The dove season’s first split begins Saturday, and like the days after past major storms like hurricanes Andrew and Katrina, there’s little way to predict success in the days after the storms.
With the full effects of Hurricane Isaac yet to be determined, the dove season in the state’s North and South zones will open as scheduled.
Following a program started more than 10 years ago, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has secured several fields to provide public dove hunting for Saturday’s opening day, in addition to 11 wildlife management areas where fields have been legally prepared for dove hunts.
LDWF managers have outlined regulations for Saturday-only, leased-land hunts.
There’s a $10 fee for hunters 16 and older. Hunters 15 and younger can hunt free of charge.
All hunters are required to obtain a permit at each site. Permits will be issued at each site on a first-come, first-served basis until each field is filled.
Hunters 16 and older must have a basic hunting license, complete with federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification. Fee-free HIP certification is available from state hunting license vendors.
The leased fields will be open to public hunting Sept. 1 only.
LDWF personnel will be present at the field to issue permits and monitor the hunt.
The list of leased fields includes:
As of Tuesday, LDWF managers indicated public dove hunters were planned for Red River WMA in Concordia Parish; West Bay WMA in Allen Parish; Bayou Pierre WMA in the northwest portion of Red River Parish; Big Colewa WMA in West Carroll Parish; Boeuf WMA in Caldwell Parish; Clear Creek and Fort Poll WMAs in Vernon Parish; Elbow Slough WMA in the southeastern portion of Rapides Parish; and, Floy McElroy WMA in Richland Parish.
The LDWF also issued a correction about the coming season: The shooting hours listed on Page 28 of the Louisiana Hunting Regulations 2012-2013 are incorrect for Saturday’s opening day, but listed that date as Sept. 3.
Opening date is Sept. 1, when shooting hours are noon to sunset. All other days for the dove season on private lands is one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
The weekly nighttime bass tournament Friday on False River and the annual Original Grand Isle Redfish Rodeo, set to run Friday through Sunday, have been canceled. Wednesday’s second annual Quality Deer Management Association’s Gun Bash at LSU has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.
Earlier this week, in advance of Hurricane Isaac, the LDWF announced the closure of 27 agency-owned or managed wildlife management areas.
The latest on the list is the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Cameron Parish.
Also on the list is Sandy Hollow WMA in Tangipahoa Parish, which was scheduled for a youth-only dove hunt Saturday on the WMA’s North Tract. Other closed WMAs in the Capital City area include Maurepas Swamp and Tunica Hills; Attakapas and Sherburne in the Atchafalaya Basin; Hutchinson Creek, Joyce, Manchac, Lake Ramsey, Tangipahoa Parish School Board and Pearl River WMAs in the Florida Parishes; Elm Hall in Assumption Parish; and the Acadiana Conservation Corridor, Atchafalaya Delta, Lake Boeuf and Thistlethwaite WMAs in the Acadiana area.
Coastal WMAs closed include Biloxi, Marsh Island, Pass a Loutre, Pointe aux Chenes, Salvador-Timken, State WMA and the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area. Others are Spring Bayou, Grassy Lake and Pomme de Terre WMAs in east-central parishes. Elmer’s Island near Grand Isle closed Sunday.
The LDWF’s advisory indicated these WMAs “will remain closed until further notice.”
Late Monday, the LDWF notified wild alligator hunters that Wednesday’s opening of the East Zone season will be delayed until Saturday, but LDWF had no plans to move the Sept. 5 opening of the West Zone Wild Alligator season.
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