Louisiana Deer:  An estimated population of 500,000 deer in 2016, about 480,000 in 2015 and 450,000 in 2014, down from about 625,000 in 2011.  A record wet year in 2017 resulting in a population increase.  Droughts in 2009, 2011 and 2012 reduced populations into 2015 or 2016. The population has been on a downward trend since 2000, a result of habit loss to farming and urban development, also competition and fawn predation by wild hogs.   A peak population of about one million around 1996.  An estimated 650,000 deer in 1989.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Louisiana deer harvest data and news archive.

Louisiana Deer News

CWD front and center for deer season opener September 12, 2018 Louisiana, The Advocate
... the spread of CWD from the western U.S., at least in part, can be traced to deer and other animals in the cervid family moved to other parts of the country ... Louisiana’s three neighboring states have CWD ...  plan to test as many as 300 deer in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes ...

Louisiana free of deer disease, but wildlife agents remain alert August 5, 2018, KTBS
... This past January, Mississippi found chronic wasting disease in a deer in Issaquena County which is about 4 miles from the Mississippi-Louisiana line, across from Madison Parish,” ... currently we are listing CWD free for the state of Louisiana ...

... The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is cautioning deer hunters about the use of deer urine lures because of the potential these products could contain chronic wasting disease (CWD) ... Urine production and sale is not regulated by any state or federal agency...

...  introduced a bill that will require the secretary of agriculture to partner with the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science to identify the ways CWD is transmitted ... says Abraham, Alto, La... HR 6272 ...

Dr. Berry speaks at Ferriday Rotary about deer disease July 18, 2018 Louisiana, The Franklin Sun
...deer that were killed were buried six feet where they were found.  “We didn’t want the chance of any of the samples spilling out on any other land,” he said... 67 deer were collected from Tensas Parish, 87 from East Carroll and 146 from Madison... not detected in any of the parishes...

... Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham is backing legislation for more in depth studies of the CWD form of the disease. Abraham says there is a financial benefit for the state in ensuring a healthy deer population...

... The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ended the ban in Tensas, Madison and East Carroll parishes Thursday, after state biologists reported that they haven’t found any sign in Louisiana of a fatal brain infection [chronic wasting disease] found in a deer near the state line in Mississippi...

...  There are no signs that a disease found in a buck in Mississippi earlier this year has spread to deer in Louisiana... tested 188 deer from the three northeast Louisiana parishes. Results are available on 114 ...

...  There are no signs that a disease found in a buck in Mississippi earlier this year has spread to deer in Louisiana... tested 188 deer from the three northeast Louisiana parishes. Results are available on 114 ...

LDWF seeking license fee increases February 26, 2018 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman
... The three-pronged approach would streamline the number of hunting and fishing licenses offered from 117 to 30 and bring the department’s fee structure in line with other Gulf states, focus on internal steps to save money and also capitalize on available federal dollars ...

... The cases reviewed and awarded money to the public for their assistance consisted of 10 deer cases ... To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov

LDWF amends proposed notice of intent for 2018-19 hunting seasons rules, regulations February 2, 2018 Louisiana, KATC Lafayette News
... To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items. Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings through April 5 ...

The Great Deer Comeback January 10, 2018 Louisiana, Country Roads Magazine
... Biologists estimate that Louisiana’s deer population dropped from several hundred thousand in 1700 to an estimated 70,000 by the early 1900s. In some areas, the deer disappeared altogether... The stocking program lasted from 1949 to 1969, with 3,378 deer being released in 9 regions... less than 1,000 deer were harvested in the 1948-49 season, 16,500 were taken in 1960-61...

...  Hide hunters, who paid just one dollar for a commercial license, were depleting the herd the locals depended on for food... Biologists estimate that Louisiana’s deer population dropped from several hundred thousand in 1700 to an estimated 70,000 animals by the early 1900s. In some areas, deer disappeared completely..,

... The state tested more 360 deer in 2015 and 2016 and to date there has been no positive case in Louisiana. But once again, this year they are asking for donations of deer heads from specific areas...

Deer season underway and outlook similar to 2016 October 20, 2017 Louisiana, StMaryNow.com
... The problem with a burgeoning hog population is hogs directly compete with deer for food resources. They also prey on fawns and carry diseases such as leptospirosis and brucellosis.  It will take intense management effort to come even close to putting a dent in hog populations, as the animal’s reproductive rate far exceeds that of deer..,

Louisiana's deer habitat in decline October 11, 2017 Louisiana Sportsman
... In the 90s, timber companies and foresters on private land began a new forestry program that involved the chemical treatment of hardwood species to remove them from the pine forest. This intense management work has resulted in a dramatic decline of available browse. Pine timber stands became void of the hardwood species that provide browse for deer...

Deer numbers on the decline September 12, 2017 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman
...One of the goals of either-sex hunting is to keep the herd in balance with available habitat providing nutrition necessary for good body growth and antler development. Of course the real problem was that most herds consisted of high numbers of 1 ½-year-old bucks with few being adults... about this same time changes in the landscape began to take their toll on the deer habitat...

... No person shall import, transport or possess any cervid carcass or part of a cervid carcass originating outside of Louisiana, except: for meat that is cut and wrapped ... 

Promising signs for Louisiana's 2017 deer season August 30,2017 NOLA.com
...  the wettest summer on record ... All that rain has been like spreading Miracle-Gro on the state’s deer habitat ...  lactation rates rebounded during the 2016-17 season ... Deer harvest was down 11 percent last season to 138,000 animals... abundance of hogs in Louisiana continues to be a concern ... [read the 2016-17 report] ..,

Supplemental feeding in better focus August 22, 2017 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman... supplemental feeding of deer had been legal in Mississippi, it was just highly regulated... restrictions on corn to just the short December 1 to February 28 ... feeder can now be in plain view, it still must be at least 100 yards or more away from the hunter...

Louisiana Data: An estimated 500,000 deer in 2016.  About 480,000 deer in 2015 and about 450,000 in 2014 based on harvest data.  The record wet year in 2017 has increased deer numbers.  A relatively wet year in 2016 into September provided good access to food an increasing the population.  Spring rains in 2015 contributed to fawn survival, but drought in the fall stressed populations followed by flooding in late 2015 into 2016 that displaced many deer.  The good mast crop in 2015 helped deer with good nutrition and reduced hunter success.  A major habit improvement effort in 2015 with planting of native oaks, cypress, ash, gum and pecan trees in bottomland and swamp forests.  A reduction in the buck limit to increase the adult buck average age is thought to have improved deer numbers.  The deer harvest fell by 16% in 2014.  Rain and a good acorn crop in 2013, but the population was down by about 20 percent from 2007.  
     Droughts in 2009, 2011 and 2012 reduced populations into 2015 or 2016.  The population has been trending down since about 2000.  The explosion of feral hogs that complete for food, kill fawns, and push deer out of some areas is thought to be a significant cause, also the loss of habitat as rural areas are opened for farming or urban development.   Coyotes have also reduced the herd.  Low fawn survival and potential disease causing low lactation rates.  Heavy doe harvest.
     The outbreak of  Hemorrhagic Disease in 2012-13 reduced the herd significantly in some areas and there were also reports of the disease in 2015.  Some hunting areas were changed to reduce hunting pressure.  Populations in the southeast were severely impacted by high water from Hurricane Isaac in 2012 with 90 percent fawn mortality in some areas.  State wildlife officials estimated 500,000 to 750,000 deer in the state in 2011 (about 625,000).  Sever drought and high temperatures reduced the herd in 2011
     In 2014, 273,541 hunters took 139,900 deer. The deer population is higher in the north.  Hunting Statistics LDFW has changed some deer hunting regulations to support herd growth. Rainfall prior
to 2015 had been lower than average for a
bout a decade, reducing foliage and contributing to the decline of the herd. A peak population of about one million (Moreland, 1996) with a peak harvest of about 267,000 in 1997.  An estimated 1989 population of 650,000. Graphic at right from LDFW 2016 report, click to enlarge.  
     History LDWF estimates 400,000 deer in the state prior to colonization.  Several hundred thousand deer in 1700, but in the late 1800s and early 1900s hunting, particularly by hide hunters, decimated the herd.  Large scale timber cuts reduced habitat.  Populations fell to their lowest levels around 1915 to 1925 estimated at 20,000 to 70,000.  A restocking program to rebuild the herd began in 1949 and ran through 1969.  

Mountain Lion:  A sighting in 2011 and 2016.

Report Poaching: Tips can be made anonymously through a toll-free hotline — 1-800-442-2511.