself, and that can be accomplished without even killing a thing!!

    Reply
  35. Vince Guillory
    Vince Guillory says:

    There were many negative comments about college educated LDWF biologists with many years of experience managing wildlife populations. Am I to assume that every hunter would be a better manager than professionals?

    Reply
  36. Nicholas
    Nicholas says:

    I would love to see an antler restriction done. I hunt public land 90% of my time hunting. I would like to be able to go put there and sit and see several deer every time I go hunting like you do up north. Guys the ones that want it aren’t just trying to kill trophy deer. Are looking after the deer herd also the long a buck lives the more he can breed does which means more deer to have. I’m not a trophy hunter by any means I support my family and my grandparents with deer meat cause my grandfather had a bad stroke and can’t hunt. I usually kill 3 or 4 a year. I would love to see gun season cut down to 2 or 3 weeks long and muzzle loader season should be a actual muzzle loader. I would like to see the use of a crossbow cut down from just anyone to mirrors and handicap people only. I would like to see deer tags dropped down to 4 instead of 6. Another on the antler restriction is mirrors should be allowed one buck tag of choice.

    Reply
  37. Matt
    Matt says:

    Area 4 needs to be split from some of the Florida parishes I hunt in st Francisville an see deer almost every hunt our club has restrictions about shooting immature bucks and small does we also plant high protine food and for us to be compared with the eastern Florida parishes is wrong!

    Reply

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