DWF Proposes 2003/2004 Season Details

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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries presented its proposal for the 2003-2004 Hunting Season dates, limits, rules and regulation to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at its March 6 meeting. Jimmy Anthony of the Wildlife Division presented the commission with two notices of intent outlining the proposal. They were accepted unanimously. Final ratification of the proposal will not come until the LWFC meeting scheduled for July 8. Until then, public comment will be accepted by LDWF and the commission.

The season dates for most game species were left virtually unchanged, with only calendar adjustments made in most instances. The proposal does call for a few changes on some wildlife management areas. Deer season dates were adjusted in some WMAs to better coincide with the deer rut in the respective areas and a 2 p.m. closure for waterfowl hunting will now apply to all WMAs. Added to this year’s regulations would be listings for Acadiana Conservation Corridor WMA and Floy Ward McElroy WMA and their hunting dates. Youth deer hunts were also added to Lake Boeuf WMA and Thistlethwaite WMA. Language prohibiting the skinning or removing of external body parts from deer before they are checked out of WMAs was also included in the proposal. Other minor language modifications were also proposed.

The entire proposal will be presented at a series of public hearings scheduled by LDWF across the state. The public is invited to each meeting, where comments and questions will be entertained by LDWF staff.

In addition to the notices of intent regarding hunting seasons and regulations, Anthony also presented a Declaration of Emergency to the commission regarding a lottery youth turkey hunt. Due to increased military activities and training in the area of Fort Polk WMA, the U.S. Army requested that the March 15 Lottery Youth Turkey Hunt be canceled. To compensate, Peason Ridge WMA has been made available for the hunt. The commission approved the declaration and the ten youth hunters, whose names had already been drawn, will be notified of the change.

For more information, contact Jimmy Anthony at 225/765-2347 anthony_jl@wlf.state.la.us