Hunting Licenses



Who needs a hunting license?

Residents and nonresident hunters age 16 or older must have a Basic Hunting License to hunt, take, possess or transport any wild birds or quadrupeds (for which hunting is permitted and seasons are opened).


Additional special licenses are required to hunt, take, possess, or transport deer, turkey, bobcat, or migratory waterfowl or to hunt with a bow or primitive firearm.


Hunters must have licenses (or license numbers) and a physical form of identification on their person while hunting.


Licenses are available at special rates for seniors, military, students, and people with disabilities. Lifetime licenses are also available

Who doesn’t need a hunting license?

The following individuals are not required to have Basic, Big Game, Bow, or Primitive Firearm hunting licenses or Louisiana Duck or Turkey stamps:

  • Residents and nonresidents under age 16 (i.e. age 15 and under)
  • Residents born before June 1, 1940 who have lived in Louisiana for 6 months.

However, these individual must have proof of age in their possession whenever hunting.

Mandatory Hunter Education

If you were born on or after September 1, 1969, you must satisfactorily complete an LDWF-approved hunter education course before you apply for a hunting license of any kind, unless you are under direct supervision of a qualified person. (A qualified person is a Louisiana licensed hunter born before September 1, 1969, or a person 18 years of age or older who has proof of satisfactorily completing an LDWF-approved hunter education course. Direct supervision means the person being supervised is within normal audible voice contact and in direct line of sight of the supervising person at all times while hunting.)


In addition, if you are an active or veteran member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a POST-certified law enforcement officer, you may be exempt from this requirement. Apply for this exemption in person at LDWF Headquarters at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. For more information, call 225-765-2932.

How do I purchase a hunting license?

You can purchase a hunting license* a variety of ways:

  • Via phone at 1-888-765-2602 (toll-free)
  • Online
  • At many LDWF offices (Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Monroe, and Opelousas) and local retailers

*This does not apply to most military, student, disability, and lifetime licenses. See those pages for details.


Phone and online payment options include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or E-check; these purchases include a small handling fee.


If you purchase your license via phone, you will receive an authorization number so you can use your license immediately. We will also mail you a license.


If you purchase your license online, you will receive an authorization number so you can use your license immediately. You will also receive a PDF of your license, which you can print and/or save to the electronic device you take hunting.


If you purchase your license via a mobile device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.), you will not receive a license in the mail. You will receive a text with a temporary authorization number and an email with the temporary authorization number and a PDF of your licenses, which you can print and/or save to the electronic device you take hunting.

When do hunting licenses expire?

Annual hunting licenses go on sale June 1 each year. They are valid from the date of purchase and expire on June 30 each year.

How do I qualify for resident license rates?

To purchase a license at the resident rate, you must meet the bona fide residency requirements defined below and present one of the following valid forms of identification:

  • Louisiana driver’s license (valid for 6 months or more)
  • Louisiana identification card (issued by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety)

If you obtain a resident license but do not comply with the bona fide residency requirements as stated below, you will be subject to criminal and/or civil sanctions.


Bona Fide Residency Requirements:

You’re a bona fide resident if you’ve resided in the state of Louisiana continuously during the 6 months immediately prior to the date you apply for any license and if you’ve established Louisiana as your legal domicile. You must demonstrate compliance with all of the following, as applicable:

  • If you’re registered to vote, you’re registered to vote in Louisiana
  • If you’re licensed to drive a motor vehicle, you have a valid Louisiana driver’s license
  • If you own a motor vehicle located within Louisiana, you have a valid Louisiana registration for that vehicle
  • If you earn an income, you have filed a Louisiana state income tax return and have complied with state income tax law and regulations.

Any person, corporation, or other legal entity that possesses a resident license from any other state or country shall not qualify for a resident license in Louisiana.

How do I replace a lost license?

If you lost your license, you can purchase a duplicate for $2 per license. If you purchased it online or through a mobile device, you can reprint it for free. No duplicates are allowed for temporary licenses (e.g. 1-day nonresident licenses).

Louisiana/Mississippi Agreement

If you hold a Mississippi hunting license, you have the same rights and privileges as provided by law for a Louisiana hunting license holder to hunt wild game birds and quadrupeds on islands in and around the waters of the Mississippi River and other land resulting from accretion along the Mississippi River at the Louisiana and Mississippi border.

License and Permit Types and Fees

License or Permit Type

Resident Fee

Nonresident Fee

Basic Hunting



Big Game (deer, turkey, or bobcat; required in addition to Basic Hunting License)



Bow (bow hunting season only)



Primitive Firearm (special deer season for primitive firearms only)



Louisiana Duck (waterfowl)



Federal Duck Stamp (required for all waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older, even those who are not otherwise required to purchase a license)


Louisiana Wild Turkey (turkey; required in addition to Basic and Big Game Hunting Licenses)



Harvest Information Program (HIP) Certification (required in addition to all other applicable licenses for migratory game birds—mourning doves, ducks, geese, woodcock, rails, snipe, coots or gallinules)


WMA Hunting Permit (to hunt on any land managed by LDWF, including wildlife refuges, wildlife management areas, and habitat conservation areas; required for hunters age 18-59)


Nonresident Small Game/Migratory Bird (1 day)1


Nonresident Deer (1 day)1


Nonresident Turkey (1 day)1


Senior Hunting/Fishing2


Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise3


Louisiana Native Basic Hunting4


Louisiana Native Big Game4


Louisiana Native Bow4


Louisiana Native Primitive Firearm4


Louisiana Native Louisiana Duck4


Louisiana Native Louisiana Turkey4


Nonresident Hunting Preserve (October 1-April 30)5


1Nonresidents may purchase temporary hunting licenses to hunt small game (including migratory birds), deer (with any approved weapon), and turkey for one-day periods. These licenses are all inclusive—you do not need any other license—and are valid for one day only.

2Any resident who turned 60 years old on or after June 1, 2000 must obtain a Senior Hunting/Fishing License to hunt or fish. This license is in lieu of Basic and Saltwater fishing licenses; Basic, Big Game, Bow, and Primitive Firearm hunting licenses; Louisiana Waterfowl and Turkey stamps; and the WMA Hunting Permit. This license does not include special gear such as trawls, crab traps, crawfish traps, hoop nets, etc.

3The Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise License includes Basic and Saltwater fishing licenses; Basic, Big Game, Bow, and Primitive Firearm hunting licenses; Louisiana Duck and Turkey stamps, the WMA Hunting Permit; and all recreational gear licenses except for recreational trawls longer than 16 feet.

4If you were born in Louisiana but are not currently a resident, you may purchase Louisiana Native Hunting Licenses, which are valid for five consecutive days. These temporary hunting licenses are available for Basic Hunting as well as other licenses or permits required in addition to the Basic Hunting License, such as Big Game License or Turkey Stamp. These licenses are available at any Louisiana license vendor. You must present an original or certified original birth certificate from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and photo identification when you purchase these licenses.

5Only allows you to hunt pen-raised birds on a hunting preserve; in lieu of a basic hunting license. However, if you are taking or hunting mallards, you must also have a Louisiana duck license.

Did you know?

Next time you renew your driver’s license at the Office of Motor Vehicles, you can add a Lifetime Hunting, Lifetime Fishing, Lifetime Combination, Boater Education, and/or Hunter Education endorsement to your license for free. If you have one or more of these endorsements, you do not have to carry the applicable license or certification card with you as long as you have your driver’s license.