Hunters Urged to Vote Before Hunting

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December 7, 2002, is shaping up to be a very important date for the state of Louisiana. For politicians, it marks the day that four hotly contested elections will be decided. However, for Louisiana hunters, it marks the opening or closing weekend for several hunting seasons. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is urging hunters to take care of their voting responsibilities before they head into the woods.

While political pundits will be focused on the election of a U.S. Senator, a U.S. Representative and two state representatives, hunters will be focusing on deer and waterfowl. The weekend of December 7-8 marks the close of the first split of duck, coot and pintail season in the west zone. It is also the closing weekend for the first statewide split of snipe, light geese and white fronted geese seasons. Deer hunters also have the weekend marked on their calendars. Areas 1, 2, 6 and 8 will open dog season that weekend and Area 3 will open its second split of still hunt season. Several parishes across the state will also be holding either-sex days that weekend. For specific dates and locations, hunters are referred to the LDWF regulations pamphlets or the department website at

Because the weekend promises to be quite busy for Louisiana's sportsmen, absentee voting is a viable alternative. Rather than miss prime hunting time with a trip to the polls, interested persons may vote absentee in person at their parish office of the Registrar of Voters. Absentee voting will be available until Saturday, November 30 at 4:30 p.m., with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday. The offices will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Voters must go to the office in the parish where they are registered to vote and bring a picture I.D., preferably a driver's license. Anyone with questions regarding the location of their local office can call the main office of the Louisiana Department of Elections and Registration in Baton Rouge at (225)219-6500 or check their website at