LDWF News Release

Either-Sex Deer Hunts Attract Hunters to WMAs

Release Date: 12/19/2013

Dec. 19, 2013 -- Each year, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Wildlife Division schedules either-sex firearms deer hunts on many of the state Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) .
Excellent weather throughout the hunting season this year has provided favorable conditions for hunter success.  This year 25,360 hunter efforts were tallied during these hunts on the 37 managed hunts that provided opportunities. Richard K. Yancey, Fort Polk, Dewey W. Wills, Sherburne and Boeuf WMAs attracted the greatest numbers of hunters with Richard K. Yancey drawing 5,128.
The total deer harvest for the 37 managed hunts was  2,651 which included 1,322 bucks and 1,329 does.
These opportunities are greatly anticipated by many hunters across the state, and out-of-state as well.  It is a time when deer hunters and their families can enjoy the outdoors and have the opportunity to harvest deer of either-sex.
Wildlife Division personnel were able to collect valuable data during these hunts which help them manage each WMA’s deer herd.  WMA hunter efforts were consistent with past years while having a slightly higher success rate.  To view the full list of WMAs and data collected, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/deer/seasons and scroll down to the Documents section.
WMAs are distributed across the state and within a reasonable drive from any location.  WMA habitats for these hunts range from upland hardwood and pine sites to bottomland hardwoods. To view a complete list of state WMAs, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma .
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Wildlife Management Area Program is charged with providing necessary habitats to manage and protect both game and non-game wildlife, as well as to provide quality outdoor recreation for the public.
For more information: visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, at www.facebook.com/ldwffb; on Twitter @LDWF; or by contacting Steve Smith at ssmith@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2359.



Deer Hunter Pleads Guilty Of Attempting To Take Deer by Snare

Release Date: 12/13/2013

A Turkey Creek man pleaded guilty to taking deer illegally on Dec. 13 in the 13th Judicial Court in Evangeline Parish.

Judge Tom Fusilier sentenced Corey S. Gautreaux, 25, to pay a $1,000 fine and $122.50 in court costs, revoked his hunting privileges for two years and to 30 days of jail, which will be suspended.

On Oct. 23, 2011 Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited Gautreaux for taking deer illegally by snare in Evangeline Parish.

Agents received a complaint that Gautreaux had put several snares out on private land near the St. Landry community off of Frontier Road.  The snares appeared to be set in a manner to take deer.

Agents went to the area to investigate on Oct. 23, 2011.  After locating the snares, agents found a camera and a deer stand set up near the snares.  After reviewing the photos on the camera, agents found photos of Gautreaux checking the snares.

On that same afternoon agents found Gautreaux sitting in the stand with a bow and arrow.  After advising Gautreaux of his rights, he admitted to setting the snares for deer.

All the snares along with the camera were forfeited to the state.

Assistant District Attorney Tim Fontenot prosecuted the case.  Sgt. Scott D. Fontenot was the lead investigative agent in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Shrimp Season To Close in Portions of State Inside and Outside Waters

Release Date: 12/13/2013

Shrimp Season To Close in Portions of State Inside and Outside Waters

(Dec. 13, 2013) Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced a closure of the fall shrimp season in state inside waters west of the Mississippi River and in a portion of state outside waters effective Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at official sunset.

Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:

  • The portion of state inside waters from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line
  • The portion of state outside waters extending a distance of 3 nautical miles seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude

The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:

  • The portion of state inside waters east of the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River eastward to the Louisiana/Mississippi state line.
  • All state outside waters east of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line as well as all state outside waters west of the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal.
  • All fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone.

Existing data does not currently support shrimping closures in additional state inside and outside waters. However, historic data suggest additional closures may be needed in the near future and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will continue monitoring shrimp populations in these waters.

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size.   

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided LDWF Secretary Robert Barham with authority to close both the fall inshore shrimp season and shrimping in the state’s territorial sea when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF Fisheries biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in those waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.

For a map detailing today’s actions click here

Louisiana continues to lead the country in shrimp landings.  In 2012, approximately 5,566 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 100.3 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $145 million. 

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286 -4162.




Sea Gull Killer Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

Release Date: 12/12/2013

A Labadieville man pleaded guilty on Dec. 10 in Eastern District Federal Court in New Orleans for the illegal killing of 49 sea gulls.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited Jackoby D. Bertot, 29, for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in September following a lengthy investigation.

Agents uncovered that the subject utilized a vehicle to speed through a flock of resting sea gulls in the Home Depot parking lot in the Elmwood Area shopping center in the suburbs of New Orleans on Sept. 2, 2013 at 9:48 p.m.

Bertot pleaded guilty before the honorable Daniel E. Knowles III.  The subject was ordered to pay a fine of $1,210 and serve a one year inactive probation.  U.S. Attorney Spiro G. Latsis prosecuted the case.  LDWF Sgt. Tim Fox investigated the case.

Violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act carry up to $15,000 in fines and up to six months in prison.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.


Release Date: 12/12/2013

December 12, 2013 - Commercial fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2014, federal waters will also open in the Gulf of Mexico at this time.

The commercial and recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will be closed from 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2014 until 12:01 p.m. July 1, 2014 per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping.   .  The commercial season will remain open in Federal waters until 80 percent of the federal quota for a given fishery has been harvested or is projected to be harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.

During the open season, commercial harvest of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks and Pelagic Sharks are regulated by the existing federal and state rules regarding trip limits, allowable species, and requirements for permits and landings, as laid out in federal and state regulations. 

The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark and tiger shark.  While sandbar shark are a member of the Large Coastal Shark group, only specifically designated federally permitted vessels may take sandbar shark while operating under conditions of that research permit. 

Commercial fishing for Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks will resume in Louisiana waters on January 1, as well through December 31, 2014, or until 80 percent of the federal quota has been met.  The Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Shark group is composed of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth shark and remained open for all of 2013.

There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include Basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504)284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov.  For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504)286-4162



LDWF Agents Cite Three Men For Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/12/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Louisiana men for alleged deer hunting violations on Dec. 10, in Morehouse Parish.

Agents cited Cody King, 23, of Mer Rouge, Caleb Harrell, 24, of Bastrop, and Johnathan White, 25, of Bastrop, for taking deer during illegal hours, hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting from a public road, possession of illegally taken deer, intentional litter, discharging a firearm from a public road and taking over the limit of deer.  Walker was also cited for intentional concealment or deposit of wildlife.

Agents received a complaint from a confidential source that the men had illegally killed two deer during illegal hours on Dec. 9.  The source said the incidents occurred on Viney Woods Road between Mer Rouge and Oak Ridge in southern Morehouse Parish.  After an investigation into the matter, agents obtained information and made contact with the three subjects on Dec. 10.

During the interview agents was discovered that the men had shot and killed two bucks and two does during illegal hunting hours from a vehicle.  Agents seized the four deer from the men.

Hunting deer during illegal hours with an artificial light and intentional concealment of wildlife brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense. Possession of illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public road and over limit of deer brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting from a public road carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. James Hagan, Lt. Scott Mathews, Sgt. Josh Estis, Senior Agent Justin Lee and Senior Agent Ray Ellerbe.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Injured Bald Eagle Returned to the Wild

Release Date: 12/12/2013

Rescued Bald Eagle released back into the wild Nov 7 2013

Dec. 12, 2013 -- On Oct. 29 of this year, a Lafitte Harvesting work crew was conducting a thinning operation for Georgia Pacific in Beauregard Parish and saw something they don’t see every day.  An adult bald eagle was sitting between the rows of pine trees, and appeared to be sick or injured.  Davey Lafitte was very concerned and immediately shut down the operation and contacted the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

Biologists were able to capture the bird and immediately transported the adult female to Heckhaven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center where she was examined by Dr. Joe Stark of Lake Area Animal Hospital. Dr. Stark found that the eagle’s bill was cracked and her nares (nasal passages) were clogged with blood, but she was otherwise healthy.  After investigating the capture site, LDWF zoologist Beau Gregory concluded that the bird was most likely struck by a vehicle while scavenging on the road.

The eagle spent a little over a week at Heckhaven recuperating, but she was cleared for release as soon as she was flying again. LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources graduate student Nick Smith, who is currently researching the migratory patterns of Louisiana’s bald eagles, met with LDWF staff on Nov. 7 to gather vital information, measurements and biological samples from the eagle, and band it for release. The eagle was then returned to the site of her capture and released back into the wild.

Heckhaven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is located in Lake Charles, La., and is a non-profit 501c animal welfare organization, with federal and state rehabilitation permits. To contact the center for more information, call Suzy Heck at 337-477-6129 or visit their website www.heckhaven.com.

Bald eagles are found only in North America, and in Louisiana are normally found in coastal areas and inland on large lakes.  They feed on fish, waterfowl, coots, muskrats and nutria, as well as carrion.  They are protected by the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940, which prohibits the taking, possession and commerce of both bald and golden eagles.  For more information on Louisiana’s bald eagles, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/fact_sheet_animal/32259-Haliaeetus%20leucocephalus/haliaeetus_leucocephalus.pdf.

The capture and release efforts were a collaborative effort that included LDWF staff from several divisions: Beau Gregory, Natural Heritage Program zoologist; Kori Legleu, Wildlife Division Technical Services biologist; Gail Toups, Region 5 administrative coordinator; and Sgt. Wendel Vaughan, Enforcement Division.

For more information, contact Kori Legleu at 337-491-2574 or klegleu@wlf.la.gov .




Texas Man Sentenced For Being a Felon In Possession Of A Firearm

Release Date: 12/10/2013

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced on Dec. 5 that Larry Robert Baker, 50, of Maud, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release for possessing a firearm after being convicted and serving time for a murder and other felonies in Texas.  He pleaded guilty Aug. 29, 2013.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) conducted an operation on Jan. 11, 2013 to catch night hunters who were shooting after dark from the roads in north Caddo Parish.

During the operation, LDWF agents observed Baker shooting from a car at a deer decoy set up by agents.  A .22 caliber revolver was found in the car that he was driving, along with a box of .22 caliber ammunition.

Baker was arrested for the wildlife violation, driving under suspension and traveling with open containers of alcohol.  Upon further investigation, agents found that Baker had recently been released from prison after serving 20 years for a Texas murder.   Baker was found guilty of murder on Aug. 5, 1993, in the 54th District Court of McLennan County, Texas.  He also has prior burglary and property theft convictions.

LDWF and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W.  Gillespie  Jr.  prosecuted the  case as part  of Project  Safe  Neighborhoods.  Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide program started in 2001 designed to reduce violence by aggressively enforcing existing federal firearms laws.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Rescue Couple from Bayou Nezpique

Release Date: 12/09/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents participated in a successful search and rescue mission on Bayou Nezpique on the Evangeline and Allen Parish line on Dec. 8.

Agents received a 911 call around 11 a.m. on Dec. 8 about a couple that was stranded in Bayou Nezpique.  Agents arrived on scene around 2 p.m. and found Mark Tarver, 26, and Michelle Tarver, 27, both of Elizabeth, along the banks of the bayou.

Agents retrieved the Tarvers in their 15 foot vessel and brought them to a waiting Acadian Ambulance at the Guidry Road Bridge.  The Tarvers were treated for severe hypothermia and transported to the Savoy Medical Center in Mamou for further treatment.  The Tarvers are expected to make a full recovery.

The Tarvers were canoeing in the bayou when they got hung up in the fast moving water.  They were able to get out of the canoe and make their way to the bank, but could only partially get up the side of the muddy bank thus having half of their bodies remaining in the cold water.

The Tarvers admitted to duck hunting and had harvested two ducks.  However, the Tarvers were duck hunting in a closed area.  Agents subsequently cited the Tarvers for duck hunting in a closed area.  Hunting ducks during a closed season brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in the search and rescue mission included Lt. Jesse Savoie and Sgt. Scott Fontenot.  Their search area included the bayou waters between the Highway 104 Bridge and Guidry Road Bridge.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Eagle Scout Project Benefits Sherburne WMA

Release Date: 12/09/2013

Hunter Ayo of Boy Scout Troop 271

Dec. 9, 2013 – The efforts of an Eagle Scout will benefit Sherburne Wildlife Management Area users.
Hunter Ayo of Boy Scout Troop 271 in Lafayette recently completed his Eagle Scout Project after noticing a need for a picnic table at the WMA and presenting his idea to WMA staff. A frequent visitor, Hunter wanted to provide an amenity that could be used by those using the fishing pond near the site headquarters.
Hunter, along with members of his scout troop, built and placed a picnic table near the fishing pond. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) assisted Hunter with this project by supplying building materials and selecting a location near the pond to place the table.
LDWF has assisted several Boy Scouts with their required final project to attain the rank of Eagle Scout and WMAs offer outdoor recreation project opportunities.
For more information, call Tony Vidrine 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.
Sherburne WMA, located in the Morganza Floodway system of the Atchafalaya Basin, is situated in the lower and upper portions of Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, and Iberville parishes respectively, between the Atchafalaya River and the East Protection Guide Levee.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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