LDWF News Release

Temporary Road Restriction on Dewey W. Wills WMA

Release Date: 12/02/2014

Dec. 2, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is informing sportsmen and women that Alligator Bayou Road on Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is currently available as an ATV/UTV trail only.
Vehicle parking is permitted before the ATV/UTV signs along Alligator Bayou Road.  The road is scheduled to be improved after hunting season.  Once repaired, vehicular traffic will be allowed.
All WMA rules and regulations relating to trails will also apply to use of Alligator Bayou Road as an ATV/UTV trail.

Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov.


Handling Firearms Safely After the Hunt

Release Date: 12/01/2014

Dec. 1, 2014 -- With Louisiana hunting seasons in full swing, hunters are reminded that safe firearm handling does not end with the hunt. Proper transport and storage of firearms will keep everyone safe when the hunt is over. Hunters are reminded of the following basic safety practices:

  • Completely unload firearms at the conclusion of the hunt and keep the action open.  Be sure all shells or cartridges are removed from both the chamber and the magazine. 
  • When in a vehicle, boat or on an ATV, transport firearms unloaded with the action open and in a secure position - preferably in a case. 
  • Always be sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction.  This basic rule applies in the field, in a vehicle and in the home.
  • When cleaning a firearm or putting it away for storage, double check to be sure it is completely unloaded.  Anytime you pick up a firearm, make it a habit to make sure it is unloaded before doing anything else.
  • Keep fingers off the trigger and outside of the trigger guard whenever handling firearms in a situation where you do not intend to shoot.
  • Store unloaded firearms and ammunition in separate and locked locations.
  • Consider use of a lock to make your firearms inoperable while being stored or transported.
  • Children and even adults are often curious about firearms, so make sure your firearms are inaccessible to persons who may be visiting your home.
  • Discuss firearm safety with members of your household and set rules for firearm access and handling.  

Gifts of shotguns, rifles and handguns will be received during the holiday season.  Be sure that anyone receiving these gifts understands and practices safe firearm handling.  A Hunter Education class is an excellent way to acquaint a new hunter or shooter with firearm safety.

Additional tips and reminders for safe firearm handling in the home are available from the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe http://www.projectchildsafe.org/ .

For more information about Hunter Education, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/hunter-education or contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov .


LDWF Agents Cite Five Men for Wildlife Violations in Caddo and Bossier Parishes

Release Date: 11/26/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited five Louisiana residents for alleged hunting violations and Migratory Game Bird violations in Caddo and Bossier parishes.

Agents cited Daniel D. Owens, 44, of Vivian; Tristen N. Owens, 17, of Vivian; Ethan L. Mikesell, 19, of Shreveport; and Devynn E. England, 18, of Shreveport, for taking over limit of ducks and wanton waste on Nov. 15 in Caddo Parish.  Tristen Owens was also cited for intentionally destroying, concealing or disposing of wildlife or fish evidence.

Agents observed the hunters shooting ducks and leaving the field without making an effort to retrieve several dead and crippled birds.  Agents found a total of 14 ducks left in the field or concealed under their duck blind.  Agents seized a total of 38 ducks, which are 14 over the legal limit for the four hunters.

On Nov. 14 agents cited Daniel M. Currie, 27, of Bossier City, for allegedly obtaining a hunting license by fraud and hunting without non-resident licenses in Bossier Parish.

LDWF agents conducted a joint investigation with Arkansas Game and Fish and discovered that Currie was in possession of both Louisiana resident and Arkansas resident hunting licenses.  According to Currie he had killed one deer in Arkansas and three deer in Louisiana.

After a brief interview with Louisiana and Arkansas agents, Currie was cited for his violations in Louisiana and Arkansas.

Taking over the limit of ducks, intentional concealment of wildlife evidence and wanton waste each brings up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Obtaining a license by fraud carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting without non-resident licenses brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents involved in these cases are Lt. Roy Schufft, Sgt. Troy Parker, and Sgt. Frank Reger, and Arkansas wildlife officers Clay Raborn and Blake Broomfield.

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

LDWF Provides Video Tips for Safe Hunting

Release Date: 11/26/2014

Nov. 26, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) now has available a series of hunting safety videos that illustrate proper use of tree stands, firearms, boats and other gear hunters use while in the field and on the water.
These videos contain information that will help both experienced and novice hunters enjoy the outdoors safely.  Subject matter includes:
Safe Boating While Duck Hunting
Safe Zones of Fire: Duck Hunting
Pirogue Safety
Tree Stand Safety Basics
Climbing Stand Safety
Fixed Position Stand Safety
Ladder Stand Safety
LDWF produced the short safety videos that are available now on the department’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting-safety-videos and also via http://louisianaconservationist.org and www.facebook.com/ldwffb and https://www.youtube.com/LAWildlifeFish.

LDWF is charged with managing habitats to sustain and protect fish and wildlife species; and providing education on the use of those resources to provide quality outdoor recreation experiences.

For more information, contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov .


Louisiana Youth Can Register Now for 2014 Hunter of the Year Awards

Release Date: 11/25/2014

Nov. 25, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) are encouraging hunters 15 years of age or younger to enter the 2014 Youth Hunter of the Year competition. 

The contest is for Louisiana resident youth and requires young hunters to submit a story about their hunting experience along with photographs of the hunt.  LDWF and LOWA will then select a male and female youth hunter of the year based upon the stories and photos that are received. 

Visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/yhrp for information on the Youth Hunter Registry Program and the 2014 Youth Hunter of the Year Contest registration form.

Youth hunters who participate in any hunting activity during the 2014-15 hunting season are encouraged to participate.  This is not a big buck or turkey contest. The program is about youths enjoying a hunting experience, with or without success, and keeping the hunting tradition alive in Louisiana.

Completing a Youth Hunter Registry application and submitting the required photograph and short story about the hunt qualifies the young hunter for Youth Hunter of the Year consideration. The deadline to enter the 2014 Youth Hunter of the Year Contest is June 30, 2015.

The two winners will be recognized at the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Conference this summer as 2014 Youth Hunters of the Year.  Winners will receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement and a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.

Additionally, all participants who register their 2014-15 hunting experiences with the Youth Hunter Registry Program will be eligible to win a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters (winner to be selected by a random drawing).

The Youth Hunter Registry Program and the Youth Hunter of the Year Program are coordinated jointly by LOWA and LDWF. These two programs are made possible by the generous donations of the South LA Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, the Baton Rouge Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, Andrew Harrison with Harrison Law LLC, the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.

For more information, contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov or David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or heflinroots@hotmail.com.

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.



Release Date: 11/24/2014

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, December 4, 2014, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

     1.  Roll Call

     2.  Approval of Minutes of November 6, 2014

     3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

     4.  To Hear Enforcement Reports November 2014

     5.  Ducks Unlimited Presentation on Duck Breeding grounds in Canada

     6.  To Hear a General Overview Presentation of the 2015-2016 Hunting Seasons and Rules and Regulations

     7.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to modify Recreational Offshore Permit Regulations

     8.  To Consider a Declaration of Emergency for a Partial Closure of State Outside Waters to Shrimping

     9.  To Hear public comments on the Catch and Cook Notice of Intent

    10.  Set April 2015 Meeting Date

    11.  Receive Public Comments

    12.  Adjournment

Live audio streaming of the December 2104,  LWF Commission meeting is available via GoToWebinar®.

To access live audio stream, Please register for the December 2014, LWF Commission meeting at the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6529583205166329857

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


LDWF Agents Arrest a Jones Man for Drug Possession and Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 11/21/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agents arrested a Jones man for deer hunting and narcotics violations on November 17 in Morehouse Parish.

Agents arrested Cody L. Pollock, 23, for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of synthetic marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Agents also charged Pollock with taking over the daily limit of deer and two counts of failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents responded to Pollock's address to question him in reference to a complaint he had taken over the limit of deer.  Pollock opened the door to his home and agents witnessed and smelled marijuana smoke.

Upon questioning, Pollock told agents he had a substantial amount of marijuana inside his travel trailer and two antlerless deer that he took that morning quartered.  Agents recovered two quart sized bags of marijuana, 11 individually wrapped baggies for individual sale and the two quartered antlerless deer.

Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute brings five to 30 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.  Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia each carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail for each offense.  Possessing over the legal daily limit of deer brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Failing to tag a deer carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Pollock may also face civil restitution of $1,624 for the illegally taken deer.

Agents involved in the case are Sgts. James Hagan and Darren Bruce.

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

New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Red Drum

Release Date: 11/20/2014

A New Orleans man pleaded guilty to the illegal selling of game fish violations on Nov. 18 in the New Orleans Municipal Court in Orleans Parish.

Judge Desiree Charbonnet sentenced Paul Haptonstall, 35, to 120 days of imprisonment suspended and fined him $3,730.80 for the illegal selling of game fish.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited Haptonstall on June 13, 2014 in New Orleans for illegal selling of game fish and undersized fish.

Agents started the investigation after receiving complaints about the subject selling red drum in the New Orleans area.  Haptonstall sold a total of 11 black drum, three sheepshead, two spotted seatrout, two catfish and 138 red drum to Special Operation agents throughout the investigation.

Agents involved in the case were the LDWF Special Operations Section, Sgt. Kris Bourgeois and Agent Jeffrey Farmer.

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

Temporary Road Closure on Dewey W. Wills WMA

Release Date: 11/19/2014

Nov. 19, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising outdoorsmen and women that a portion of Taylor Bayou Rd. within Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is temporarily closed due to road improvement activities.
This closure restricts access to the Taylor Bayou boat launch.  Access to the greentree reservoir parking area remains open. Completion of road improvements is anticipated within two weeks.
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .


USGS Study Looks at Louisiana Black Bear Population

Release Date: 11/19/2014

Nov. 19, 2014 -- The bear species nicknamed “teddy” more than a century ago that inspired the iconic stuffed toy still popular today will likely survive at least another century, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.
The threatened Louisiana black bear, one of 18 subspecies of black bear in North America, has less than a 1 percent chance of going extinct in the next 100 years.  The bear was once found throughout Louisiana, eastern Texas, southern Arkansas and western Mississippi. Habitat loss and overhunting has since reduced and fragmented the population resulting in its listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1992.
The species was nicknamed the “teddy bear” in 1902 when President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt famously refused to shoot a tethered bear while on a hunting trip.
To determine the viability of the bear population today, research funded primarily by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) used projections of population growth over time based on capture and radio-telemetry data to estimate the bear’s extinction probability. In some instances, scientists captured and released the bears to obtain the data. At other times, they collected DNA extracted from hair samples to identify individual bears. The study also used genetics and capture data to evaluate how frequently individual bears move between the fragmented subpopulations of Louisiana black bear in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Connectivity among subpopulations of a species is important to help avoid genetic problems resulting from too much inbreeding. These findings address goals created in 1995 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for recovery.
“Estimates of a species’ viability can help wildlife managers determine the status of threatened, endangered or at-risk species and guide effective management efforts,” said Joseph Clark, the USGS research ecologist who led the study in collaboration with Jared Laufenberg from the University of Tennessee. “This study will be used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine whether to pursue removing the bear from the ‘threatened’ species list.”
Researchers collected data with DNA sampling, live capture, winter den visits and monitoring of radio-collared animals from 2002 to 2014. To collect the DNA samples, researchers set up barbed wire fences that bears had to cross to obtain pastry baits. This method, which does not harm the bears, results in the bears leaving their DNA in the form of hair samples on the barbs, which scientists are able to use to identify the individual identities of each bear visiting the site.
“The completion of this project represents many years of collaborative work and we’re excited about the results,” said Maria Davidson, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist program manager.  “The information provided by this project is based on the best available science, enabling us to make management decisions focused on the long term sustainability of the Louisiana black bear.”
Bears in Louisiana primarily exist in four distinct subpopulations, and data were sufficient for researchers to perform viability analyses on three of them. The probability of these bears not going extinct ranged from 29.5 percent to greater than 99 percent, depending on the subpopulation and the assumptions upon which the models were based.  However, the chances that all of the subpopulations will simultaneously go extinct, based on the most conservative models, were only 0.4 percent. The researchers also found that individual bears were moving among some subpopulations.
Since originally being listed as threatened in 1992, the Louisiana black bear population has grown and the habitat has recovered to the extent that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering “delisting,” or removing the bear from the threatened species list. This population growth is because of state and federal protection of the bears, a reintroduction project and habitat recovery aided by the Federal Conservation Reserve Program and the Federal Wetlands Reserve Program.
The study was completed in cooperation with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Tennessee and Louisiana State University, among others. The full study -- Population Viability and Connectivity of the Louisiana Black Bear (Ursus americanus luteolus) -- is available online at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/louisiana-black-bear-management-and-research.
For more information: contact Joseph Clark at 865-974-4790 or jclark@usgs.gov; or Christian Quintero at 813-498-5019 or cquintero@usgs.gov; or Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .

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