After much deliberation, the commission unanimously approved an amendment that would open an eight-day deer season with or without dogs on the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land known as the Kisatchie National Forest in central Louisiana from Dec. 19-24 and Dec. 26-27. This proposed deer season would require deer hunters to obtain a special USFS dog hunting permit. Additionally, hunters would be required to identify their dogs with certain forms of identification and hunters must use tracking equipment for their dogs.
The USFS representative at the meeting said the USFS stands by their initial proposal of not allowing deer dog hunting in the Kisatchie National Forest, but would take the amendment back to his superiors for their consideration.
Fort Polk and Peason Ridge Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) amendments would include canceling two either sex hunts on Dec. 12 and 13 and Dec 19 and 20. These WMAs would also be the only WMAs to require mandatory deer checks for the firearms either sex hunts scheduled for Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 and Nov. 27-29. The proposal would also add a feral hog season from Jan. 2 to the end of February using shotguns loaded with buckshot or slugs. Finally, these WMAs would have firearms bucks only days from Nov. 2-26, 2009 and then from Dec. 12 to Jan. 1, 2010.
Floy Ward McElroy WMA would add a youth lottery squirrel hunt on the second weekend of October and a youth lottery rabbit hunt on the first Saturday of January.
Another amendment would allow the take of raccoon and opossum all year long during daylight hours, and increase the daily bag limit for raccoon and opossum to two.
The 2009-10 hunting season dates and regulations will be approved at the June 4 LWFC meeting in Baton Rouge. Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed notices of intent until Thursday, May 7, 2009 to Mr. Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA, 70898-9000.