Mandatory Harvest Information Program
If you are required to be licensed to hunt migratory birds (ducks, coots, geese, doves, woodcock, rails, snipe, or gallinules), you must get a Harvest Information Program certification and carry proof of your HIP certification with you whenever you’re hunting migratory birds. If you are 17 and under you do not need a HIP certification unless you are participating in a WMA youth waterfowl lottery.
Woodcock Hunting on Public Lands
Interested in hunting woodcock in Louisiana? Public lands in Louisiana, including WMAs, national forests and wildlife refuges, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' lands, offer ample woodcock hunting opportunities. Woodcock distribution varies from year to year depending on soil moisture and temperature. In most years, areas in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya River floodplains, such as Sherburne WMA, Indian Bayou Area, and Dewey Wills WMA, offer the best woodcock hunting. However, hunters should not overlook upland areas, such as Kisatchie National Forest and Clear Creek, Bodcau, and Sandy Hollow WMAs, which can also offer very good hunting.
Research and Management
The American woodcock (Scolopax minor) is a migratory bird that lives in the northern United States and southern Canada during the spring and summer. The primary breeding range for woodcock is southern Canada, Maine, and westward to the Great Lakes region and as far south as central West Virginia. Woodcock begin their fall migration in September and spend the winter anywhere from the central to the southern United States, with Louisiana wintering more woodcock than any other southern state. Since Louisiana represents an important wintering area for woodcock, LDWF conducts a lot of research about the species, including a banding project and habitat studies, and manages habitat to attract woodcock.