Hunting

Alligator Hunting

Private Lands

A resident alligator hunter must either own land or have permission to hunt alligators on land that is classified as wetland habitat in order to qualify for alligator harvest tags. LDWF issues harvest tags for property containing sufficient alligator habitat capable of sustaining an alligator harvest. Alligator hunters apply for alligator tags prior to the season. An alligator hunter license applicant must submit the following:

  • A completed alligator hunter license application form including the hunter's information (name, date of birth, drivers license number, etc.),
  • Proof of property ownership (tax receipts or bill of sale) containing Parish, Township, Range, Section and acreage information,
  • A map outlining the property to be hunted
  • A landowner's signature indicating permission for the hunter to harvest alligators on the property
  • If applicable, a legal alligator hunting lease may be submitted.

Individuals interested in obtaining alligator harvest information on private lands (what is considered alligator habitat, does my property qualify for alligator tags, requirements, etc.) should contact the corresponding office/biologist responsible for administering alligator harvests on private lands for the parish in which the property is located (see map and contact information).

 
Click to enlarge.

Resident alligator hunting licenses cost $25. There is no charge for alligator tags.

Residents not possessing or having permission to harvest alligators on private lands or public lands/lakes can harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.

Nonresidents can only harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.

A guide must be an alligator hunter possessing tags. An alligator Sport Hunter License costs $25 for Louisiana residents and $150 for nonresidents.

Public Lands and Lakes

Residents not possessing or having permission to harvest alligators on private lands may be able to harvest alligators on public lands or lakes. These public lands/lakes are managed by many different entities ranging from local parish governments to federal government agencies. Alligator hunters are selected for these areas through bidding and lotteries. 

LDWF's Lottery Alligator Harvest Program provides more than 300 resident alligator hunters the opportunity to harvest approximately 800 alligators on almost 40 WMAs/public lakes located throughout the state. Lottery applications are available mid to late May of each year.

Individuals interested in obtaining specific public land/lake alligator harvest information (selection methods, requirements, availability, etc.) should contact the corresponding office responsible for that particular public land/lake (see map and contact information).

 
Click to enlarge

Resident alligator hunting licenses cost $25. There is no charge for alligator tags issued to non-lottery alligator hunters. Lottery alligator hunters may be required to pay a set fee per alligator tag issued. These fees are in lieu of payments normally made to LDWF for the value of alligators harvested.

Residents not possessing or having permission to harvest alligators on private lands or public lands/lakes can harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.

Nonresidents can only harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.

A guide must be an alligator hunter possessing tags. An alligator Sport Hunter License costs $25 for Louisiana residents and $150 for nonresidents.

Alligator Program

History

LDWF manages the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) as a commercial, renewable natural resource. The goals of LDWF's alligator program are to manage and conserve Louisiana's alligators as part of the state's wetland ecosystem, provide benefits to the species, its habitat and the other species of fish and wildlife associated with alligators. The basic philosophy was to develop a sustained use management program which, through regulated harvest, would provide long term benefits to the survival of the species, maintain its habitats, and provide significant economic benefits to landowners, alligator farmers and alligator hunters. Since Louisiana's coastal alligator habitats are primarily privately owned (approximately 81%), our sustained use management program provides direct economic benefit and incentive to private landowners, and alligator hunters/farmers who lease land, to protect the alligator and to protect, maintain, and enhance the alligator's wetland habitats.

LDWF's sustained use program is one of the world's most recognizable examples of a wildlife conservation success story. Louisiana's program has been used as a model for managing various crocodilian species throughout the world. Since the inception of LDWF's program in 1972, over 810,000 wild alligators have been harvested, over 6.5 million alligator eggs have been collected, and over 3.5 million farm raised alligators have been sold bringing in millions of dollars of revenue to landowners, trappers and farmers. Conservative estimates have valued these resources at over $704,000,000, providing significant, direct economic benefit to Louisiana.

Commercial trade in alligators is regulated through the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). While the alligator is not endangered or threatened anywhere in the U.S., it is listed on Appendix II of CITES due to its similarity of appearance to other endangered crocodilian species. CITES requirements are implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). On an annual basis LDWF must provide to the USFWS a "finding of no detriment" stating that Louisiana's harvest and export of alligators are not detrimental to the survival of the species.

LDWF's alligator program can be separated into three categories: wild alligator management, alligator farming/ranching program and nuisance alligator program.

Responsibilities

Louisiana's wild alligator management program involves:

  • Annual coastal nest surveys to index populations
  • Calculating 50+ wild alligator harvest quotas
  • Executing the annual wild alligator harvest
  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpretting necessary data,
  • Providing technical assistance to landowners and hunters
  • Ensuring compliance with CITES and USFWS requirements
  • Conducting necessary research activities.

Louisiana's alligator farming/ranching program involves:

  • Monitoring compliance with farm facility requirements
  • Facilitating alligator egg collections; set egg harvest quotas and issue permits
  • Verifying/accounting for farm inventories and harvest tags
  • Processing farm-raised alligators for release into wild
  • Inspecting live alligator and alligator hide shipments
  • Collecting, analyzing and interpretting necessary data
  • Providing technical assistance to landowners and farmers
  • Ensuring compliance with CITES and USFWS requirements.

Louisiana's nuisance alligator program involves:

  • Minimizing/alleviating alligator/human conflicts
  • Managing a statewide network of nuisance alligator hunters
  • Receiving and processing nuisance alligator complaints
  • Assigning complaints to nuisance hunters
  • Ensuring hunter compliance with nuisance alligator policy
  • Reviewing and analyzing nuisance alligator complaints and harvest data annually.

Camp Beauregard

Acreage

12,500

Contact

adailey@wlf.la.gov; 318-487-5885; 1995 Shreveport Hwy, Pineville, LA 71360

Parish

Rapides, Grant

Owner/manager

Louisiana National Guard

Description

The Louisiana National Guard primarily uses Camp Beauregard WMA as a training facility but also manages the area’s timber for commercial production.

There are gently rolling hills in the upland areas. Pine plantations dominate the upland overstory, but there are scattered hardwoods in the hills. The upland understory varies considerably depending on the overstory; areas with good understory development support French mulberry, blackberry, greenbrier, yaupon, trumpet creeper, rattan, and other browse plants.

The Flagon Creek area (about 800 acres) frequently floods and is typical bottomland hardwood forest with water, post, overcup, and red oak; hickory; sweetgum; cypress; and bitter pecan. Common understory plants in this area include swamp privet, water elm, mayhaw, and swamp snowbell.

Activities and Amenities

Camp Beauregard WMA’s first function is as a military reservation; special regulations apply to the use of this WMA.

Hunting and trapping: Game species available for hunting include squirrel, turkey, deer, rabbit, quail, dove, wood duck, and woodcock. There is a disabled veterans lottery hunt for deer as well as a youth-only deer season. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Fishing is available in the Twin Lakes and Flagon Bayou. See regulations for details.

Camping: Limited camping is allowed by reservation only. Call 318-641-3365 for more information.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Camp Beauregard WMA is located approximately 8 miles north of Alexandria.

Buckhorn

Map: 

Acreage

11,121

Contact

mmcgee@wlf.la.gov; 318-343-4044; 368 CenturyLink Dr, Monroe, LA 71203

Parish

Tensas

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

LDWF purchased the majority of Buckhorn WMA in 1995 and added about 2,400 acres of cultivated farmland to the WMA between 2001 and 2003. LDWF has reforested the majority of Buckhorn WMA and manages a portion as wetlands.

The terrain on Buckhorn WMA is made up of undulating ridges and swales, with elevations ranging from 50 to 70 feet above sea level. Six small bayous flow through the area, providing approximately 13 miles of waterways. There are also six small lakes, approximately 200 acres, on Buckhorn WMA; all are subject to backwater flooding from the Tensas River. The bayous and lakes receive turbid runoff from the surrounding agricultural areas.

The main tree species on Buckthorn WMA are willow, nuttall, overcup, and water oak; sweetgum; green ash; persimmon; sugarberry; honey locust; sweet and bitter pecan; elm; cypress; and tupelo gum. The understory is extremely dense throughout the WMA; understory species include palmetto, switchcane, rattan, Rubus sp., Crataegus sp., buttonbush, swamp dogwood, Vitis sp., deciduous holly, Smilax sp., baccharis, poison ivy, and many herbaceous species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Buckhorn WMA’s most popular game species are white-tailed deer, squirrel, and rabbit. There is a youth deer season and lottery hunt. Waterfowl, woodcock, snipe, and raccoon hunting are also available. In fact, the areas managed for waterfowl, along with the sloughs and waterways, offer excellent waterfowl hunting. See regulations for details.

Physically challenged wheelchair-confined hunting areas are available on Buckhorn WMA. There is also a physically challenged deer season. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Fishing and boating: Boat launches are available on most area lakes. Recreational fishing for freshwater fish, including largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish, crawfishing, and frogging are available; however, fishing is limited by lack of available aquatic habitat. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Recognized by the American Bird Conservancy as an Important Birding Area, Buckthorn WMA is visited by many neotropical bird and shorebird species annually and is home to large numbers of passerine and wading birds. The areas managed for waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds, along with the sloughs and waterways, offer excellent birding opportunities. Birders frequently observe bald eagles and their nests in this area.

Louisiana black bear frequent Buckthorn WMA; reported sightings have been increasing. Black bear research is ongoing at Buckhorn WMA.

Hiking: The 1-1/2-mile Brushy Lake Nature Trail located adjacent to Clydesdale Road provides a unique opportunity for users to enjoy both aquatic and terrestrial aspects of the bottomland hardwood ecosystem. Several walking trails follow pipeline rights-of-way.

Other: horseback riding, berry picking

Directions

Buckthorn WMA is located 14 miles west of St. Joseph. Access routes include LA Hwy 4 and 128 and parish roads such as Clydesdale Road and Honeysuckle Lane. LDWF maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and several ATV trails that provide access to area users. There are four self-clearing permit stations located at major entrances to the area.

Boeuf

Map: 

Acreage

51,110

Contact

mmcgee@wlf.la.gov; 318-343-4044; 368 CenturyLink Dr, Monroe, LA 71203

Parish

Caldwell, Catahoula

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Boeuf WMA is bordered by the Bouef River for approximately 47 miles on its eastern side. There are eight bayous on the area with a combined length of 30 miles. Boeuf WMA has 26 lakes, totaling about 1,800 acres. The terrain is flat and poorly drained. The majority of the area is subject to frequent flooding from Boeuf River and Bayou LaFourche. All lakes and bayous on Boeuf WMA are subject to annual overflow.

A large portion of Boeuf WMA consists of farmland that has been partially reforested in bottomland hardwoods. The forest overstory is a relatively closed stand of mixed bottomland hardwoods. On the higher elevations, the main tree species are willow, Nuttall, and post oak; cedar elm; sweetgum; green ash; persimmon; and honey locust. The main tree species in the lower elevations are overcup oak, bitter pecan, cypress, and tupelo gum. Understory species include rattan, Rubus sp., Crataegus sp., swamp dogwood, Vitis sp., deciduous holly, Smilax sp., baccharis, poison ivy, and many herbaceous species. LDWF manages approximately 4,000 acres of the bottomland hardwood forest along with an 1,800-acre greentree reservoir in moist soil and shallow water for waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds.

LDWF purchased the majority of Boeuf WMA (three tracts totaling 38,444 acres) through the Conservation Fund between 1977 and 1981. Between 1993 and 1998, LDWF purchased the Tensas Delta Tract (approximately 10,000 acres) from the Tensas Delta Land Company through the State Duck Stamp Fund. LDWF purchased the remaining acreage, the Topan Tract, in mid-2000.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: The most popular game species on Boeuf WMA are white-tailed deer, waterfowl, squirrel, rabbit, and turkey. There are youth-only deer and squirrel seasons and a small game emphasis area. The areas managed for waterfowl along with the numerous sloughs and waterways offer excellent waterfowl hunting. Dove, woodcock, and snipe hunting opportunities are also available. Several dove fields planted annually in brown-top millet are available to area users. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: There are boat launches on most area lakes. Common freshwater fish include largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish. Crawfishing and frogging are also available. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Boeuf WMA is visited by many neotropical bird and shorebird species annually and is home to large numbers of passerine and wading birds. The areas managed for waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds along with the numerous sloughs and waterways offer excellent birding opportunities. Bucks Brake, located in the Hebert area, contains a rookery that provides resting and nesting habitat for many species of wading birds, egrets, and wood ducks. Birders also frequently observe bald eagles and their nests.

Louisiana black bears frequent this area; reported sightings have been increasing.

Camping: There are three primitive camping areas on Boeuf WMA.

Hiking: The ¾-mile Bayou Crew Nature Trail is located in the interior of Boeuf WMA. Several walking trails follow pipeline rights-of-way.

Other: horseback riding, berry picking

Directions

Boeuf WMA is located 10 miles southeast of Columbia. Major access routes to the area include LA Hwy 4, 559, 133, and 848. LDWF maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and numerous ATV trails that provide access to area users. There are seven self-clearing permit stations located at major entrances to the area.

Bodcau

Holiday Closure

Bodcau shooting range Friday (Nov. 23) in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday

Acreage

33,766

Contact

jjohnson@wlf.la.gov; 318-371-3050; 9961 Hwy 80, Minden, LA 71055

Parish

Bossier, Webster

Owner/manager

Owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; managed by LDWF through long-term licensing agreements

Description

Bodcau WMA gets its name from Bodcau Bayou, the major bayou that bisects it from its northernmost point at the Arkansas-Louisiana state line to its southernmost tip nearly 30 miles to the south. The area is long and narrow with an average width of 1-1/2 miles. Ivan Lake is on Bodcau WMA, and there is also a manmade dam and seasonal flood reservoir which were built to control downstream flooding.

Bodcau WMA contains a wide range of wildlife habitat ranging from cypress swamps to upland pine and hardwood forests interspersed with grasslands and open fields. Many species of grasses and forbs typically found in states west of Louisiana can be found growing in the grassland areas. There are numerous seasonally flooded sloughs, beaver ponds, and large areas of flatland, bottomland, hardwood forests. The bottomland forest rapidly merges with the upland forest on a series of ridges that extend into the bottomland area.

The main bottomland tree species include bald cypress and water, overcup, willow, and cow oaks. Shortleaf and loblolly pine; white, red, and cherrybark oaks; sweetgum; and elm trees dominate upland forests. Understory species in the bottomland area include poison ivy, honeysuckle, rattan, buttonbush, and swamp privet. Upland understory species include blackberry, honeysuckle, poison ivy, beautyberry, and sawbriar.

LDWF, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, manages and develops habitat on Bodcau WMA through prescribed burning, fallow disking, supplemental food plantings, water level manipulation, and timber harvest. These practices help to provide quality habitat for game and non-game species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include white-tailed deer (both archery and modern firearms), squirrel, rabbit, dove, quail, and all other species of small game. The deer herd is considered healthy. Waterfowl hunting is available in the 1,600 acre greentree reservoir and in the numerous sloughs and backwater flooded areas. Turkey hunting is also allowed during a short spring gobbler season. There are youth-only deer, squirrel, and turkey seasons. See regulations for details.

Shooting range: There is a free, public shooting range with a rifle range with targets from 25 to 200 yards, a pistol range with 25-yard targets, and a shotgun station. The range is supervised by an approved range officer. Click here for more information, email tbuffington@wlf.la.gov, or call 318-326-3225.

Fishing and boating: Fishing and small boating are available on Ivan Lake. Bass and bream fishing are excellent on Bodcau Bayou and its overflow; crawfish are also abundant during certain years. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Great blue herons, several species of hawks, and barred, horned and screech owls are common on Bodcau WMA. Yellow, black and white, yellow-throated, magnolia, prairie, and yellow-rumped warblers are regularly seen on the area. Numerous species of reptiles, amphibians, and insects are common as well.

Camping: Camping is available at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improved camping area located on the south end of Bodcau WMA and at several primitive camping areas.

Directions

Bodcau WMA is located approximately 17 miles northeast of Bossier City. Travel north on LA Hwy 157 from I-20 at Haughton to Bellevue, then follow the signs to Bodcau WMA. ATVs and UTVs are permitted on a seasonal basis (September 1 through the end of February) on numerous marked trails on the WMA. A small number of these trails are open year-round for access to additional fishing locations.

Biloxi

Map: 

Acreage

35,644

Contact

bbreland@wlf.la.gov

985-543-4777

Parish

St. Bernard

Owner/manager

Owned by Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation; leased to and managed by LDWF

Description

Biloxi WMA is a low brackish to saline marsh. Major vegetation includes marsh hay cordgrass, black rush, hog cane, smooth cordgrass, saltgrass, glasswort, and three square. There are a few oak trees on old ridges. Widgeon grass is the main submerged aquatic plant.

Due to Biloxi WMA’s tremendous number of bayous, sloughs, and potholes, the area is home to an abundance of fish, shrimp, crabs, waterfowl, and furbearers. There are a few canal spoil banks and ridges scattered throughout the marsh which provide birds and mammals refuge from rising water levels during storms or high tides.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Popular game species on Biloxi WMA include rabbits, rails, gallinules, snipe, ducks (lesser scaup, teal, wigeon, gadwall, shoveler, mottled, pintail, and mallard), and geese (blue and snow). There is an archery only deer season as well. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Common fish species on Biloxi WMA include speckled trout, redfish, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, and croaker. Both recreational and commercial fishermen harvest large amounts of crab and shrimp in this area. See regulations for details.

Other: birding

Directions

Biloxi WMA is located about 40 miles east of New Orleans. The area is accessible only by boat via commercial launches at Hopedale and Shell Beach.

Big Lake

Map: 

Acreage

19,231

Contact

mmcgee@wlf.la.gov; 318-343-4044; 368 CenturyLink Dr, Monroe, LA 71203

Parish

Franklin, Tensas, Madison

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

The eastern boundary of Big Lake WMA is contiguous with a portion of the western boundary of Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. Together, these areas form one of the largest remaining tracts of the vast bottomland hardwood forest that historically composed the lower Mississippi River floodplain from lower Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico. LDWF purchased the area through the Rockefeller Fund in three components between 1983 and 1985 (9,833 acres in 1983, 4,888 acres in 1984, and 4,510 acres in 1985).

Big Lake WMA is flat with some ridges and generally poorly drained; terrain varies from 55 to 65 feet above sea level. The area floods seasonally, depending on water levels of the Tensas River, and periodically after heavy rainful. Abandoned and active mineral exploration and production sites, roadways, pipelines, and open water lakes, sloughs, and bayous provide diversity throughout the area’s terrain. There are seven small lakes and six small bayous, making up approximately 200 acres and 25 miles of waterways, respectively.

The forested area of Big Lake WMA consists of relatively closed overstory canopy with a fairly dense understory. Major tree species include nuttall, water, willow, and overcup oak; American and cedar elm; sweetgum; bitter pecan; honey locust; sugarberry; willow; sycamore; persimmon; red maple; box elder; and cypress. The understory includes rattan, Rubus sp., Crataegus sp., swamp dogwood, Vitis sp., deciduous holly, elderberry, Smilax sp., baccharis, switchcane, poison ivy, and many herbaceous species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: The most popular game species on Big Lake WMA are white-tailed deer, squirrels, rabbits, and turkey. There are youth-only deer and turkey seasons. There are also limited waterfowl and woodcock hunting opportunities. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Boat launches are available on most of the area’s lakes. Recreational fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish, crawfishing, and frogging are popular with area users. See regulations for details.

Camping: There are no public camping areas on Big Lake WMA; however, campsites are available to the public for a fee on adjacent private property.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Recognized by the American Bird Conservancy as an important site, Big Lake WMA is home to large numbers of passerine birds, and many neotropical bird species visit the area every year. Birders regularly observe bald eagles and osprey.

Big Lake WMA and Tensas National Wildlife Refuge are home to a thriving population of Louisiana black bear. Reported sightings are steadily increasing, and black bear research is ongoing in this entire area.

Hiking: The 1-mile Trusler Lake Hiking Trail is located on the interior of Big Lake WMA. Several walking trails follow pipeline rights-of-way.

Other: horseback riding, berry picking

Directions

Big Lake WMA is located 12 miles east of Gilbert. Major access routes include LA Hwy 4 and 610. LDWF maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and numerous ATV trails that provide access to area users. There are four self-clearing permit stations at major entrances to the area.

Big Colewa Bayou

Acreage

1,798

Contact

mmcgee@wlf.la.gov; 318-343-4044; 368 CenturyLink Dr, Monroe, LA 71203

Parish

West Carroll

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Received as a donation through federal bankruptcy proceedings in 1994 and 1998, Big Colewa Bayou WMA consists of six separate units:

  • Bearskin (borders the Boeuf River with about 4,715 feet of frontage)
  • Big Colewa (straddles Big Colewa Bayou)
  • Redwing
  • New Prospect
  • Plum Grove
  • New Hope.

On all units except Bearskin, the terrain is basically flat, varying only 10 feet in elevation—85 to 95 feet above sea level. Most of the Bearskin unit is also flat, but elevation changes abruptly near the banks of the Boeuf River, from 70 to 100 feet above sea level. Roadways, pipelines, sloughs, and bayous provide some diversity throughout the area’s terrain.

Timber species on the various tracts include willow, water, and delta post oak; sweetgum; hackberry; sassafras; cedar and American elm; and pignut hickory. Bald cypress, green ash, bitter pecan, overcup oak, and black willow are found along small stream drainages. Principle understory and mid-story species include palmetto, rattan, greenbrier, trumpet creeper, poison ivy, peppervine, Japanese honeysuckle, hawthorn, deciduous holly, and swamp dogwood. LDWF has planted approximately 400 acres of agricultural land in hardwood trees.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: This area is very popular with deer hunters (archery only). Other game species include rabbit and dove. There are also limited hunting opportunities for waterfowl, woodcock, and squirrel. Big Colewa Bayou WMA has a small game emphasis area. See regulations for details.

Physically challenged wheelchair-confined deer hunting areas are available on Big Colewa Bayou WMA. There is a physically challenged deer season available by reservation only. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Fishing: Freshwater fishing is available along the Boeuf River. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Dozens of species of neotropical migrants and passerine birds visit Big Colewa Bayou WMA during the northward spring migration. Black bears are sometimes found in the area.

Other: hiking, horseback riding, berry picking

Directions

  • Bearskin: approximately 10 miles west of Pioneer on River Road
  • Big Colewa: south end of Morgan Road, 7 miles southwest of Oak Grove
  • Redwing: east end of Bearfoot Road, 1 mile south of Redwing Community and 6 miles southwest of Oak Grove
  • New Prospect: bordered on the west by LA Hwy 585 and on the east by Bennie Fowler Road, 7 miles west of Darnell
  • Plum Grove and New Hope: 3 miles west of Darnell; no public access roads

The smaller units are walk-in only, but LDWF maintains an ATV/UTV trail that provides access to area users on the Bearskin unit. There is one self-clearing permit station on the Bearskin unit; a self-clearing permit is encouraged but not required.

Bayou Pierre

Acreage

3,753

Contact

jjohnson@wlf.la.gov; 318-371-3050; 9961 Hwy 80, Minden, LA 71055

Parish

Red River, Desoto

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Located in the Red River Alluvial Valley, Bayou Pierre WMA has flat terrain with only a 5-foot change in elevation across the entire area. Bayou Pierre bisects the WMA. With poorly draining soil, the area is subject to periodic annual flooding.

During the mid-1900s, farmers cleared the area’s bottomland hardwood forest and drained the area. After several failed farming attempts, the property was deeded to LDWF in 1992.

Bayou Pierre WMA has drainages, wet weather ponds, sloughs, reforested areas, grasslands, and wildlife openings that create habitat favorable for a diverse wildlife community. LDWF has developed four distinct types of wildlife habitat on the WMA:

  • A 160-acre moist soil waterfowl refuge
  • 800 acres in ridge and swale topography/reforested bottomland hardwoods
  • 200-plus acres in reforested hardwood
  • Planted dove fields and open grasslands.

LDWF has partnered with several organizations including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, American Energy Producers, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop and maintain these habitats.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include white-tailed deer, rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, snipe, waterfowl, and dove. Deer, squirrel and raccoon hunting are limited due to the young age of the reforested hardwood area. There is a small game emphasis area on Bayou Pierre WMA. Waterfowl hunting is limited to lottery hunts (youth and general) due to the WMA’s small size and LDWF’s efforts to maintain the area as a migration refuge for waterfowl during the winter. High concentrations of snipe use this area during the late winter when local rainfall allows for sheeting of shallow water and saturated soil conditions. Dove hunting opportunities range from good to fair depending on dove migrations and agricultural practices on the surrounding farms. Dove hunters should scout the area during the later portions of dove season when winter cold fronts push additional flights of doves into the area and hunting pressure is generally very light. Trapping is allowed on Bayou Pierre WMA, except in the waterfowl refuge. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Birding is popular at Bayou Pierre WMA, especially from early fall through winter and during the northward spring migration. Bayou Pierre WMA is an excellent area to see hawks and owls during the winter. A variety of sparrows (white-throated, white-crowned, chipping, field, fox, and song), red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, and American kestrels are also common during the winter. Spring transient warblers include the yellow, Tennessee, black-throated green, and magnolia. Scissor-tailed flycatchers often nest on Bayou Pierre WMA during the summer. Numerous species of reptiles, amphibians, and insects can also be found using the diverse habitat in this area.

Camping: Primitive camping is allowed in designated areas (see map for details).

Directions

Bayou Pierre WMA is located 20 miles south of Shreveport. From LA Hwy 1, take Yearwood Road to Lacoupe Road to access the WMA. LDWF maintains one year-round ATV/UTV trail on the area. Parish-maintained roads also provide access to and through the area.

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