The Wild Side: Your freezer can feed others

It’s a Capital City area celebration the likes of which belongs to one group and one group only. The Clean Out Your Freezer Day belongs to us, Louisiana’s outdoorsmen. Hunters and fishermen by the thousands have contributed more than 80 tons of frozen game, meat and fish during the past 19 years to … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Gun rights continue in Congress

Ever wonder why history doesn’t have a record of some group trying to ban their brothers and sisters from owning spears or bows and arrows or slings or knives. Likely because those instruments helped put food on the table. There’s every reason to believe, at least from what’s been published recently, that … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: RESTORE work enters next phase

Yep, it was work getting Congress to approve the RESTORE Act. Countless folks representing hundreds of organizations campaigned to get Congress to approve a measure that sends 80 percent of fines levied against BP for that 2010 oil disaster off the Louisiana coast to the five Gulf states. That’s a very simple statement … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Think of the kids and build piers

School is in, and that means youngsters have had their last tastes of summer’s pleasures. For many, that pleasure was spent near the water. For the more fortunate among them, it was time on the water. Kids who have parents of some means fish from boats. That’s a pleasure most don’t have: With … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Offshore anglers get small break

The hand-wringing federal and state fishery managers put Louisiana’s offshore fishermen through in the last year might be over. Not only is the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council considering releasing the handling of one or more species into the hands of state biologists and managers, but the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and … Continue reading →

The Wild Side, July 28, 2013

Spend four days on this island and it’s easy to know why our state is called the Sportsman’s Paradise. Despite four days of west and north winds since Wednesday, and the last three spent in what can only be called monsoon-like conditions, folks here celebrated fishing … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Additional snapper days likely

Boiling down the more than 50 pages on red snapper handed out Wednesday at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting took a few minutes, and this is what it means for recreational fishermen. There’s an increased quota of red snapper, from near 8.5 million pounds to 11 million pounds, and there’s … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Drama over red snapper continues

Talk to older fishermen, the guys who spent time in Louisiana’s offshore waters in the 1960s and 70s and, to a man, they say they never thought deep-water fishing would come to this. “This” being the constant squabbling over red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. By now, most of … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Comite battle on the horizon

A battle royale is brewing among landowners along the Comite River about who and how anyone can use this mostly East Baton Rouge waterway, or in this case a roadway. During Tuesday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission monthly meeting, as many as 40 folks turned out to hear the commission’s discussion about increased ATV … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Objections fail to heed alternative

It would be easier to understand the depth and the breadth of the feelings exposed during Monday’s special meeting held in Chalmette if the depth and the breadth of our coastal erosion problems affecting our entire state weren’t such a clear and present danger. A couple hundred folks showed up at … Continue reading →

We need more dads for our kids

Not too many years ago fishing and hunting, the blood sports among all outdoor pursuits, played a more prominent role in our children’s growing-up process than it seems they do today. That’s bad for several reasons, and sociologists tell us that one of the factors … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: New dates bring new questions

The risk of writing more about Louisiana’s battle with federal fishery managers is boring readers to the point where they see little value in reading more about it, but as long as we continue to have the kind of federal management of red snapper that risk is small. … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: This time power used as weapon

All the hubbub over red snapper might never have happened if the Magnuson-Stevens Act had never been passed. The act was designed to give more power to the folks who would come into the federal system to handle this fishery conservation act in federal waters. Like all folks handed … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Dick Yancey deserves this honor

Thursday’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting has a full agenda headlined by final public comment on the 2013-2015 resident-game hunting seasons and consideration of opening days of the spring inshore shrimp season for our three shrimp zones. High on that list,too, is an item calling for the LWFC to discuss a … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Allain’s bill to protect reef funds

If the issue of red snapper and the recreational fisherman has sparked something near anarchy across the five Gulf States, then the continued raid on the Louisiana Artificial Reef Fund is that same issue on the state level. The background here is that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration put enough pressure on the … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: It’s time we take back our fishery

The report was quick and to the point: “11 guys, 33 snapper, 9 a.m., 4½ miles out. Great day.” It was Saturday of Easter weekend, and these guys were bound and determined to make up for time lost after rough seas left them and lots of others sitting dockside for Louisiana’s recreational red snapper opener … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: Easter best celebrated joyfully

There’s little doubt timeliness is important for reporters, and more importantly for a reporter’s readers. That means you should be reading about Roy Crabtree, the man who heads the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and his recent proclamation about Louisiana and our recreational red snapper season. That’s going to happen next week. … Continue reading →

The Wild Side.Feb. 24, 2013

The subject this week in this oil-based northeastern Oklahoma city is bass. That’s natural when the Bassmaster Classic comes to town for the first time it’s been this far west since the first one on Lake Mead near Las Vegas in 1971. The … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Feb. 17, 2013

Conservation Week started in our state this weekend with CCA-Louisiana’s state convention. This coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation will convene its 74th annual convention in Baton Rouge. The state’s two largest volunteer organizations are closer today as any time in the past … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Feb. 10, 2013

What happened on our most recent Thursday certainly gives outdoors writers months of topics. The following occurred during that day’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting: The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, through the commission, confirmed plans to establish its recreational season and daily limits for red snapper in state waters. … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Jan 27, 2013

You have only two more days to post your comments about Reef Fish Amendment 39, the instrument that could, if enacted, change the way recreational fishermen take red snapper from the Gulf of Mexico. RFA 39 deals with regional management of red snapper for recreational fishermen, and the ongoing battle between recreational fishermen … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Dec. 30, 2012

My first thought venturing into a new year is that Hurricane Isaac likely was 2012’s top outdoors story. It’s not that this minimum hurricane overpowered south Louisiana. Instead, it’s that the storm showed how destructive a Category I storm can be as long as our state continues to suffer through prolonged coastal land … Continue reading →

Macaluso: Using our resources intelligently

Started out thinking about Christmas, about unique gifts, and somehow began to believe a Jack-in-the-Beanstalk gift might be a one-size-fits-all solution. Pause, rewind and realize that the idea of some magic, cure-all-ills seeds is what got us into today’s troubles. For all our formal education, we haven’t learned there’s a … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Dec. 16, 2012

Friday gutted our country. Any of us who have children live in fear of what happened in Newtown, Conn. two days ago. There are no words for the 20 sets of parents, the teachers’ families, nor the school principal’s family that can be said or written that can explain … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Dec. 9, 2012

Since 1993, there have been complaints about the 14-inch-long size limit on taking bass in the Atchafalaya Spillway and the nearby waters of the Lake Verret-Belle River basin. The limit was placed on fishermen the year after Hurricane Andrew came close to wiping out all fish species in the country’s largest overflow swamp. … Continue reading →

We want to publish your photos

Photos give us memories to treasure, and The Advocate Outdoors wants to share those memories, especially those for our young outdoorsmen. There’s a years-long commitment here to acknowledging the accomplishments of youth hunters and fishers. Every so often we need to remind families about what we need to publish these … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Nov. 25, 2012

Just about this time every year, the complaints start piling up. Fishermen fed up with other fishermen; hunters up to here with other hunters. Most fishing complaints have to do with courtesy, or lack thereof, at landings and on the water. Guys pull up to the top of a launching … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Nov. 18, 2012

OK all you this-will-never-happen-to-me guys who are going into the fields, forests and swamps of Louisiana in the next days and week, please hand this to your wives, mothers and anyone who cares about you so deeply that they want to see you at their holiday tables — in one piece. Done? … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Nov. 4, 2012

The reason you seldom read anything about the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights here over the past many years is that there’s no debate about the amendment’s meaning. Not to me. There are words about a “well regulated militia” and words that, for gun owners, carry the most … Continue reading →

The Wild Side.Oct. 28, 2012

The longer you go into the outdoors, the more you can come to understand that what you see in animals you see in people, and what you see in people you see in animals. Jam young humans into classrooms or adults into office buildings or on airplanes during the flu season and you … Continue reading →

The Wild Side: A hot-seat job

Want a hot-seat job? Become a state fisheries biologist, and you’ll find out. After working with most of those folks in the Baton Rouge office for a quarter century, you know this is not an easy profession in state government. Two items surfaced last week to … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012

Another summer, another hurricane and another time when Capital City freshwater fishermen can only wonder if Mother Nature leaves them any hope of a future in their cherished pastime. There are dead fish everywhere across the southern parishes. The Lake Verret-Belle River appears to have been the hardest hit. There’s … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012

As hurricanes go, Isaac was a middleweight. He didn’t carry the knockout punch of heavyweights like Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike — or Betsy, Camille or Andrew. What Isaac did was go 15 rounds with our state. He scored with a jab here, jab there, an occasional right hook, but, … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Aug. 26, 2012

It’s taken about four months to try to understand what President Barack Obama’s administration is trying to accomplish with its Idle Iron Policy. Most offshore fishermen might not know this U.S. Department of the Interior project by that name, but they sure know its effects. In short, this policy is … Continue reading →

The Wild Side.August 19, 2012

I was planning to have some light-hearted fun this week, but another fishermen has died by drowning. Thursday, officers from three agencies found and recovered the body of 27-year-old Brandon Jeane from Toledo Bend. The story is that he was fishing late Thursday with his uncle, fell overboard and never surfaced. … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for August 12, 2012

For all of what’s happened during the past three months concerning Louisiana’s future in the recreational red snapper business, the next eight months promise to be all that and more. How much more will depend on what happens later this month when Department of Wildlife and Fisheries marine fisheries managers outline their … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for August 5, 2012

The buzz across the five Gulf of Mexico states during the past three months is Louisiana’s move to extend its state fishery waters into the gulf and the push to take control of managing the fish in those waters and out into the federal Exclusive Economic Zone. The EEZ covers gulf waters out to 200 miles … Continue reading →

The Wild Side.July 29, 2012

— It’s amazing that amidst the excitement stirred by the annual Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, there would be angst approaching anger stirred by the way federal agencies are managing our near-coast and offshore fishery. During the last three years, the lightning rod for this growing discord is the red … Continue reading →

The Wild Side.July 22,2012

The drill sergeant at Fort Bragg was the first person I ever heard utter the words “chicken salad” and not talking about putting that fantastic concoction between two pieces of bread, or better yet, a croissant. That morning Sgt. Dokes (never really knew his first name) all 6-foot-5 of him, said in his … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for Sunday, July 15, 2012

Michael Iaconelli was in Orlando last week, and the accomplished New Jersey bass pro was smiling. Mention Louisiana and the recently signed RESTORE Act and the grin went from ear to ear. “Isn’t it great,” Iaconelli blurted. “I love Louisiana ... won the (Bassmaster) Classic there. The state means a … Continue reading →

The Wild Side for July 8, 2012

While ducks dominated the discussion during last Monday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, fishermen needed to pay attention to what’s ahead, too. The LWFC reinforced the National Marine Fisheries Service move in June to close the recreational season on gray triggerfish. Effective last Wednesday with the close of state waters, the entire Gulf … Continue reading →