Hunting Season Proposal Amended

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The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission voted unanimously to amend the 2003-2004 Hunting Season Dates and Regulations proposal submitted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The original notice of intent was presented to the commission at their March meeting. The department has been collecting public comments from across the state regarding it.

The first change to the proposal deals with the deer hunting dates in Area 5. Due to public comment received concerning the number of hunting days in the area, LDWF suggested increasing the number of days for deer hunting. The new proposal now calls for the modern gun portion of the season to begin on November 28, an either-sex day, and end on December 14. This is an increase of eight days from what was originally suggested. Also, the second split of the muzzleloader season was changed. It will now open on December 26 and end on January 1.

One of the most popular topics of public comment was the new closing time for waterfowl hunting on coastal wildlife management areas. It was originally proposed that Atchafalaya Delta, Biloxi, Pass-a-loutre, Pointe-aux-chenes, Salvador/Timken and Wisner W.M.A.s institute a uniform closing time of 2 p.m. for waterfowl hunting. Many hunters expressed concern that this would not allow for sufficient hunting time on Atchafalaya WMA because access to waterfowl are driven by the tides, not the clock. The LWFC heard these comments and agreed to remove Atchafalaya Delta from consideration for the new closure time.

These amendments are now part of the notice of intent that the commission will vote to ratify at their July meeting. Public comment will still be accepted by the Wildlife Division regarding the proposal. They may be sent to the Wildlife Division by mail, e-mail, phone or fax. The mailing address is LDWF, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898, attn: Jimmy Anthony. The e-mail address is [email protected]. The phone number is (225)765-2347 and the fax number is (225)763-5456.