Hunting

Resident Small Game Seasons

2019–20  Schedule

Species

Season Dates

Daily Bag Limit

Possession Limit

Quail

Nov. 16 – Feb. 29

10

30

Rabbit

Oct. 5 – Feb. 29

8

24

Squirrel

Oct. 5 – Feb. 29

8

24

May 2 – 24*

3

9

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Consult Wildlife Management Area and Federal Land schedules for specific regulations and dates on those areas.

*Spring squirrel season is CLOSED on the Kisatchie National Forest, national wildlife refuges, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property, and some state wildlife management areas (check WMA season schedules).

Deer Tag Requirements

Prior to hunting deer, all deer hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain deer tags and have them in their possession when hunting deer. Immediately upon harvesting a deer, the hunter must tag the deer with the appropriate carcass tag before moving it from the kill site, and the hunter must document the kill on the harvest report card portion of the deer tag license.

The hunter must record the date of kill and the parish of kill on the carcass tag. The tag must remain attached to the deer while kept at camp, or while it is transported to the domicile of the hunter or to a cold storage facility. Hunters who keep the carcass or meat at camp must also comply with the game possession tag regulations. Within 72 hours, the hunter must validate the kill using the toll-free validation phone number 1-844-522-4325 or online.

Hunters harvesting deer on Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) lands should follow the instructions provided to them by LDWF. When deer check stations are in operation, hunters on wildlife management areas (WMAs) can validate deer during mandatory deer checks.

Turkey Restocking Program

Habitat Assessment

Locating suitable release sites for wild turkeys has been key to the success of Louisiana’s turkey restocking program. Over the years, LDWF received many requests from landowners and sportsmen to stock wild turkeys. LDWF continues to get five to ten requests annually. It has been LDWF's policy for many years that restocking requests be evaluated by a regional biologist and/or Turkey Program Leader prior to being approved. Criteria used in the evaluation are the presence or absence of wild turkeys, distance from presently occupied turkey range to request area, amount of suitable habitat at the release site, support by local residents, land use trends, and potential for expansion.

Restocking Summary

LDWF's trapping and relocation efforts have resulted in the capture and release of 3,856 turkeys. Wild turkeys have been released in 45 parishes since 1963. During the mid-1990s, a total of 766 turkeys (480 captured in-state and 286 received from out-of-state) were released at 35 sites in 20 parishes. Most areas in the state capable of supporting viable wild turkey populations have now been restocked.

Management

Turkey habitat management activities include improving turkey habitat on wildlife management areas and the Kisatchie National Forest as well as providing technical assistance to landowners and managers with an interest in improving turkey habitat on their lands. Habitat management techniques frequently used include maintaining openings, planting fall and spring food plots, hardwood composition enhancement, and, in pinelands, prescribed burning.

Wildlife Division personnel provide recommendations to LDWF on hunting seasons and regulations based on the results of the monitoring programs.

Dove Hunting

2019-2020 Season

South Zone

  • Sept. 7-15
  • Oct. 12 - Nov. 17
  • Dec. 19 - Jan. 31

North Zone

  • Sept. 7-29
  • Oct. 12- Nov 17
  • Dec. 28 - Jan. 26

Dove hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset EXCEPT for opening day of the first split on WMAs and LDWF leased dove fields where shooting hours will be 12 pm (noon) to sunset, EXCEPT for Elbow Slough WMA, which will be open one-half hour before sunrise to sunset..

Note that on state wildlife management areas and LDWF leased fields, non-toxic shot only is required when hunting doves; no lead shot is allowed.

Dove Hunting Zones

The following boundary divides the state into North and South dove season zones: Beginning at the Texas-Louisiana border on La. Hwy. 12; thence east along La. Hwy. 12 to its intersection with U.S. Hwy. 190; thence east along U.S. Hwy. 190 to its intersection with Interstate 12; thence east along I-12 to its intersection with Interstate 10; then east along I-10 to the Mississippi state line.

Bag and Possession Limits

Mourning and white-winged doves and fully dressed Eurasian collared- and ringed turtle-doves:

  • Daily bag limit: 15 in aggregate
  • Possession limit: 45 in aggregate
  • Note: there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird. Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed-turtle doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.

Private Dove Lease Fields

Dove Lease Fields 

Public Dove Hunting Opportunities on WMAs

2019 Elbow Slough WMA Dove Lottery Application

WMA Dove Fields 2019

Population Monitoring and Research

The Wildlife Division conducts/sponsors a number of survey and research projects to keep abreast with turkey populations status, turkey habitat needs, basic biology, harvest, and harvest rates. These include poult surveys, gobbling activity surveys, banding, and radio telemetry. While more complete information about these projects is contained in the turkey program reports, several generalizations can be made as a result of these activities:

  • Brood size has been found to be generally largest in the western longleaf region of the State.
  • Adult gobblers typically make up more than 80% of the reported harvest at check stations on a statewide basis.
  • Turkeys are quite mobile. Movements of 5-plus miles is common in contigous habitat. Two radio-tagged hens moved about 20 miles before radio contact was lost.
  • Gobbling generally increases until the start of hunting season, regardless of the start date.
  • Harvest rate can be highly variable depending on the site, bag limit, and season length.

Program

The Wild Turkey Program includes management, restoration, and population monitoring and research of the wild turkey in Louisiana. In order to meet public demands for this resource, Wildlife Division biologists offer technical assistance to improve habitat on public and private lands for the benefit of the wild turkey. In addition, monies for various projects are made available through LDWF's Wild Turkey Stamp Program and the Louisiana State Chapter of The National Wild Turkey Federation's Super Fund Program. Two population monitoring surveys are conducted to develop population indices and to track population trends of wild turkeys. The Program biologist Cody Cedotal (ccedotal@wlf.la.gov) represents LDWF on several technical committees that are involved in monitoring and formulating regional and national programs that can impact on the wild turkey.

Population Status

Prior to 1880, the wild turkey population in Louisiana was estimated to be as high as one million birds. However, by the turn of the century, the state's turkey population started a precipitous decline. Exploitation of our virgin forests, subsistence hunting, market hunting, and unregulated sport hunting played roles in the declining wild turkey population in the state. By 1946, Louisiana's turkey population was estimated to be only 1,463 turkeys. Beginning in 1962, a restoration program that consisted of trapping and releasing wild captured birds into suitable habitat was initiated. Since that time, the state's wild turkey population has grown to an estimated 80,000 birds.

Turkey Hunting

2019 Turkey Hunting Schedules

Click here to validate you tag or call 1-844-LACHECK.

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Area A: April 6 - May 5*

Area B: April 6-28*

Area C: April 6-21*

Youth & Physically Challenged Hunt (restricted to youth and wheelchair confined physically challenged hunters - Areas A, B and C on private land only): March 30-31

*Seasons open in Areas A, B, and C on private lands only. See separate Wildlife Management Area schedules, National Wildlife Refuge schedules (below), and Federal Lands schedules for season dates on those areas.

 

2019 National Wildlife Refuge Schedules

Contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for information regarding NWR hunts:

Bayou Cocodrie NWR: March 30-31 (Youth Lottery Only)

Bogue Chitto NWR: March 30-31 (Youth Only) and April 6-28

Lake Ophelia NWR: March 30 (Youth Lottery Only) and April 6-21

Tensas NWR: March 30-31 (Youth Only) and April 6-21

Upper Ouachita NWR: March 30 (Youth Lottery Only)

 

For more details on the 2019 turkey season, refer to the latest hunting regulations.

Migratory and Waterfowl

Get Your Federal Electronic Duck Stamp

Effective August 1, 2014, Louisiana waterfowl hunters can purchase a Federal Duck Stamp online and through license vendors.

The Federal Duck Stamp is required for all waterfowl hunters, including those who are not required to purchase a hunting license. Hunters under the age of 16 are exempt. Hunters, who purchase their Federal Duck Stamp online, phone or mobile, will receive a confirmation number. If you purchase your stamp from a retail vendor or LDWF online licensing, you will receive a printed receipt. Both the confirmation number and printed receipt will be accepted as evidence of the purchase for 45 days and must be possessed while hunting waterfowl. The paper stamp will be mailed to the purchaser. The proof of purchase will expire after 45 days from the date of purchase. All Federal Duck Stamps expire on June 30, regardless of when issued.

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