LDWF Accepts Tentative Hunting Season Rules

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The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission voted Thursday to accept the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' recommendations for the 2005-2006 hunting seasons and wildlife management area (WMA) regulations. The vote marks the beginning of a four-month process of taking public comment and refining the dates and rules as the commission sees necessary, which will end with a final vote at their July 7 meeting.

The most significant change to this year's regulations is a decision to make the rules effective for three years instead of one year. Additionally, Area 6 deer season dates were restructured. Archery season would last from October 1-15, bucks only, and October 16-February 12, either sex; muzzleloader season would run from November 12-18 and January 23-30; still-hunt only from November 19-December 9; and hunting with or without dogs from December 10-January 22. All of Terrebonne Parish will now be included in Area 6.

Changes to WMA rules include allowing seniors and handicap permit holders to use ATVs to retrieve deer, the addition of specified year-round ATV trails, giving hunters permission to leave portable deer stands on WMA property with certain requirements, additional nighttime raccoon hunting in some areas, more squirrel-dog and beagle hunting, and additional youth lottery deer hunts. A special youth squirrel hunt was established on a few areas, and will take place on September 24 and 25.

Interested persons are invited to attend any of a series of public hearings the department will hold around the state beginning March 11 in Lake Charles. A full schedule of hearings can be found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov.