Hunting

LDWF Conducting Three Waterfowl Telemetry Projects to Gain Better Understanding of Species Movements and Habitat Use

Release Date: 05/20/2019

White-fronted geese released after being tagged.
LDWF's Paul Link captures white-fronted goose for telemetry tagging.

May 20, 2019 – Research is a key component in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) management of the Bayou State’s natural resources. To that end, LDWF’s Waterfowl Section is currently conducting three telemetry projects aimed at better understanding life habits and routines of three species important to Louisiana hunters.
 
“The data gathered are invaluable in monitoring nesting birds, determining pathways of potential disease spread and identifying habitats in need of protection or management to enhance populations,’’ LDWF Waterfowl Program Manager Larry Reynolds said. “They may also help us to manage hunting activity to improve harvest opportunity while protecting populations.’’
 
The species targeted in the three telemetry projects are mottled ducks, blue-winged teal and white-fronted geese, or speckle bellies. LDWF is providing funding and staff, in addition to coordinating with other partners on these projects.
 
These projects use cutting-edge technology with solar powered GPS/GSM transmitters. The units collect GPS coordinates, motion and environmental data, which is transmitted via cell-phone towers to researchers, allowing them to determine the birds’ precise location, activity, flight speed, direction and altitude.
 
“These new telemetry units allow researchers to determine what specific habitats birds use during certain times of the day and different seasons of the year, such as breeding vs. molting vs. wintering or hunting vs. non-hunting, and throughout their fall and spring migrations,’’ Reynolds said. “They allow us to see how long marked birds spend in different geographic regions or different habitat types and how and when they move between them.’’
 
In the mottled duck project, LDWF has partnered with Dr. Kevin Ringelman of LSU, tagging 65 ducks in 2017 and another 57 in 2018 with 31 currently providing data. The primary goal is to explore the nesting ecology of mottled ducks. Substantial data, more than 100,000 locations thus far, is collected on movements and habitat use during the entire annual cycle.
 
Paul Link, LDWF’s North American Waterfowl Management Plan Coordinator, is coordinating the white-fronted goose project. It began in 2015 with contributions from private donors to purchase transmitters and assist with capture.
 
Since then, Link has put transmitters on 95 white-fronts in Louisiana, with 44 of those currently providing data. The primary goal is to determine use of habitats by white-fronts in Louisiana and look at status and trends of those habitats over the last 30 years for potential explanation of the changing winter distribution of this species.
Like the mottled duck project, data collected will be used to study many other aspects of white-fronted goose ecology throughout their annual cycle.
 
Link is also leading the blue-winged teal project, where LDWF has partnered with the USGS Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, several Louisiana Delta Waterfowl Chapters, Ducks Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and private donors to place transmitters on birds in Louisiana and Saskatchewan.
 
Thus far this year, 10 units have been placed on spring-migrating blue-winged teal in Louisiana in conjunction with on-going avian flu research. Additional teal will be captured and fitted in the breeding grounds this year by cooperating partners.
 
For more information on these projects, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456, or Paul Link at plink@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2358.
 
 

LDWF Accepting Applications Beginning May 17 for Waterfowl Group Hunts at White Lake WCA for 2019-20 Hunting Season

Release Date: 05/16/2019

May 16, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will accept applications beginning Friday (May 17) until June 25 for waterfowl group hunts for up to 12 hunters per group at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA). 
 
The cost of the 2019-20 waterfowl season hunts will be $30,000 for each group and the application form is available on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications . A completed application form and $2,500 deposit must be submitted to LDWF by the close of business June 25.
 
Interested groups must select one two-day group hunt per application. When selecting dates from those offered (example: Nov. 9-10), it is understood that arrival will be the afternoon before (example: Nov. 8). The two consecutive days of hunting do not include the arrival day, which will be the day before from 3-5 p.m.
 
LDWF will select one application by random lottery drawing for each hunt offered.  Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must submit a separate application for each two-day group hunt they wish to reserve. Applicants can apply for as many as three separate two-day hunts. If multiple applications are submitted, each will require a separate $2,500 deposit.
 
Applications must be accompanied by a bank draft, money order or other liquid instrument made payable to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the amount of $2,500. If the application is selected, the deposit is non-refundable. The applicant will be notified by mail or e-mail, and will be required to submit the final payment of $27,500 no later than Oct. 15.
 
PLEASE NOTE: Any unsold hunts after the application deadline will be sold on a first-come first-serve basis. Please contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 ext. # 1 or email wsweeney@wlf.la.gov  to find out what hunting dates may still be available. A hunt will be considered sold once a deposit and application is received in the LDWF Baton Rouge office at the address referenced in the application.
 
The fee covers up to 12 hunters and includes the following: Transportation to and from the airport (Jennings, Lake Charles or Lafayette), all food and beverages, two-night stay at the White Lake Lodge, professional hunting and fishing guides, hunting and fishing licenses, steel shot shotgun shells for waterfowl hunts and steel shot for skeet range, the use of shotguns and fishing gear, bird and fish cleaning and packaging.
 
On the arrival day, hunters will watch a safety film and then be issued hunting and fishing licenses. If time allows, the group will shoot skeet in the late afternoon hours.  Day two starts with a morning waterfowl hunt from 6-9:30 a.m. After the hunt, lunch will be served and that afternoon the group can fish or shoot clay targets on the skeet range or sporting clays course. On day three, a morning waterfowl hunt is scheduled from 6-9:30 a.m. and checkout is no later than noon, follwing lunch.
 
Applications must be mailed or delivered to:
 
 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attention: White Lake Group Hunt
2000 Quail Drive, Room 418
Baton Rouge, LA   70808
 
For more information on White Lake WCA waterfowl group hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .
 

LWFC Approves Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations and WMA Rules for 2019-20

Release Date: 05/03/2019

May 3, 2019 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved the 2019-20 and 2020-21 resident game hunting seasons, 2019-20 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons, rules and regulations, 2020 general and WMA turkey hunting season, rules and regulations and 2019-20 migratory bird hunting season, rules and regulations at its May meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
 
In doing so, the commission voted to reject an amendment adopted at its March meeting altering the light geese and white-fronted geese hunting season.
 
The season will, as originally scheduled, run 88 days with a daily limit of two birds. The first split will be from Nov. 2-Dec. 8, 2019 with the second split set for Dec. 21, 2019-Feb. 9, 2020. These splits are good for the North and South zones.
 
The Conservation Order for Light Geese will also be held as originally scheduled. The first split will be from Dec. 9-Dec. 13, 2019 with the second split to be held from Feb. 10-March 15, 2020.

 
The notice of intent presented in January by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons, along with four other amendments made in February and March, were ratified on Thursday (May 2).
 
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.
 

LDWF to Hold Administrative Public Hearing on 2019-20 Hunting Season Rules and Regulations Monday in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 04/16/2019

April 16, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold an administrative public hearing on amendments made to the 2019-20 hunting season rules and regulations Monday (April 22) at LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge at 10 a.m. The hearing will take place in the Joe L. Herring Room.
 
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted during its February and March meetings to amend the proposed notice of intent for the 2019-20 hunting seasons, rules and regulations.
 
To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes, visit  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .
 
For more information, contact Tommy Tuma at 225-765-2349 or ttuma@wlf.la.gov .
 

LDWF Conducts Successful Youth Turkey Lottery Hunts on Wildlife Management Areas

Release Date: 04/04/2019

From Peason Ridge WMA youth turkey lottery hunt
From Peason Ridge WMA youth turkey lottery hunt
From Peason Ridge WMA youth turkey lottery hunt

April 4, 2019 - With the knowledge, wealth of experience and skill of volunteer hunting guides, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) hosted youth turkey lottery hunts on Saturday (March 30) on three LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).
 
A total of 30 youth hunters took part in the hunts conducted on J.C. ‘’Sonny’’ Gilbert WMA in Catahoula Parish, Peason Ridge in Vernon, Sabine and Natchitoches parishes and Tunica Hills WMA in West Feliciana Parish. The youth were selected through LDWF’s lottery application system and paired with volunteer guides to give them a unique hunting experience.
 
“We take great pride in our youth lottery hunts,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “The preparation and coordination by our staff in lining up volunteers, setting up the hunts and being onsite during the event is a key reason why they’re so successful. I would like to thank them as well as the many volunteers for their tireless work as we continue to grow the great sport of hunting.’’
 
Hunting conditions were great with most hunters hearing turkeys and five birds harvested. Three hunters took part at J.C. ‘’Sonny’’ Gilbert WMA with one turkey harvested. At Peason Ridge, 19 hunters took part with two turkeys harvested. And at Tunica Hills eight hunters took part with two turkeys harvested.
 
Although not all hunters harvested a bird, the experience allowed them to learn the nuances of turkey hunting, woodsmanship and hunting sportsmanship.
 
Each year LDWF staff enlist the help of experienced volunteers to serve as guides. A few weeks before the hunt, they scout and locate gobblers for the youth hunters in order to place them in areas where they have the best chance for success. 
 
These events are supported by several agencies and organizations.
 
On Peason Ridge, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Forest Service, the WMA’s landowners, make sure that no military maneuvers are scheduled and that the WMA is open for the hunt.
 
The Lake Charles Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) provides food and drinks for breakfast and lunch for the hunters, their parents and the guides on the day of the hunt. The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office donated portable drink coolers that were used as goody bags for each of the hunters.
 
On Tunica Hills, the Feliciana Toms Chapter of NWTF provided lunch and various donated items.
  
And of course there is the time given by the volunteer guides, many of whom come back year after year to be a part of the event. 
 
In addition to the guided lottery hunts on Saturday (March 30), unguided lottery hunts and open youth hunts were held on Big Lake, Bodcau, Clear Creek, Pearl River and West Bay WMAs where 83 hunters participated, harvesting nine gobblers.
 
There are several late youth season hunts remaining on Bodcau, Pomme de Terre, Sherburne and Spring Bayou WMAs, as well as open turkey seasons, which are open to hunters of all ages, on various other WMAs. Turkey season throughout the state opens Saturday (April 6).
 
For more information on these seasons, go to http://www.eregulations.com/louisiana/hunting/
 
For more information on LDWF lottery hunts, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts
 

LWFC Passes Declaration of Emergency Closing Turkey Hunting Season on Dewey W. Wills, Grassy Lake and Richard K. Yancey WMAs

Release Date: 04/04/2019

April 4, 2019 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) passed a declaration of emergency closing the upcoming turkey hunting season on Dewey W. Wills, Grassy Lake and Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) during its monthly meeting Wednesday (April 3) in Baton Rouge. The order was issued due to flooding in the WMAs.
 
Turkey season is set to open statewide Saturday (April 6). The closure on these WMAs will remain in effect until floodwater subsides.
 
To see the full declaration of emergency, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items
 
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767.
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Highway 15 in lower Concordia Parish. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/36994 .
 

Kynlee Buras, Evan Alderson Selected as 2018 Youth Hunters of the Year

Release Date: 03/28/2019

Male Youth Hunter of the Year Evan Alderson
Female Youth Hunter of the Year Kynlee Buras (right) with father Rusty.

March 28, 2019 - Kynlee Buras of Livingston and Evan Alderson of Sulphur have been selected as the 2018 Louisiana Female and Male Youth Hunters of the Year. The Youth Hunter of the Year Program is a joint effort with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Louisiana Outdoors Writers Association.
 
Buras and Alderson will receive their awards at the 55th Governor’s State Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet on April 27 at Ashley Manor in Baton Rouge, which is hosted by Louisiana Wildlife Federation.
  
The Youth Hunter of the Year program is made possible by the generous donations from Baton Rouge Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, Andrew Harrison, Jr with Harrison Law, LLC, Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge, Outdoor Roots, and South LA Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association. Winners will also be featured in a story in Marsh and Bayou Magazine.
 
Buras, 8 and the female winner, proved during her two November 2018 deer hunting trips with father, Rusty, that you don’t necessarily have to bring anything home for it to be successful. On both trips while hunting in Utica, Mississippi, Kynlee and Rusty saw deer but didn’t harvest one.
 
On their initial trip, the duo saw a doe before arriving at the deer stand but were not in a position to get off a shot. They waited about an hour and 20 minutes in the deer stand with no success when Kynlee told her father she was tired and had had enough.
 
The second trip was more of a success but the father-daughter duo still wasn’t able to harvest a deer. After about 30 minutes in the deer stand, four deer appeared.
 
“I was flabbergasted when I saw them,’’ Kynlee said. “I got ready to shoot but the deer must have heard me because all of them ran away.’’
 
Later, a doe appeared and Rusty advised Kynlee to wait until it came closer to the stand. But it never did. Nevertheless, Kynlee said both trips have helped to turn her into a deer hunter.
 
“I was sad (that they weren’t able to harvest a deer),’’ Kynlee said. “But I can’t wait to go hunting next year. The two main reasons that I enjoy hunting are that I get to admire God’s beautiful creation and spend time with my daddy. I will treasure those moments forever.’’
 
Alderson, 11 and the male winner, was successful on his first hunt, which occurred on Nov. 24, 2018. Alderson took a squirrel hunting trip with his uncle, Mark Bloodworth, and cousin, Mason Bloodworth, on Mark’s hunting lease in Slagle.
 
His first shot was true but it wasn’t a squirrel.
 
“As we were walking I thought I saw a squirrel on a tree and I shot at it only to discover that it was actually a bump on the tree,’’ Alderson said. “Uncle Mark said, ‘I think you just shot a tree.’ It was good practice shooting, I guess.’’
 
Later that morning, Alderson thought he spotted a squirrel. This time it actually was and he was able to harvest game on his first hunt, using his uncle’s 20-gauge shotgun.
 
“I started shaking and shot at it,’’ Alderson said. “I was so excited that I kept shaking more and more. It fell out of the tree.’’
 
Afterward, the trio went back and cleaned the squirrel.
 
“I helped skin it,’’ Alderson said. “Uncle Mark put it in the freezer for later. A few months later, he had enough squirrels to make a squirrel gumbo. It was delicious.’’
 
The 2019 Youth Hunter of the Year contest application will be available this fall.
 

For more photos of the 2018 winners, contact Rebecca Triche at rebecca@lawildlifefed.org or 225-344-6707.
 

LDWF Announces Turkey Season Closure in Richard K. Yancey and Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Areas

Release Date: 03/25/2019

March 25, 2019 – Flooding has forced the closure of the upcoming turkey hunting season in Richard K. Yancey and Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced. LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet signed a Declaration of Emergency on Monday (March 25) implementing the closure.

Youth turkey lottery hunts scheduled for this weekend (March 30-31) at the two WMAs have been cancelled because the closure. Turkey season statewide opens April 6. The closure will remain in effect on the WMAs until floodwater subsides.

To see the full declaration of emergency, CLICK HERE.

Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Highway 15 in lower Concordia Parish. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/36994 .

Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767.

For more information contact Tony Vidrine at 337-735-8682 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-735-8683 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov .

 

LWFC Amends Light and White-Fronted Geese Hunting Season in NOI for 2019-20 Hunting Seasons Rules and Regulations

Release Date: 03/11/2019

March 11, 2019 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted Thursday (March 7) to amend light geese and white-fronted geese hunting season in the proposed notice of intent for the 2019-20 hunting seasons, rules and regulations during its monthly meeting in Woodworth.
 
The commission voted to decrease the number of available hunting days from 88 to 74 and increase the daily bag limit of white-fronted geese from two to three. The daily bag limit for light geese, which includes snow, blue and Ross geese, remains at 20.
 
The first season split will begin Nov. 16, 2019, and run through Dec. 8, 2019, with the second season split set to begin Dec. 14, 2019, running through Feb. 2, 2020. These seasons will be in effect in both the north and south zones.
 
The Conservation Order for light geese will run from Dec. 9-13, 2019, for the first split then Feb. 3-March 15, 2020. There is no daily bag or possession limit during the Conservation Order.
 
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 can be submitted in writing by mail to: Tommy Tuma, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ttuma@wlf.la.gov.
 
For more information, contact Tommy Tuma at 225-765-2349 or ttuma@wlf.la.gov.
 

LDWF Announces 2020 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition With Ring-Necked Duck as The Featured Species

Release Date: 02/22/2019

2019 Louisiana Duck Stamp

Feb. 22, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced the rules and timeframe for the 2020 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp or Louisiana Duck Stamp competition. Ring-necked duck will be the featured species in this year’s competition.
 
Also known as blackjacks or ringbills, ring-necked ducks are small to medium-sized diving ducks that are wintering in increasing numbers across Louisiana’s wetland habitats. Large numbers are seen in mostly freshwater coastal wetlands, Catahoula Lake and reservoirs and swamp habitat across north Louisiana.
 
Louisiana hunters harvested an average of 73,000 ring-necked ducks per season through the last 10 years, the seventh most abundant species in the state’s overall bag and often more than any other state in the Mississippi Flyway. The sound of wind rushing through the wings of a decoying flock of ring-necks is an exciting part of Louisiana’s duck hunting experience.
 
The 2019 contest was restricted to designs featuring northern shovelers. Winner Guy Crittenden’s striking painting of a late-season pair flying across a classic wetland scene continued a long tradition of excellent stamp designs. The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp bearing that design will go on sale June 1. 
 
The 2020 contest will be restricted to designs with ring-necked duck as the focal species. Artists are also reminded of the requirement for associated habitat. 
 
“The primary objective of this program is to provide revenue to create, enhance and maintain habitat for waterfowl and associated wetland wildlife,” said LDWF Waterfowl Program Manager Larry Reynolds. “So a habitat component is required in each entry and is one of the five judging criteria.” 
 
To enter, an artist must submit an original, unpublished work of art, along with a signed and notarized artist's agreement and a $50 entry fee. Entries shall be addressed to:
 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attn: Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Program
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
 
Entries will be accepted from Oct. 14 through Oct. 22, 2019 with the contest to be held in the Louisiana Room at the LDWF Headquarters building in Baton Rouge starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 23, 2019. The public is invited to attend.
 
To fill out the 2020 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition artist agreement and see the full list of rules, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/LADUCKSTAMP2020 .
 
Please note additional guidelines in the rules regarding shipping of paintings.  Additional guidelines for shipping the artwork have been incorporated in the rules for the 2020 contest, as LDWF wants to minimize risk of damage during shipping.
 
The Louisiana Legislature authorized the Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program in 1988. The program was created to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of waterfowl populations and habitats in Louisiana. Since 1989, more than $14 million has been generated for wetland conservation with approximately $6 million spent on land acquisition.
 
In addition, revenues have supported wetland development projects on Wildlife Management Areas and the Louisiana Waterfowl Project, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands.
 
Judging for the art competition will be based on the following criteria:
 

  1. Accuracy of form, size, proportion, color and posture.
    2. Level and accuracy of detail in all aspects of the waterfowl.
    3. Appropriateness, accuracy and detail in depiction of the habitat.
    4. Attractiveness and creativity in composition, subject, background and lighting.
    5. Suitability for reproduction as stamps and prints.

 
A panel of judges with experience in waterfowl biology and/or artistic method will select the winning design. The competition is open to all artists 18 years of age and older. Employees of LDWF and members of their immediate families are ineligible.
 
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.
 

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