Hunting

Elm Hall

Map: 

Acreage

2,839

Contact

jhaynes@wlf.la.gov; 337-948-0255; 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570

Parish

Assumption

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Acquired by LDWF in 1998, Elm Hall WMA is located on the northeast corner of Lake Verret; the western boundary of the WMA fronts the lake. There is an aesthetically rich, naturally flooded cypress-tupelo swamp adjacent to Lake Verret. Moving east, elevation rises slightly toward a more bottomland hardwood area. Bayous and oilfield canals provide access and diversity to the WMA. Most of the swamp stays flooded year-round; the bottomland areas periodically flood.

Common swamp plant species include cypress, tupelo, buttonbush, alligator weed, smartweed, elephant ear, and duckweed. The main species in the bottomland areas are red maple, black willow, swamp privet, and hackberry. Cottonwood, sycamore and oaks are found on the slightly higher areas, especially on the banks of oilfield canals.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Common game species are white-tailed deer, rabbit, and squirrel. Waterfowl species are present during winter migration, and wood ducks are found on the area year-round. Hunters must have a self-clearing permit. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Fishing for bream, white crappie, and bass is excellent in the oilfield canals and on the edge of the WMA in the northeast corner of Lake Verret. Other common fish include catfish, mullet, and freshwater drum. See regulations for details.

Camping: Camping is allowed in the designated camping area.

Birding: Bald eagles frequent Elm Hall WMA and nest in the tall cypress trees surrounding Lake Verret. Ospreys, hawks, owls, and neotropical migrant birds are also found on the WMA.

Directions

Elm Hall WMA is located 5 miles west of Napoleonville. You can only access this WMA by boat; major public launches nearby include: Attakapas Landing at the end of Hwy 401, Pierre Part on Hwy 70, and the end of Hwy 402.

Spring Bayou WMA

Acreage

12,506

Contact

jhaynes@wlf.la.gov; 337-948-0255; 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570

Parish

Avoyelles

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Spring Bayou WMA is in the low-lying Red River backwater system. In general, the terrain is low, poorly drained land, with numerous lakes and narrow ridges. About 40 percent of the WMA is covered by water, with various open lakes, bayous, bays, and sloughs. The area is drained by Little River.

The forest cover consists of nuttall and overcup oak with bitter pecan on the higher elevations. The lower elevations contain overcup oak, bitter pecan, swamp privet, and buttonbush. Lake edges are fringed with cypress, willow, and buttonbush. The understory consists of deciduous holly, hawthorn, dogwood, and seedlings of the overstory. Other plants include rattan, greenbrier, peppervine, trumpet creeper, dewberry, smartweed, verbena, wild lettuce, vetch, sedges, and grasses. Aquatic species include water hyacinth, alligator weed, delta duck potato, water primrose, lotus, and duckweed.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include deer, squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl, and woodcock. There are youth deer and squirrel seasons and a youth turkey lottery hunt. Trapping for furbearers is allowed; available species are raccoon, mink, bobcat, and nutria. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Fishing is excellent and very popular during the spring and summer. LDWF has released triploid carp throughout the area to combat encroachment of aquatic vegetation and improve the health of the fishery. Common species are largemouth bass, various panfish, and catfish. Commercial fishing is allowed by permit. Boating and waterskiing are popular in open water portions of the WMA. See regulations for details.

Camping: There are campgrounds with electricity accessible via Spring Bayou Road.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Spring Bayou WMA is located 2 miles east of Marksville, off LA Hwy 115 and 452. These highways connect to LA Hwy 1 and 107 in the immediate vicinity of Marksville. Vehicle access to the east side is via an improved shell road off the Bordelonville levee. You can mainly access the interior by boat. There are three concrete boat ramps on the WMA. You can access the Boggy Bayou boat launch and campgrounds via Spring Bayou Road.

Elbow Slough WMA

Acreage

160

Contact

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

Parish

Rapides

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Elbow Slough WMA is a small tract within the Red River floodplain. Formerly agricultural cropland, the WMA’s terrain is flat with heavy clay soils that are poorly drained. LDWF planted approximately 100 acres of native hardwood species on this WMA in the early 1990s. LDWF also constructed a 40-acre impoundment and manages it to provide seasonal shallow water habitat for migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds. The remaining acreage is natural water and planted fields.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting: Hunting opportunities are limited due to the size of the tract. However, dove and rabbit hunting are usually good. Hunters must use nontoxic shot. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Although small in size, Elbow Slough WMA provides quality habitat for numerous wildlife species. A wide variety of resident and migratory songbirds and many species of wading birds use the area. Mammals ranging from shrews to white-tailed deer make this area their home.

Other: hiking, photography

Directions

Elbow Slough WMA is located near the intersection of U.S. Hwy 1 and LA Hwy 3170.

Tangipahoa Parish School Board WMA

Acreage

1,643

Contact

fburks@wlf.la.gov; 985-543-4781; 42371 Phyllis Ann Dr, Hammond, LA 70403

Parish

Tangipahoa

Owner/manager

LDWF leases the property from Tangipahoa Parish School Board

Description

LDWF has leased small, scattered tracts of land that make up this WMA from the Tangipahoa Parish School Board since April 2003. The intent of both parties is to better manage wildlife and ensure continued public access to this land.

The first tract is located in the center of Tangipahoa Parish, south of LA Hwy 16; it contains 347 acres of upland pine habitat actively managed for loblolly pine timber production. There are timber stands of various ages with scattered hardwoods. The second tract is also found south of LA Hwy 16. This 649-acre tract is bordered on the east by Hillcrest School Road. Habitats include longleaf and loblolly pine and mixed pine/hardwoods. The third tract is located north of LA Hwy 38, near Lewiston. It contains 647 acres of longleaf and loblolly pine and mixed pine/hardwoods.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include white-tailed deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, mourning dove, bobwhite quail, and woodcock. See regulations for details.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Access the first tract via Neal Road west of Briar Patch Road and LA Hwy 445. Head south on Dummyline Road at Sharon M.B. Church to access the second tract. Access the third tract via Brumfield Lane. You must have a self-clearing permit to access any of these tracts.

Thistlethwaite WMA

Acreage

11,100

Contact

jhaynes@wlf.la.gov; 337-948-0255; 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570

Parish

St. Landry

Owner/manager

Thistlethwaite Heirs

Description

The terrain on Thistlethwaite WMA is generally flat bottomland, with a gentle north-south slope. Drainage is slow, with standing water after heavy rains. Forest cover is predominantly water, willow, overcup, white, cherrybark, nuttall, cow, and post oak. Other species are bitter and sweet pecan, hickory, hackberry, sweetgum, ash, elm, and maple. The lower areas contain cypress and tupelo gum. There is a dense understory of palmetto in many areas of the WMA. Selective timber harvesting has enhanced browse species such as dogwood, redbud, elderberry, French mulberry, greenbrier, rattan, and blackberry.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include deer, squirrel, rabbit, wood duck, and woodcock. The deer herd is high-quality—hunters take many trophy bucks on this WMA. There is a youth deer season. Trapping for furbearers is permitted; species include beaver, raccoon, mink, bobcat, otter, and opossum. See regulations for details.

Birding: Hawks, owls, woodpeckers, and neotropical migrant songbirds are common on Thistlethwaite WMA.

Hiking: LDWF maintains approximately 1 mile of wooded trails on the WMA.

Directions

Thistlethwaite WMA is located immediately northeast of Washington off LA Hwy 10. You can also access the WMA via I-49 at the Lebeau exit. LDWF maintains 17 miles of improved roads on the WMA. You must have a self-clearing permit for any activity on the WMA.

Dewey W. Wills

Acreage

63,984

Contact

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

Parish

LaSalle, Catahoula, Rapides

Owner/manager

LDWF, LaSalle Parish School Board, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Description

Dewey W. Wills WMA is managed to provide wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation. The area is flat, poorly drained land that is subject to annual overflow and is interlaced with a number of bayous and lakes. The forest cover is a mixture of bottomland hardwoods. The major overstory species are overcup, nuttall, and willow oak; bitter pecan; ash; and elm. The understory of the lower elevations is composed mainly of swamp privet, native grasses and forbs, and seedlings of the overstory. On the higher elevations, the understory is composed of deciduous holly, hawthorn, smilax, swamp dogwood, peppervine, rattan vine, dewberry, blackberry, palmetto, and seedlings of the overstory.

Prior to establishing Dewey W. Wills as a WMA, the timber in this area was harvested, creating an open canopy. Through LDWF’s forest management program, livestock was removed from the area, stimulating understory production. The forest canopy has now closed, and browse plants have been reduced. In recent years, a combination of conditions known as oak decline has developed on the area, killing a significant portion of overstory trees. LDWF has modified its forest management program to fight oak decline.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Game species available on Dewey W. Wills WMA include deer, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, turkey, waterfowl, and woodcock. There is a general turkey lottery hunt as well as a youth deer season and lottery hunt. There is also a small game emphasis area. Trapping is permitted for the following furbearers: raccoon, nutria, beaver, mink, bobcat, fox, and coyote. See regulations for details.

There is also a physically challenged deer season. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Fishing and boating: LDWF maintains five concrete boat ramps on Dewey W. Wills WMA. There is excellent recreational and commercial fishing in this area. Common recreational species include largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill, and other species of sunfish. Common commercial species include buffalo, carp, drum, gar, and catfish. See regulations for details.

Camping: LDWF maintains four primitive camping areas on Dewey W. Wills WMA.

Birding: A variety of neotropical songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, and various raptors are found on Dewey W. Wills WMA.

Directions

Dewey W. Wills WMA is located approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. The area is easily accessible via LA Hwy 28 East. The interior of the WMA has a network of all-weather roads that provide vehicular access.

Tunica Hills WMA

Acreage

6,503

Contact

fburks@wlf.la.gov; 985-543-4781; 42371 Phyllis Ann Dr, Hammond, LA 70403

Parish

West Feliciana

Owner/manager

LDWF, Louisiana Office of State Parks

Description

Tunica Hills WMA is composed of two separate tracts. The North Tract (2,346 acres) is immediately adjacent to the Louisiana State Penitentiary. The South Tract (4,156 acres) is off Old Tunica Road, which is part of the scenic Natchez Trace System and has been used for travel since colonial times.

The WMA’s terrain is characterized by rugged hills, bluffs, and ravines. The area lies at the southern end of the “loess blufflands” escarpment that follows the east bank of the Mississippi River south from its confluence with the Ohio River. These blufflands offer a diverse and unique habitat that supports some species of plants and animals not found elsewhere in Louisiana.

The forest on the area is classified as upland hardwood, with some loblolly pine and eastern red cedar mixed in on the ridge tops and creek terraces. Hardwoods include American beech; American holly; flowering magnolia; cherrybark, water, and cow oak; hickory; sweetgum; Osage orange; hackberry; eastern hophornbeam; ironwood; yellow poplar; elm; and maple. The understory varies from dense in younger areas of timber to fairly open in older areas. Common understory species are oak leaf hydrangea, two-winged silverbell, trifoliate orange, pawpaw, flowering dogwood, sweetleaf, spicebush, blackberry, and switchcane. At least 20 species of plants classified as rare in Louisiana are found on this area; two of these species have not been found anywhere else in the state.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Hunting is allowed at specified times for deer, turkey, and small game. There are youth and general turkey lottery hunts and a youth deer season. Trapping is allowed for coyote, fox, bobcat, raccoon, and opossum. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Tunica Hills WMA is home to several resident and migratory bird species including some that are rare elsewhere in the state, such as the worm-eating warbler and the Coopers hawk. There are eastern chipmunks and numerous snake species, including canebrake rattlesnakes and copperheads. Black bear tracks are observed occasionally.

Camping: There is a tent-only, primitive camping area off of Parker Road on the South Tract.

Hiking: There is a nature trail and three hiking trails on Tunica Hills WMA.

Other: horseback riding, biking, photography

Directions

Tunica Hills WMA is northwest of St. Francisville. Access the North Tract from Farrah Davis Road off LA Hwy 66, approximately 14.3 miles west of U.S. Hwy 61. While you can access the South Tract from a few different points, the best way to go is by driving 17.3 miles west on LA Hwy 66 from U.S. Hwy 61 to Old Tunica Road. Continue on Old Tunica Road for about 1 mile to enter the WMA. A series of trails provide interior access to both tracts.

Walnut Hill WMA

Acreage

595

Contact

wsmith@wlf.la.gov; 337-491-2575; 1213 North Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601

Parish

Vernon

Owner

LDWF

Description

LDWF acquired Walnut Hill WMA from the Farmers Home Administration. The property is made up of several small tracts of land both north and south of Hwy 121. This land consists of slightly rolling hills and was primarily used as pasture for dairy cattle. The habitat includes thick undergrowth and mixed young hardwoods and pine trees.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: There are limited rabbit, deer (archery only), and quail hunting opportunities on Walnut Hill WMA due to its small size and dense habitat. There is a small game emphasis area on this WMA. See regulations for details.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Walnut Hill WMA is located approximately 2 miles east of Slagle on Hwy 121.

West Bay WMA

Map: 

Acreage

59,189

Contact

wsmith@wlf.la.gov; 337-491-2575; 1213 North Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601

Parish

Allen

Owner/manager

Owned by Hancock Timber, Roy O. Martin, Forest Investment, and Rayonier; LDWF manages wildlife and public recreation

Description

West Bay WMA is bounded by LA Hwy 10 on the north, LA Hwy 26 on the south, Turner Road on the west, and River Road on the east. The terrain on this WMA is generally flat. About one-third of the area can be considered a baygall habitat and is poorly drained. The remaining area has fairly good drainage. Mill Creek is the only major flowing stream. The forest cover is composed of pine plantations with scattered hardwoods along streambeds. There are some pine-hardwood stands on the edge of the baygall areas. The most common hardwood species are water, white, red, willow, and cow oak; blackgum; beech; and hickory. Important overstory species include flowering dogwood, redbay, sweetleaf, and sweetgum. The understory varies with the timber type. In the baygall areas, some of the more common and valuable species are yaupon, rattan, arrowwood, smilax, and deciduous holly. The understory in the pine plantations is primarily blackberry, dewberry, huckleberry, smilax, and numerous annual legumes and grasses.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species are squirrel, rabbit, deer, dove, woodcock, and turkey. The area offers excellent archery opportunities for deer. There are youth deer and squirrel seasons as well as youth and general turkey lottery hunts. Furbearer trapping is allowed during trapping season. See regulations for details.

There is also a physically challenged season for deer. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Camping: LDWF maintains two primitive camping areas on the area.

Directions

West Bay WMA is located near Elizabeth. The WMA is very accessible via state highways, parish roads, and timber company roads. You must have a self-clearing permit to access West Bay WMA. There are eight self-clearing permit stations around the WMA.

L.W.F.C. ADOPTS AMENDMENTS TO 2010-12 HUNTING SEASONS, 2010-11 W.M.A. RULES, NOTICES OF INTENT

Release Date: 03/05/2010

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted several amendments to the notices of intent for the 2010-12 hunting seasons and the 2010-11 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) General Rules and Regulations at their March 4 meeting.

Those amendments include:

-- Alternative deer season hunting dates in Areas 1 and 6 for 2010-2011 Hunting Seasons. Proposed for:

Area 1
Archery:  Oct. 1 - Oct. 31 (Bucks Only) and Nov. 1 - Feb.15 (Either-Sex)
Primitive: Nov. 13 - Nov. 19
Still Hunt: Nov. 20 - Dec. 3
CLOSED: Dec. 4 - Dec. 10
With or Without Dogs: Dec. 11 - Jan. 2
Still Hunt: Jan. 3 - Jan. 31
Primitive: Feb. 1 - Feb. 7 and Feb. 11 - Feb. 13

 

Area 6

Archery:  Oct. 1 - Oct. 31 (Bucks Only) and Nov. 1 - Feb.15 (Either-Sex)
Primitive: Nov. 13 - Nov. 19
Still Hunt: Nov. 20 - Dec. 3
CLOSED: Dec. 4 - Dec. 10
With or Without Dogs: Dec.11 - Jan. 23
Still Hunt: Jan. 24 - Jan. 31
Primitive: Feb. 1 - Feb. 7 and Feb.11 - Feb.13

-- Changes to 2010 WMA Hunting Schedule for: Pointe-Aux-Chenes Point Farm Unit (non-toxic shot only to be used for dove season, south of the dove field gate); Sabine (feral hogs may be taken with dogs Feb. 1 to last day of Feb. only by permit available from a Region Office); and Red River Yakey Tract (recreational crawfishing allowed March 15 - July 31). 

-- Seasonal changes for Kisatchie National Forest for 2010-2011 (minor changes for small game, waterfowl and nuisance species harvest) and user rules; deer season dates to be presented separately at April LWFC meeting.

-- Changes to WMA Hunting Regulations relative to feral hogs (adds Attakapas and Pass-a-Loutre WMAs to list of WMAs allowing hunters to use dogs to hunt hogs; live hogs can only be transported with permit available at LDWF field offices); and blood tracking dogs (leashed dogs would be allowed by still hunters to trail and retrieve wounded or unrecovered deer).

To view the original notices of intent and amendments for proposed hunting season dates for the upcoming hunting season, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/education/commissionactions.

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.
-- March 18 at 6 p.m. in room 119 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service building located at 646 Cajundome Blvd. in Lafayette.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.    

2010-081

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