Wildlife

Alligator Hunting Contacts

Private Lands Alligator Harvest Administrators

 
LDWF CNR Division, Baton Rouge Office
LDWF Wildlife Division, Minden Private Lands
P.O. Box 98000 (mailing address)
9961 Hwy 80
2000 Quail Drive (physical address)
Minden, La. 71055
Baton Rouge, La. 70898-9000
Phone : 318-371-3050
Eric Ledet
Kate Hasapes
Phone : 225-763-5492
 
 
LDWF CNR Division, New Iberia
LDWF Wildlife Division, Monroe Private Lands
2415 Darnall Road
368 CenturyLink Drive
New Iberia, La. 70560
Monroe, La. 71203
Jeb Linscombe, jlinscombe@wlf.la.gov
or
Mike Dupuis, mdupuis@wlf.la.gov
Phone : 318-343-4044
Phone : 337-373-0032
Biologist #1: John Hanks, jhanks@wlf.la.gov
 
LDWF CNR Division, New Orleans
LDWF Wildlife Division, Opelousas Private Lands
2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210
5652 Hwy. 182
New Orleans, La. 70122
Opelousas, La. 70570
Eric Ledet
Chad Gaspard
Phone : 225-763-5492
Phone : 337-948-0255
 
LDWF CNR Division, Rockefeller Refuge
LDWF Wildlife Division, Pineville Private Lands
5476 Grand Chenier Hwy.
1995 Shreveport Hwy.
Grand Chenier, La. 70643
Pineville, La. 71360
Leisa Nunez or Angela Guidry
phone 318-487-5885
Phone : 337-538-2276
Biologist #1: Ben Holten, bholten@wlf.la.gov
Biologist #2: Justin Ebarb, jebarb@wlf.la.gov
 
Biologist #3: Ken Moreau, kmoreau@wlf.la.gov
 
LDWF Wildlife Division, Lake Charles Private Lands
 
1213 N. Lakeshore Drive
 
Lake Charles, La. 70601
 
Kori Legleu
 
Phone : 337-491-2575
 
 
 

Public Lands Alligator Harvest Administrators

 
LDWF CNR Division, Coastal Operations
LDWF Wildlife Division, GCP East
2415 Darnall Road
42371 Phyllis Ann Dr.
New Iberia, La. 70560
Hammond, La. 70403
Lance Campbell
Forest Burks
phone 337-373-0032
phone 985-543-4782
 
LDWF CNR Division, Rockefeller Refuge
LDWF Wildlife Division, MAV North
5476 Grand Chenier Hwy.
368 CenturyLink Drive
Grand Chenier, La. 70643
Monroe, La. 71203
Scooter Trosclair
Corey May
phone 337-538-2276
phone 318-343-4044
 
 
 
LDWF CNR Division, White Lake WCA
LDWF Wildlife Division, MAV South
710 West Prien Lake Road - Suite 202A
5652 Hwy. 182
Lake Charles, La. 70601
Opelousas, La. 70570
Wayne Sweeney
Tony Vidrine
phone 337-479-1894
phone 337-948-0255
 
LDWF Wildlife Division, GCP West (Minden)
USFWS, Mandalay NWR
9961 Hwy 80
3599 Bayou Black Drive
Minden, La. 71055
Houma, La. 70360
Czerny Newland
phone 985-853-1078
phone 318-371-3050
 
 
 
LDWF Wildlife Division, GCP West (Lake Charles)
USFWS, Southwest La. NWR Complex
1213 N. Lakeshore Drive
1428 Hwy. 27
Lake Charles, La. 70601
Bell City, La. 70630
Wendell Smith
phone 337-598-2216
phone 337-491-2599
 
 
Notes:
 
CNR - Coastal and Nongame Resources
 
WCA - Wetlands Conservation Area
 
GCP - Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion
 
MAV - Mississippi Alluvial Valley Ecoregion
 
April 2016

Alligator Program E-mail Address:

laalligatorprogram@wlf.la.gov

 

Nuisance Alligators

Program Overview

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) licenses a statewide network of nuisance alligator hunters (approximately 65 hunters) to capture nuisance alligators.  The Department receives over 2,200 nuisance alligator complaints annually.  Approximately 3,000 nuisance alligators are harvested and an additional number of smaller sized nuisance alligators are relocated annually.  The nuisance alligator program continues to strive to minimize alligator and human conflicts.  

What is considered a nuisance alligator?

Not all alligators are considered nuisance alligators.  The mere presence of an alligator does not qualify it as a nuisance, even if it is located in an unexpected place.  Most alligators, if left alone, will move on.  Alligators less than 4 feet in length are naturally fearful of humans and are generally not a threat to pets, livestock or humans.  Alligators at least 4 feet in length that present a threat to pets, livestock or humans are considered “nuisance” alligators.  The following information should help you determine if an alligator may pose a threat to you, your pets/livestock or your property.  If, after reading the following, you determine that an alligator is a "nuisance”, please see “How can I report a nuisance alligator?” below.

Determine Whether an Alligator is a Nuisance

Some of the following information was taken from the “If You See an Alligator…” portion of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website (www.tpwd.state.tx.us).

  • If the alligator is not approaching people or otherwise posing an obvious threat, wait a few days if possible - even up to a week - before contacting LDWF. In spring and summer, alligators are moving to breed or find new habitat. Most of the alligators moving around are smaller ones that have been pushed out of their normal habitat by larger alligators. Usually, these smaller alligators will move further on in a week or two.
  • If you hear an alligator hiss, it's a warning that you are too close.
  • Alligators have a natural fear of humans, and usually begin a quick retreat when approached by people. If you have a close encounter with an alligator a few yards away, back away slowly. It is extremely rare for wild alligators to chase people, but they can run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances on land. Never make the mistake of thinking that an alligator is slow and lethargic. Alligators are extremely quick and agile and will defend themselves when cornered. A female protecting her nest might charge a person who gets close to the nest, but she would quickly return to the nest after the intruder left.
  • It is not uncommon for alligators to bask along the banks of a pond or stream for extended periods of time. These alligators are usually warming their bodies; they are not actively hunting. Oftentimes a basking alligator may be seen with its mouth open; this is a way to cool its body temperature down, since alligators do not pant or sweat. An approaching human should cause these alligators to retreat into the water. (In some cases, the alligator may be protecting a nest - see below.) However, an alligator may be considered a nuisance if it leaves the banks of the water body to spend time near homes, livestock pens, or other structures.
  • If you walk near the water and an alligator comes straight toward you, especially if it comes out of the water, it is definitely a nuisance alligator that needs to be reported to LDWF. In many cases, these are alligators that have lost their fear of humans.  This can be caused by feeding alligators (intentionally or unintentionally) or other reasons.
  • If you see an alligator while walking a pet make sure that your pet is on a leash and under your control. Your pet will naturally be curious, and the alligator may see it as an easy food source. Alligators have a keen sense of smell. In areas near alligator sightings it is wise to keep pets inside a fenced area or in the house for a few days, during which the alligator will often move on.
  • If you see an alligator in a roadway, yard or other unexpected place, DO NOT attempt to move it! It is not only illegal for the general public to handle or possess alligators but can also be dangerous.
  • If you see a large alligator in your favorite swimming hole or pond, do not swim with it. Although alligator attacks in Louisiana are rare, it can happen. The "attack" reports in Louisiana are usually more accurately described as "encounters." As with all outdoor activities, realize that wildlife encounters are a possibility.
  • It is not uncommon for alligators to pursue top-water fishing lures or floats (bobbers, corks), and this activity does not constitute a threat to humans. As with fish, alligators are attracted to these lures because they mimic natural food. Most alligators can be easily scared away from boats or fishing lures. However, alligators that repeatedly follow boats, canoes, or other watercraft, and/or maintain a close distance without submersing may be considered nuisance alligators.

How can I report a nuisance alligator?

Anyone experiencing problems with nuisance alligators may contact any Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries office to make a nuisance alligator complaint.  The LDWF office will record pertinent information and supply that person with a nuisance alligator complaint number and the name and contact information of the nuisance alligator hunter for your area.  You will then contact the nuisance alligator hunter and provide him/her the necessary information.  The nuisance alligator hunter should respond within 24 hours (less in an emergency situation).  Nuisance alligator hunters may charge up to $30 per complaint for removal of nuisance alligators less than 6’.  In most cases alligators less than 4’ are not considered a nuisance or threat to welfare of pets, livestock or humans.

DOs and DON'Ts for Living with Alligators

Some of the following information was taken from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website (www.tpwd.state.tx.us), adapted from "Living with Alligators,"(Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, www.myfwc.com).

Don’t - kill, harass, molest or attempt to move alligators. State law prohibits such actions, and the potential for being bitten or injured by a provoked alligator is high.

Don’t- allow small children to play by themselves in or around water.

Don’t- swim at night or during dusk or dawn when alligators most actively feed.

Don’t- feed or entice alligators. Alligators overcome their natural shyness and become accustomed or attracted to humans when fed.

Don’t- throw fish scraps into the water or leave them on shore. Although you are not intentionally feeding alligators, the end result can be the same.

Don’t- remove any alligators from their natural habitat or accept one as a pet. It is a violation of state law to do so. Alligators do not become tame in captivity and handling even small ones may result in bites. In particular, never go near hatchling/young alligators or pick them up. They may seem cute and harmless, but the mother alligator will be nearby, and will protect her clutch for at least two years.

Do- call your local LDWF office if you encounter a nuisance gator that has lost its fear of people.

Do- closely supervise children when playing in or around water.

Do- use ordinary common sense and precautions. Swim only during daylight hours.

Do- inform others that feeding alligators creates safety problems for others who want to use the water for recreational purposes.

Do- dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans at most boat ramps or fish camps.

Do- enjoy viewing and photographing wild alligators from a safe distance of at least 50 feet or more. Remember that they're an important part of Louisiana's natural history, as well as an integral component of many wetland ecosystems.

 

Alligator Hunting

Private Lands

A resident alligator hunter must either own land or have permission to hunt alligators on land that is classified as wetland habitat in order to qualify for alligator harvest tags. LDWF issues harvest tags for property containing sufficient alligator habitat capable of sustaining an alligator harvest. Alligator hunters apply for alligator tags prior to the season. An alligator hunter license applicant must submit the following:

  • A completed alligator hunter license application form including the hunter's information (name, date of birth, drivers license number, etc.),
  • Proof of property ownership (tax receipts or bill of sale) containing Parish, Township, Range, Section and acreage information,
  • A map outlining the property to be hunted
  • A landowner's signature indicating permission for the hunter to harvest alligators on the property
  • If applicable, a legal alligator hunting lease may be submitted.

Individuals interested in obtaining alligator harvest information on private lands (what is considered alligator habitat, does my property qualify for alligator tags, requirements, etc.) should contact the corresponding office/biologist responsible for administering alligator harvests on private lands for the parish in which the property is located (see map and contact information).

 
Click to enlarge.

Resident alligator hunting licenses costs $25 and there is no cost for alligator tags.

Residents not possessing or having permission to harvest alligators on private lands or public lands/lakes can harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.

Nonresidents can only harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.

A guide must be an alligator hunter possessing tags. An alligator Sport Hunter License cost $25 for Louisiana residents and $150 for nonresidents.

Public Lands and Lakes

Residents not possessing or having permission to harvest alligators on private lands may be able to harvest alligators on public lands or lakes.

There are many public lands and lakes available for alligator harvest opportunities.  These public lands/lakes are managed by many different entities ranging from local parish governments to federal governmental agencies.  Methods in which alligator hunters are chosen for these areas include bidding and lotteries. 

The lottery alligator harvest program provides the opportunity for over 300 resident alligator hunters to harvest approximately 800 alligators on almost 40 WMAs/public lakes located throughout the state. 

Lottery alligator harvest applications become available mid to late May of each year and lists all available WMAs/public lakes. See Lottery Alligator Harvest Program for additional lottery alligator harvest program information

Individuals interested in obtaining specific public land/lake alligator harvest information (selection methods, requirements, availability, etc.) should contact the corresponding office responsible for that particular public land/lake (see map and contact information).

 
Click to enlarge

Resident alligator hunting licenses cost $25 and there is no cost for alligator tags issued to non-lottery alligator hunters.  Lottery alligator hunters may be required to pay a set fee per alligator tag issued.  These fees are in lieu of payments normally made to the Department for the value of alligators harvested.

Residents not possessing or having permission to harvest alligators on private lands or public lands/lakes can harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.

Nonresidents can only harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.

A guide must be an alligator hunter possessing tags. An alligator Sport Hunter License costs $25 for Louisiana residents and $150 for nonresidents.

Alligator Program

History

LDWF manages the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) as a commercial, renewable natural resource. The goals of LDWF's alligator program are to manage and conserve Louisiana's alligators as part of the state's wetland ecosystem, provide benefits to the species, its habitat and the other species of fish and wildlife associated with alligators. The basic philosophy was to develop a sustained use management program which, through regulated harvest, would provide long term benefits to the survival of the species, maintain its habitats, and provide significant economic benefits to landowners, alligator farmers and alligator hunters. Since Louisiana's coastal alligator habitats are primarily privately owned (approximately 81%), our sustained use management program provides direct economic benefit and incentive to private landowners, and alligator hunters/farmers who lease land, to protect the alligator and to protect, maintain, and enhance the alligator's wetland habitats.

LDWF's sustained use program is one of the world's most recognizable examples of a wildlife conservation success story. Louisiana's program has been used as a model for managing various crocodilian species throughout the world. Since the inception of LDWF's program in 1972, over 810,000 wild alligators have been harvested, over 6.5 million alligator eggs have been collected, and over 3.5 million farm raised alligators have been sold bringing in millions of dollars of revenue to landowners, trappers and farmers. Conservative estimates have valued these resources at over $704,000,000, providing significant, direct economic benefit to Louisiana.

Commercial trade in alligators is regulated through the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). While the alligator is not endangered or threatened anywhere in the U.S., it is listed on Appendix II of CITES due to its similarity of appearance to other endangered crocodilian species. CITES requirements are implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). On an annual basis LDWF must provide to the USFWS a "finding of no detriment" stating that Louisiana's harvest and export of alligators are not detrimental to the survival of the species.

LDWF's alligator program can be separated into three categories: wild alligator management, alligator farming/ranching program and nuisance alligator program.

Responsibilities

Louisiana's wild alligator management program involves:

  • Annual coastal nest surveys to index populations
  • Calculating 50+ wild alligator harvest quotas
  • Executing the annual wild alligator harvest
  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpretting necessary data,
  • Providing technical assistance to landowners and hunters
  • Ensuring compliance with CITES and USFWS requirements
  • Conducting necessary research activities.

Louisiana's alligator farming/ranching program involves:

  • Monitoring compliance with farm facility requirements
  • Facilitating alligator egg collections; set egg harvest quotas and issue permits
  • Verifying/accounting for farm inventories and harvest tags
  • Processing farm-raised alligators for release into wild
  • Inspecting live alligator and alligator hide shipments
  • Collecting, analyzing and interpretting necessary data
  • Providing technical assistance to landowners and farmers
  • Ensuring compliance with CITES and USFWS requirements.

Louisiana's nuisance alligator program involves:

  • Minimizing/alleviating alligator/human conflicts
  • Managing a statewide network of nuisance alligator hunters
  • Receiving and processing nuisance alligator complaints
  • Assigning complaints to nuisance hunters
  • Ensuring hunter compliance with nuisance alligator policy
  • Reviewing and analyzing nuisance alligator complaints and harvest data annually.

Statewide Environmental Investigations

Statewide Environmental Investigations is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Habitat Section. Statewide Environmental Investigations is authorized under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and is partially funded by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant.
Technical Assistance
Statewide Environmental Investigations' staff is responsible for reviewing and providing technical comments and mitigation recommendations on all permit applications from state and federal environmental regulatory agencies. Staff members review and comment on approximately 1,600 state and federal permit applications annually. Staff-generated comments and recommendations are designed to avoid, minimize, and/or mitigate adverse impacts to Louisiana's fish and wildlife resources. By working with environmental regulatory agencies to incorporate these recommendations into plans or into permit conditions, fish and wildlife habitat losses are avoided, minimized, and/or fully compensated for. As a result, sustainable fish and wildlife communities are conserved.
Statewide Environmental Investigations' staff collaborates with numerous federal, state, and local environmental regulatory agencies, including, but not limited to,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, and LDWF's Natural and Scenic Rivers Program. Additionally, staff provides technical assistance to the general public upon request.
Mitigation Banking
Statewide Environmental Investigations' staff also represent LDWF on two mitigation bank Interagency Review Teams (IRT) chaired separately by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans District and Vicksburg District. The purpose of the IRT is to provide regulatory review, approval, and oversight of mitigation banks. Mitigation banks are wetlands, streams, or other aquatic resource areas that have been restored, established, enhanced, or preserved for the purpose of providing compensation for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources. In addition to LDWF and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the IRTs are comprised of representatives from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries Service (New Orleans District only), and Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (New Orleans District only).
Oyster Leasing Areas
Statewide Environmental Investigations also assists in protecting all private oyster grounds and their lessees. Through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, staff review and approve oyster lease assessments submitted by project applicants prior to the initiation of activities affecting state water bottoms under lease to private parties for oyster production.At the request of Statewide Environmental Investigations' staff, a project applicant can be required to modify the project if the proposed location unnecessarily impacts oyster reef habitat.
Contacts
Kyle Balkum, Biologist Program Manager - 225-765 2819 or kbalkum@wlf.la.gov

Matthew Weigel, Biologist Manager – 985-543-4777 or mweigel@wlf.la.gov

Chris Davis, Biologist - 225-765-2642 or rcdavis@wlf.la.gov
Zachary Chain, Biologist – 225-763-3587 or zchain@wlf.la.gov

Dave Butler, Permits Coordinator - 225-763-3595 or dbutler@wlf.la.gov
 
 

State Wildlife Grant Program in Louisiana

The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program was created by federal legislation in November 2001. The SWG program was established "for the development and implementation of programs for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat, including species that are not hunted or fished”, with the goal of preventing species from being federally listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The inclusion of species that are not hunted or fished is one crucial aspect of the SWG program, as many of these species previously had no existing source of funding. In fact, the SWG program has now become the primary federal funding source for non-game conservation nationwide. Another crucial aspect of the SWG program is the focus on proactive conservation measures designed to preclude future ESA listings. This is important, as conservation is often more effective and efficient before species undergo declines sufficient to warrant ESA action.

Congress stipulated that each state fish and wildlife agency that wished to participate in the SWG program develop a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. In response, LDWF developed a comprehensive planning document to establish conservation needs and guide the use of SWG grant funds for the next 10 years. This document, known as the Wildlife Action Plan (WAP), was submitted for approval to the National Advisory Acceptance Team in October 2005 and subsequently approved in December. The WAP is the roadmap for non-game conservation in Louisiana, and must be reviewed and revised every ten years to insure that it remains an effective tool for conservation planning and implementation. For more information see the Louisiana Wildlife Action Plan page.

The SWG program is funded by annual Congressional appropriations. The United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) apportions these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies based on the land area and population of each state. Since the inception of the SWG program, the state of Louisiana has received $10,678,752 in federal SWG funding, with an apportionment of $708,882 in fiscal year 2011-2012. State Wildlife Grants can be for either implementation of the WAP, or for planning purposes. Planning grants must directly support efforts to modify, revise, or update the WAP; implementation grants encompass all other eligible activities, including the collection of biological data to support planning efforts.

Louisiana has funded 106 projects through the State Wildlife Grants program to date. Funded SWG projects have included biological inventories, ecological research projects, habitat assessment, habitat management, and the development and maintenance of databases.  A wide range of species have benefited from SWG funding in Louisiana, including the Louisiana Black Bear, Bald Eagle, Whooping Crane, Swallow-Tailed Kite, Alligator Snapping Turtle, Mississippi Diamondbacked Terrapin, Calcasieu Painted Crawfish, Louisiana Pearlshell Mussel, and Painted Bunting. For more information on completed and ongoing grants see the Louisiana State Wildlife Grant Projects page.

State Wildlife Grant proposals are accepted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) on an annual basis in the spring, and include projects developed by LDWF personnel, non-governmental organizations, and universities. State Wildlife Grant proposals are reviewed by LDWF's SWG Committee, consisting of 17 biologists, including representatives from both the Office of Wildlife and Office of Fisheries.

For more information about the State Wildlife Grants Program in Louisiana, contact SWG Coordinator Sam Holcomb (sholcomb@wlf.la.gov).

 

Camp Beauregard

Acreage

12,500

Contact

adailey@wlf.la.gov; 318-487-5885; 1995 Shreveport Hwy, Pineville, LA 71360

Parish

Rapides, Grant

Owner/manager

Louisiana National Guard

Description

The Louisiana National Guard primarily uses Camp Beauregard WMA as a training facility but also manages the area’s timber for commercial production.

There are gently rolling hills in the upland areas. Pine plantations dominate the upland overstory, but there are scattered hardwoods in the hills. The upland understory varies considerably depending on the overstory; areas with good understory development support French mulberry, blackberry, greenbrier, yaupon, trumpet creeper, rattan, and other browse plants.

The Flagon Creek area (about 800 acres) frequently floods and is typical bottomland hardwood forest with water, post, overcup, and red oak; hickory; sweetgum; cypress; and bitter pecan. Common understory plants in this area include swamp privet, water elm, mayhaw, and swamp snowbell.

Activities and Amenities

Camp Beauregard WMA’s first function is as a military reservation; special regulations apply to the use of this WMA.

Hunting and trapping: Game species available for hunting include squirrel, turkey, deer, rabbit, quail, dove, wood duck, and woodcock. There is a disabled veterans lottery hunt for deer as well as a youth-only deer season. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Fishing is available in the Twin Lakes and Flagon Bayou. See regulations for details.

Camping: Limited camping is allowed by reservation only. Call 318-641-3365 for more information.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Camp Beauregard WMA is located approximately 8 miles north of Alexandria.

Buckhorn

Map: 

Acreage

11,121

Contact

mmcgee@wlf.la.gov; 318-343-4044; 368 CenturyLink Dr, Monroe, LA 71203

Parish

Tensas

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

LDWF purchased the majority of Buckhorn WMA in 1995 and added about 2,400 acres of cultivated farmland to the WMA between 2001 and 2003. LDWF has reforested the majority of Buckhorn WMA and manages a portion as wetlands.

The terrain on Buckhorn WMA is made up of undulating ridges and swales, with elevations ranging from 50 to 70 feet above sea level. Six small bayous flow through the area, providing approximately 13 miles of waterways. There are also six small lakes, approximately 200 acres, on Buckhorn WMA; all are subject to backwater flooding from the Tensas River. The bayous and lakes receive turbid runoff from the surrounding agricultural areas.

The main tree species on Buckthorn WMA are willow, nuttall, overcup, and water oak; sweetgum; green ash; persimmon; sugarberry; honey locust; sweet and bitter pecan; elm; cypress; and tupelo gum. The understory is extremely dense throughout the WMA; understory species include palmetto, switchcane, rattan, Rubus sp., Crataegus sp., buttonbush, swamp dogwood, Vitis sp., deciduous holly, Smilax sp., baccharis, poison ivy, and many herbaceous species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Buckhorn WMA’s most popular game species are white-tailed deer, squirrel, and rabbit. There is a youth deer season and lottery hunt. Waterfowl, woodcock, snipe, and raccoon hunting are also available. In fact, the areas managed for waterfowl, along with the sloughs and waterways, offer excellent waterfowl hunting. See regulations for details.

Physically challenged wheelchair-confined hunting areas are available on Buckhorn WMA. There is also a physically challenged deer season. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Fishing and boating: Boat launches are available on most area lakes. Recreational fishing for freshwater fish, including largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish, crawfishing, and frogging are available; however, fishing is limited by lack of available aquatic habitat. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Recognized by the American Bird Conservancy as an Important Birding Area, Buckthorn WMA is visited by many neotropical bird and shorebird species annually and is home to large numbers of passerine and wading birds. The areas managed for waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds, along with the sloughs and waterways, offer excellent birding opportunities. Birders frequently observe bald eagles and their nests in this area.

Louisiana black bear frequent Buckthorn WMA; reported sightings have been increasing. Black bear research is ongoing at Buckhorn WMA.

Hiking: The 1-1/2-mile Brushy Lake Nature Trail located adjacent to Clydesdale Road provides a unique opportunity for users to enjoy both aquatic and terrestrial aspects of the bottomland hardwood ecosystem. Several walking trails follow pipeline rights-of-way.

Other: horseback riding, berry picking

Directions

Buckthorn WMA is located 14 miles west of St. Joseph. Access routes include LA Hwy 4 and 128 and parish roads such as Clydesdale Road and Honeysuckle Lane. LDWF maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and several ATV trails that provide access to area users. There are four self-clearing permit stations located at major entrances to the area.

Boeuf

Map: 

Acreage

51,110

Contact

mmcgee@wlf.la.gov; 318-343-4044; 368 CenturyLink Dr, Monroe, LA 71203

Parish

Caldwell, Catahoula

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Boeuf WMA is bordered by the Bouef River for approximately 47 miles on its eastern side. There are eight bayous on the area with a combined length of 30 miles. Boeuf WMA has 26 lakes, totaling about 1,800 acres. The terrain is flat and poorly drained. The majority of the area is subject to frequent flooding from Boeuf River and Bayou LaFourche. All lakes and bayous on Boeuf WMA are subject to annual overflow.

A large portion of Boeuf WMA consists of farmland that has been partially reforested in bottomland hardwoods. The forest overstory is a relatively closed stand of mixed bottomland hardwoods. On the higher elevations, the main tree species are willow, Nuttall, and post oak; cedar elm; sweetgum; green ash; persimmon; and honey locust. The main tree species in the lower elevations are overcup oak, bitter pecan, cypress, and tupelo gum. Understory species include rattan, Rubus sp., Crataegus sp., swamp dogwood, Vitis sp., deciduous holly, Smilax sp., baccharis, poison ivy, and many herbaceous species. LDWF manages approximately 4,000 acres of the bottomland hardwood forest along with an 1,800-acre greentree reservoir in moist soil and shallow water for waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds.

LDWF purchased the majority of Boeuf WMA (three tracts totaling 38,444 acres) through the Conservation Fund between 1977 and 1981. Between 1993 and 1998, LDWF purchased the Tensas Delta Tract (approximately 10,000 acres) from the Tensas Delta Land Company through the State Duck Stamp Fund. LDWF purchased the remaining acreage, the Topan Tract, in mid-2000.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: The most popular game species on Boeuf WMA are white-tailed deer, waterfowl, squirrel, rabbit, and turkey. There are youth-only deer and squirrel seasons and a small game emphasis area. The areas managed for waterfowl along with the numerous sloughs and waterways offer excellent waterfowl hunting. Dove, woodcock, and snipe hunting opportunities are also available. Several dove fields planted annually in brown-top millet are available to area users. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: There are boat launches on most area lakes. Common freshwater fish include largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish. Crawfishing and frogging are also available. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Boeuf WMA is visited by many neotropical bird and shorebird species annually and is home to large numbers of passerine and wading birds. The areas managed for waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds along with the numerous sloughs and waterways offer excellent birding opportunities. Bucks Brake, located in the Hebert area, contains a rookery that provides resting and nesting habitat for many species of wading birds, egrets, and wood ducks. Birders also frequently observe bald eagles and their nests.

Louisiana black bears frequent this area; reported sightings have been increasing.

Camping: There are three primitive camping areas on Boeuf WMA.

Hiking: The ¾-mile Bayou Crew Nature Trail is located in the interior of Boeuf WMA. Several walking trails follow pipeline rights-of-way.

Other: horseback riding, berry picking

Directions

Boeuf WMA is located 10 miles southeast of Columbia. Major access routes to the area include LA Hwy 4, 559, 133, and 848. LDWF maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and numerous ATV trails that provide access to area users. There are seven self-clearing permit stations located at major entrances to the area.

Bodcau

Acreage

33,766

Contact

jjohnson@wlf.la.gov; 318-371-3050; 9961 Hwy 80, Minden, LA 71055

Parish

Bossier, Webster

Owner/manager

Owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; managed by LDWF through long-term licensing agreements

Description

Bodcau WMA gets its name from Bodcau Bayou, the major bayou that bisects it from its northernmost point at the Arkansas-Louisiana state line to its southernmost tip nearly 30 miles to the south. The area is long and narrow with an average width of 1-1/2 miles. Ivan Lake is on Bodcau WMA, and there is also a manmade dam and seasonal flood reservoir which were built to control downstream flooding.

Bodcau WMA contains a wide range of wildlife habitat ranging from cypress swamps to upland pine and hardwood forests interspersed with grasslands and open fields. Many species of grasses and forbs typically found in states west of Louisiana can be found growing in the grassland areas. There are numerous seasonally flooded sloughs, beaver ponds, and large areas of flatland, bottomland, hardwood forests. The bottomland forest rapidly merges with the upland forest on a series of ridges that extend into the bottomland area.

The main bottomland tree species include bald cypress and water, overcup, willow, and cow oaks. Shortleaf and loblolly pine; white, red, and cherrybark oaks; sweetgum; and elm trees dominate upland forests. Understory species in the bottomland area include poison ivy, honeysuckle, rattan, buttonbush, and swamp privet. Upland understory species include blackberry, honeysuckle, poison ivy, beautyberry, and sawbriar.

LDWF, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, manages and develops habitat on Bodcau WMA through prescribed burning, fallow disking, supplemental food plantings, water level manipulation, and timber harvest. These practices help to provide quality habitat for game and non-game species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include white-tailed deer (both archery and modern firearms), squirrel, rabbit, dove, quail, and all other species of small game. The deer herd is considered healthy. Waterfowl hunting is available in the 1,600 acre greentree reservoir and in the numerous sloughs and backwater flooded areas. Turkey hunting is also allowed during a short spring gobbler season. There are youth-only deer, squirrel, and turkey seasons. See regulations for details.

Shooting range: There is a free, public shooting range with a rifle range with targets from 25 to 200 yards, a pistol range with 25-yard targets, and a shotgun station. The range is supervised by an approved range officer. Click here for more information, email tbuffington@wlf.la.gov, or call 318-326-3225.

Fishing and boating: Fishing and small boating are available on Ivan Lake. Bass and bream fishing are excellent on Bodcau Bayou and its overflow; crawfish are also abundant during certain years. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Great blue herons, several species of hawks, and barred, horned and screech owls are common on Bodcau WMA. Yellow, black and white, yellow-throated, magnolia, prairie, and yellow-rumped warblers are regularly seen on the area. Numerous species of reptiles, amphibians, and insects are common as well.

Camping: Camping is available at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improved camping area located on the south end of Bodcau WMA and at several primitive camping areas.

Directions

Bodcau WMA is located approximately 17 miles northeast of Bossier City. Travel north on LA Hwy 157 from I-20 at Haughton to Bellevue, then follow the signs to Bodcau WMA. ATVs and UTVs are permitted on a seasonal basis (September 1 through the end of February) on numerous marked trails on the WMA. A small number of these trails are open year-round for access to additional fishing locations.

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