From the desk of Adam Einck:
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted notices of intent for the 2010-12 hunting seasons and the 2010-11 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) General Rules and Regulations at their Feb. 4 meeting.
The notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming fall hunting season.
The proposed changes are as follows:
· Area six hunters participating in the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) and Landowner Antlerless Deer Tag (LADT) Program would have to adhere to the bucks-only requirement during the first 15 days of the archery-only season.
· Adding mandatory deer checks to Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and allowing hunters to validate deer during mandatory deer check hunts.
· Properly licensed youths 16-17 years old and youths 12 years of age and older who have successfully completed a hunter safety course would be able to hunt without a supervising adult for private lands and WMA youth hunts. Furthermore, LDWF proposes to remove the rule restricting an adult to supervision one youth only.
· Active and retired law enforcement officers in compliance with POST requirements, federal law enforcement officers and holders of Louisiana concealed handgun permits who are in compliance with other state and federal firearms regulations would be able to possess firearms on WMAs provided these firearms are not used for hunting.
· New Limited Access Areas (LAA) are proposed on the Pass-a-Loutre, Pointe-Aux-Chenes, Atchafalaya Delta and Salvador WMAs. LAAs mean no internal combustion engines are allowed from September through January in these areas.
· Since snipe are commonly hunted in wetland habitat where the deposition of lead is of concern to waterfowl species, LDWF is proposing to add snipe to the list of species that must be hunted with non-toxic shot on WMAs.
· To add one day of either-sex hunting on Big Lake, Boeuf, Red River/Three Rivers and Sicily Islands WMAs the Sunday after Thanksgiving. LDWF also proposes to add 11 days of either sex hunting on Sherburne WMA from Nov. 28 to Dec. 10.
· To cancel the youth lottery rabbit hunt on Floy Ward McElroy WMA on the first weekend of January.
· Pearl River WMA regulations currently prohibit any hunting when the Pearl River gauge reaches 16 1/2 feet, except waterfowl hunting south of HWY 90. LDWF is proposing to allow waterfowl hunting on the entire Pearl River WMA when the river gauge exceeds 16 1/2 feet during the open waterfowl season on the WMA.
· To establish a youth and physically challenged either sex hunt on the north tract of Sandy Hollow WMA on Nov. 6-7.
· To establish a feral hog season on Joyce, Maurepas Swamp and Tangipahoa Parish School Board WMAs from Oct. 1 to Feb. 28. In addition, a hog dog season will be added to Attakapas WMA by permit only from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28.
· To add option that feral hogs may be taken with archery equipment during the special feral hog seasons on Atchafalaya Delta, Pointe-Aux-Chenes, Pass-a-Loutre and Salvador WMAs.
· To establish a fall turkey lottery season on Peason Ridge WMA at the request of the U.S. Army from Oct. 2-8.
Public comment can be submitted to Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, LDWF, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 until May 6.
The public meeting schedule for the proposed 2010-11 hunting season is as follows:
· March 9 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Hammond High School located at 45168 River Road.
· March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Ruston Civic Center located at N. Trenton St.
· March 10 at 6 p.m. at the Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
· March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
· March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the LSU AgCenter next to Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.