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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 .

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.

Essentials for Public Land Success

Having the right gear when hunting public land can be the difference in having a season of successful hunts or a season of short hunts because your feet are freezing and you’re tired of only seeing squirrels. Growing up, I lived on Turkey Creek which spoiled me to some of the best public duck hunting around. As a result, I was never too interested in going with my Dad and Grandpa to sit in a cold tree and freeze to death to probably see nothing. Finally, 8 years ago after a friend kept insisting that I go bowhunting with him, I reluctantly I went. Needless to say I can count on two hands how many duck hunts I have made since that first deer hunt.

A Little About Me

I was fortunate enough to have some early success and have been hooked ever since. I never thought anything could beat a group of green heads working into a cypress break. Boy was I wrong! Nothing beats the rush of drawing back on a whitetail buck and hearing the shwack of the arrow passing through.  Then the sound of him busting through that palmetto and crashing is enough to give me chills! A passion for bowhunting began to grow in my soul. Being alone in the woods just me, God, and His creation chasing after one of the most elusive big game animals on the North American continent. I even love the countless hours shooting in the heat of the summer getting prepared and the time spent with family and friends. I loved it all.

Gotta Start Somewhere

For the most part I had to start from scratch when it came to hunting whitetails. There where a lot of things I didn’t know about bowhunting public land. I learned a lot of them the hard way, by doing them myself and figuring out what worked and what didn’t. At first, I thought I didn’t need any fancy equipment, just my dad’s old Mathews Q2. His old heavy climber and my duck hunting camo would surely make me good to go too. That was enough to get me started and is what I was using when I killed my first ole’ slickhead. That being said you don’t need much to get started or even to put together a successful hunt or two. To be your most efficient year after year and able to walk long distances and sit longer hours, which you’ll find are the life blood of a successful hunt on public land, many of my tactics and equipment had to change.

Public vs. Private

Hunting public land is very different than hunting a lease or club. There is very limited ATV access. You can’t use permanent stands or cut shooting lanes. Not to mention the added hunting pressure which forces you to sometimes walk up to 3 miles or more just to get away from other hunters and previous hunting pressure. I’ve had several friends who are good bowhunters on private land come hunting on public with me and by the time we got to the stand they where panting in exhaustion and ringing wet with sweat because they had made one or both of these mistakes: they had on the wrong clothing (usually cotton) and they were packing a heavy stand and tons of gear. A lot of extra work and forethought goes into hunting public land. To me it’s well worth the reward when you finally connect with the buck you’ve been looking for.

The Evolution

In my early stages of bowhunting I didn’t feel like I needed special clothing just to hunt in. For warm weather just any old camo shirt and pants with some boots would do. For cold weather basically the same thing but just layer up as much as I needed to stay warm. When bowhunting on public land it is extremely important to be able to stay dry and comfortable while still being able to draw your bow. The more comfortable and the better prepared you are to battle the elements, the longer you will be able to sit in the stand. Thin, breathable,non cotton layers are key to this. Most people who are consistently successful at killing mature deer on public land have one thing in common: They put in extra time in the tree. You can’t kill them if you’re not there. You also can’t kill them if you are there but shivering profusely or have been sweating like a pig and stink to high heaven. A lot of you are probably like me and get to hunt mostly on weekends. Regardless of the forecast you have to be in the woods.

Increasing your odds is the name of the game. Pack the proper gear, light and easy to carry. Wear the right clothes to keep your body temperature regulated and sweat to a minimum. Soon you too will find yourself out of the stand and taking photos behind a big Louisiana public land buck, no matter the weather.

 

Chris’ Equipment List

Bow– Mathews Chill-R

Stand– Summit Viper Elite/  Millenium M100 with Wild Edge Stepp Ladder Stystem

CamoSitka Optifade Elevated 2

Essentials- Thermacell, Garmin Alpha 100 GPS, Face Paint (non oil based), SafetyHarness

 

 

Chris Williams- LABH Contributor (Winnsboro, LA)

Possible Bear Sighting Near Lake Charles

Daryl Arsement, an avid bow hunter from Sulphur, caught something on camera he says he didn’t think existed in Calcasieu Parish… black bears! Daryl was out checking cameras, doing some preseason scouting, and trimming lanes on July 15th at his deer lease near Gillis. Gillis is a small town located in central Calcasieu Parish, about 20 miles North of Lake Charles.

Trail cam photo from Daryl Arsement

“I left this particular camera out last hunting season and hadn’t been back to check it since. The battery was long dead when I pulled the card today. In fact, it died 13 days after the bear picture. I checked the pictures on my phone using a card reader while I was out there and thought at first glance it was just a huge hog. I had only noticed the one to the far left. After passing the picture around to a few lease members by text we soon agreed on the conclusion that we were looking at 3 black bears. A big one on the left, a little one in the middle, and another one’s face can be seen clearly on the right. That one on the right was the one for me that positively identified them as bears.”

Arsement stated that he nor anyone else on the lease had seen any previous sign or reason to suspect that a bear, much less 3 bears where living on their property.

While Calcasieu Parish lies well within the historic range of the Louisiana black bear, sightings are extremely rare. Their primary documented breeding range is well to the east along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers and the delta to the south.

LA Black Bear Known Range and Sightings Map Credit: Robert Greco, USFWS.

As a result of intensive work from Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries along with multiple non-profit and government organizations, Louisiana’s black bears have recovered from as few as 80 animals in an isolated corner of the state to a population today that could number as many as 1,000 healthy thriving black bears.

I know what you’re thinking. The conservation and restoration effort is a storybook and textbook display of success but hunters won’t be getting a crack at them anytime soon, says the department. They must first determine that the population is sustainable without the endangered species listing which was removed in 2016.

While these sure look like bears we won’t know for certain until LADWF biologists can do a little investigating. What do you think?

 

 

Justin Lanclos- Founder/Editor

If you come across any interesting trail cam photos or other outdoor stories please send them to info@louisianabowhunter.com

 

LDWF Reminder to Not Disturb Fawns

From Press Release

Though they may appear to be vulnerable and in need of assistance, unattended white-tailed deer fawns encountered in the wild should not be disturbed, according to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) biologists. LDWF is reminding the public the best practice is to leave them alone and to remember it is against the law to capture young deer or any other wild animal.

Newborn fawns rely on their spotted coats and concealment during the first few weeks of life. Does will forage nearby and return periodically to nurse the young fawn. The lack of flight and hiding strategy phase of a newborn fawn often creates the illusion of abandonment. However, as fawns grow and develop, they will begin to forage for food alongside the mother.

Every year LDWF receives calls from concerned citizens who have found what they consider to be an abandoned deer fawn. If caught transporting or possessing wild deer or other wild animals without a permit, individuals may be subject to citations and fines.

Quiet departure from the area is recommended if a fawn is encountered. This action will provide the young deer the best chance to survive in the wild and prevent a possible citation.

Louisiana’s deer herd has a wide range of breeding dates depending on the location within the state. Fawning typically occurs from April thru August, occurring earliest in southwest Louisiana followed by north central and northwest Louisiana. The latest fawning occurs along the Mississippi River parishes and parts of southeast Louisiana.

For more information, contact LDWF Deer Program Manager Johnathan Bordelon at 225-765-2344 or jbordelon@wlf.la.gov.

A Bright Future for Louisiana Archers

215 schools in Louisiana with over 40,000 4th-12th graders are involved in the ALAS program. (Archery in Louisiana Schools) 23 of these schools with 349 student archers recently made the trip to Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky to compete for $105,000 in scholarships. They did so by qualifying at the state level in Shreveport recently where $20,000 in scholarships was awarded. Students compete in an international style tournament where they release 15 arrows at 10 meters towards a bullseye target, and then 15 more arrows at the same target 15 meters away. Students then shoot at 6 different 3-D animal targets set up at angles from yardages between 10 and 15 meters.

For the second year in a row a Louisiana school has brought home a National Championship.  Last year, Benton Middle School brought home Louisiana’s first ever National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) National Championship in the bullseye competition.  This year Benton Elementary School brought home the honor in the Elementary Division, beating out 179 other schools from across the country.

Benton Elementary, National Champions

Kingston Elementary School placed 2nd in bullseye behind neighboring Benton Elementary.  Kingston also placed 2nd in the NASP/IBO 3-D portion of the NASP National Tournament.  Kingston finished just 25 points behind Benton in bullseye and only 22 back of the National Champion in 3-D.

On the individual side; Aiden Jones of Haughton Middle School shot the highest score ever by a Louisiana archer at the NASP National Tournament.  Aiden shot a 297, just 3 points shy of a perfect score. Two other Louisiana archers won individual awards at the event.  Hannah McKenzie of Benton Elementary placed 3rd among elementary school females in bullseye and 5th in 3-D.  Madeline Lowry, also of Benton Elementary, placed 4th in 3-D.

Other top ten finishes for Louisiana teams and archers were: Benton Middle School – 4th Place – Bullseye, Benton Elementary School – 5th Place – 3-D, Benton High School – 10th Place -3-D, Thomas Allen – Kingston Elem. – 6th Place Elem Boys – Bullseye & 7th place Elem Boys – 3-D, and Ava Searcy – Kingston Elem. – 9th place Elem Girls – 3-D.

Aiden Jones, Haughton Middle

 

Aiden has been doing 4H for 3 years and is where he was introduced to archery. “I really liked it even though 187 was my first score from earlier this year. I was the worst person on the team,” he laughed.  “But I just kept practicing and getting better and better. I’ve got big indention in my fingers from shooting so much,” Aiden explained.

“I’m gonna start bow hunting this year with my Dad. I’m really looking forward to that!” Aiden also added that being a part of a team and shooting with his friends is his favorite part of being involved in ALAS.

 

 

Three Louisiana student archers have been named to the NASP All-American Academic teams including:  Thomas Allen – Kingston Elementary, Hannah McKenzie – Benton Elementary, and Aiden Jones – Haughton Middle School.  Many of these same students will move on to compete at the NASP World Tournament in Orlando, Florida in July.

The ALAS/NASP program is available to ALL schools in Louisiana, public and private. Grants are available to assist with funding.  Not only does ALAS and NASP put every child on an even playing field but its not expensive to get into. Please encourage your local shop to carry this equipment as 43% of student archers in the program buy bowhunting bows and 34% of the students express interest in bowhunting. There is an opportunity here for everyone! For more information regarding the ALAS program, please contact us at info@louisianabowhunter.com or Eric Shanks at eshanks@wlf.la.gov  or (225)765-2355.