Dec. 30, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists have been called upon in recent weeks to release several bears caught in coyote or hog snares. Luckily, in all of these recent situations, the bears survived the experience.
Hog snares and some coyote snares are set with the intent to be fatal; therefore they pose a significant threat to bears. LDWF strongly recommends that trappers of feral hogs or coyotes refrain from using snares in areas of Louisiana occupied by bears including the following parishes: Avoyelles, East and West Carroll, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, Iberia, Madison, Pointe Coupee, Richland, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Landry, Tensas and Vermilion.
The expanding population of feral hogs and coyotes has lead to an increase in the use of snares as a means to control these animals. However, the typical snare sets for feral hogs or coyotes are ideal for capturing bears as well. Land managers intending to control feral hogs in bear country are advised to use other means such as cage or corral traps with the required opening in the top. Coyote trappers in these areas are advised to utilize leg hold traps instead of snares.
Persons using snares to trap any animal are required to have a Louisiana trapping license. Persons using box or corral traps to capture feral hogs are required to have a basic hunting license. Cage or corral traps are required to have an opening in the top that is at least 22 by 22 inches square or 25 inches in diameter, if round. The opening in the top of the trap will allow non-target animals such as black bears to escape if captured.
LDWF in cooperation with the Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association has produced a brochure that provides recommendations and additional information about use of snares in bear country. The brochure is available at www.wlf.la.gov  under the Wildlife tab or at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/36480-bear-snare/bear_snare.pdf 
For more information, contact Maria Davidson at 225-931-3061or firstname.lastname@example.org  .