Youngsters attending Saturday’s Louisiana celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day will be introduced to a new outdoors activity.
Geocaching — pronounced “gee-oh-cash-ing” — combines a touch of orienteering with an old-fashioned scavenger hunt.
The idea is to get youngsters to use the Global Positioning System units. They’re given a list of objectives, which they can find using the GPS units, then collect items from each of those locations. The idea is to collect as many items as possible to complete the list, then return to the check-out area.
Geocaching groups are scheduled on the half-hour beginning at 9:30 a.m., and “oldsters” are invited to get in on the action, too.
That’s just the new for the 9 a.m.-3 p.m. celebration at the Waddill Wildlife Education Center on North Flannery Road.
Young anglers can draw on the cane poles, crickets and worms for the 9-11 a.m. fishing tournament on the site’s two lakes, or try their hand at archery, skeet shooting, air rifles and BB guns, the latter two events sponsored by Baton Rouge-based Lipsey’s Inc.
New this year, too, is that families can get their feet wet in a kayak. Canoeing has been a part of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ NHFD celebration for more than 25 years. This year, kayaks, the fastest-growing segment of Louisiana’s fishing and boating activities, will be on the ponds.
There will be stations for your young angler who wants to learn about fly fishing, get into freshwater areas for panfish with a jig pole, or learn or refine their casting skills. The Red Stick Fly Fishers (all day) and veteran jig-poler J.B. Salter (12:30-3 p.m.) will give demonstrations and hands-on instruction for those angling skills.
Lunch will be provided: In addition to hot dogs, chefs from the Baton Rouge area will prepare shrimp, wild boar, venison, catfish and alligator for the annual midday Wild Game and Seafood Tasting.
There will be no charge for the event. Similar events are schedules in Monroe, Woodworth and Minden.
After Saturday’s opening day for the 16-day special teal season produced limits across a wide range of the state, nothing much has changed for the low numbers of birds in the Atchafalaya Delta and marshes east of the Mississippi River.
Looking at a map and starting in the Catahoula Lake area near Jonesville on the northeast end, draw a line to Creole and Oak Grove in Cameron Parish and most hunters along and near that line had successful hunts. Many reported having their four-bird limits within 30 minutes of legal shooting time (a half-hour before sunrise). That left other hunters along that line complaining it took them more than an hour to get their limits.
With State Waterfowl Study leader Larry Reynolds’ aerial survey report that some 18,000 teal were on Catahoula Lake last Wednesday.
Saturday’s reports from Honey Brake Lodge near Catahoula Lake indicated the flooded areas on Delta Farms produced quicker limits than did the lake.
Apparently other hunters found Catahoula Lake loaded: The LDWF’s Enforcement Division reported citing eight men for allegedly taking 19 teal over the limit during Saturday and Sunday hunts.
John Randall of Urania, Jereme Johnson of Ruston, Clint Cooksey of Jena and Steven Douglas of Olla reportedly were stopped for what agents said was a “license and limit inspection,” and agents cited the four men with having 28 teal, or 12 more than the allowed four-per-man limit. The four men were in their late 20s.
During a similar check Sunday, the division’s report indicated Casey Deville and Austin Linzay of Lecompte, Dusty Ducote of Alexandria and Brandon Simmons of Marksville were written up for having 23 teal, or seven more than the legal limit. The four ranged in age from 17 to 21.
Division spokesman Adam Einck reported the 51 teal were seized and donated to charity, and that state penalties could bring fines of $400-$950 and up to 120 days in jail in addition to federal penalties.
The LDWF announced Tuesday the wild alligator season in the state’s East Zone will be extended through Oct. 4. The season was delayed by Hurricane Isaac.