News Column: COASTAL CURRENTS
Submitted: September 26, 2012
Alan Matherne, Coastal & Fisheries Outreach Agent
Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Assumption Parishes; LSU AgCenter/Sea Grant
Hunting season is here!
Here is a summary of the ongoing and upcoming Louisiana 2012-2013 hunting seasons.
Migratory game birds
September 1st began this year’s hunting season with the opening of the first split for doves. This split ran through Sept 9 in the South Zone and Sept 16 in the North Zone. Dove season continues as follows, South: Oct 13 – Nov 25 & Dec 22 – Jan 7; North: Oct 6 – Nov 4 & Dec 15 – Jan 7. The bag limit for doves is 15.
Teal, rail, and gallinule hunting began on Sept 15th and continues through the 30th (rail and gallinule have a second split from Nov 10 – Jan 2); bag limits are: teal – 4, king & clapper rails – 15, sora & virginia rails – 25, and gallinules – 15.
The taking of ducks, coots, & mergansers begins on Nov 10 in the West and Coastal Zones and continues through various splits in the West, East, and Coastal Zones. Various goose seasons begin with a couple of Nov 3 openings in the East Zone. Also, there are special seasons for youth waterfowl hunting and for falconry hunting. Consult the migratory game birds hunting seasons brochure for details.
Woodcock season runs from Dec 18 through Jan 31 with a bag limit of 3.
The snipe season in the East and Coastal Zones is Nov 3 – Dec 3 & Dec 15 – Feb 28. West Zone snipe season is Nov 3 – Dec 10 & Dec 22 – Feb 28. The bag limit is 8.
Rabbit, squirrel, and quail
Rabbit and squirrel hunting begins on Oct 6 and continues through Feb 28. The spring season is May 4-26. Note that some areas are closed for the spring season; check the Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet for details. The bag limit for rabbits and squirrels is 8 (3 squirrels in the spring).
The season for quail hunting is Nov 17 through Feb 28; bag limit is 10.
Assumption, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes are in Area 6. Area 6 deer hunting starts with the archery season: Oct 1-15 (bucks only) and Oct 16 – Feb 15 (either-sex). The primitive firearms season has two splits: Nov 10-16 and Jan 21-31. Modern firearms still hunting (no dogs allowed) begins on Nov 17 and continues through Dec 7. Deer hunting with or without dogs is allowed from Dec 8 through Jan 20.
Note that all lands within the Morganza Floodway from I-10 south within the protection levees of the Atchafalaya Basin have modified seasons; consult the Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet for details.
Deer daily bag limits are 1 antlered and 1 antlerless (when legal); the season limit is 6: 3 antlered and 3 antlerless deer (with some exceptions for DMAP/LADT programs and some other areas). Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and other public lands seasons and regulations vary, consult the Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet for details.
The Special Youth Deer Season (on private land) in Area 6 is Oct 27 – Nov 2.
There is also a Special Physically Challenged Either-Sex Deer Season (on private land) on Oct 6-7. This season is restricted to hunters with Physically Challenged Hunter Permits.
Other hunting seasons
The season for crows is Sept 1 – Jan 1 with no limit. Nutria may be taken on WMAs and private property from Sept 1 – Feb 29 with a daily limit of 5 and on Atchafalaya Delta, Salvador/Timken, Pointe Aux Chenes, and Pass a Loutre WMAs from Sept 1 – Mar 31.
Raccoons and opossums have no closed season; there are restrictions for night hunting, etc. There is an experimental year round season for bobcats. See the regulations pamphlet for details on these. Pheasant is open concurrently with the quail season; no limit.
Turkey season is in the spring. A separate pamphlet covering this will be available in December. Falconry can be conducted with a special permit. Licensed hunting preserves are allowed to harvest pen-raised birds from Oct 1 through Apr 30 with no limit. Hunting farm raised white-tailed deer and exotics on supplemented shooting preserves is permitted from Oct 1 through Jan 31. Special regulations apply, see LAC 76:XIX.111 for details.
A hunter’s pledge
To ensure the future of the sport of hunting, try to adhere to the following principles of conduct each time you go afield:
- Respect the environment and wildlife.
- Respect property and landowners.
- Show consideration for non-hunters.
- Hunt safely.
- Know and obey the law.
- Support wildlife and habitat conservation.
- Pass on an ethical hunting tradition.
- Strive to improve my outdoor skills and understanding of wildlife.
- Hunt only with ethical hunters.
Finally, be sure to consult and study the Louisiana Hunting Regulations 2012-2013 and Migratory Game Bird Regulations 2012-2013 pamphlets before going hunting. It is available at most places that sell hunting gear and can also be viewed/downloaded online at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ hunting regulations website (wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/regulations). There are many rules and regulations associated with hunting and you will want to make sure you are completely legal before heading out.
Good luck afield and happy hunting!
Alan Matherne is the LSU AgCenter/Sea Grant Coastal & Fisheries Outreach Agent for Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Assumption parishes. He can be contacted at 985-873-6495 or firstname.lastname@example.org. His articles and blogs are posted at bayoulog.com. You can “Friend” him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/alan.matherne and follow his “Tweets” on Twitter at https://twitter.com/amatherne.
The following information was not included in the original published article. It is select information concerning hunting rules and regulations and has been extracted from the Louisiana Hunting Regulations 2012-2013 and Migratory Game Bird Regulations 2012-2013 pamphlets.