September 26, 2020

Louisiana Hunters Speak Out About Hunting Rule Changes

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Hunters gathered in Opelousas, Louisiana on Tuesday night to voice their opinions and ask questions regarding changes to hunting rules for 2006-2008. The two big items up for discussion were a proposal to ban hunting deer with dogs on public lands and the change to allow hunters to take 3 bucks and 3 does per season. About 100 hunters showed.

A deer/dog task force was formed to study the issue of hunting deer with dog, a long time tradition in Louisiana. Their job was to gather information and make recommendations to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries board. At issue is the problem of dogs running loose on private lands and the controversy of  “still hunters” not wanting dog hunters running deer.

The recommendation for the task force is to stop hunting with dogs on public lands and of course dog hunters are opposed to it.

The other issue which doesn’t seem nearly as controversial, is the bag limits being recommended for next season – 3 bucks and 3 does. I am not a hunter from Louisiana so therefore I am not accustomed to their ways and past traditions of hunting but I find comments made by some in attendance Tuesday to be comical from my perspective. Try to understand this if you can.

I was born and raised in Maine. I learned to hunt from day one and from day one, hunters essentially have been able to harvest one deer per season – no dogs, ever. In the seventies, in an effort to bolster the deer herd, officials instituted a “bucks only” law. Any deer permits could be applied for and a prescribed number where issued through lottery but you were still only allowed one deer per season.

Louisiana is going to be allowed 3 bucks and 3 does per hunter per season and they don’t have an official tagging system the way Maine does. They are working on one and hope to have it in place by 2008.

With tongue in cheek, I sympathize with the poor Louisiana hunter being forced to have to take only 3 bucks and 3 does. (Insert smiley here). My jest isn’t to ridicule or make fun of Louisiana hunters, it is only to point out that it is all a matter of what we grow up with and become accustomed to.

Here’s an example of a comment that was made at the meeting.

“We pride ourselves in our deer hunting, and we (members) were allowed to kill six bucks a year,”

Six bucks a year! Holy cow! I wonder what that would be like. This comment was followed by another that I found amusing as well.

“We applaud the board for the way the regulations were carried out in the past, but how are we to continue to keep members if we can only kill three bucks?”

The speaker was making reference to keeping members to their hunting club. For those who may not be familiar, in many states the only land available to hunt on, with the exception of a few parcels of public lands, is private land. Often these private lands are leased to hunting clubs, sometimes at exhorbitant prices. To join a club, in order to hunt on that land, can cost hunters big bucks (dollars). In this case, the hunter making the comment was referring to perhaps having a difficult time finding enough members willing to cough up the money because now hunters would only be able to take 3 bucks and 3 does instead of 6 bucks.

It’s all what you are used to.

No official decisions have been made and will not until the May 4 meeting of the LDWF board. There are other public meeting scheduled.

The link below, a previous post about this topic, will direct you to a web site that lists dates and times of next public meetings.

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