Louisiana Deer News

Louisiana Deer Forecast for 2015 September 1, 2015 Game & Fish
... Thus far in the year we have had good spring rains that have plumped up our vegetation. Lush healthy vegetation are now ripe for browsing by does during the fawning season ...

The 2015 Rut Report September 1, 2015 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman
 ...  there is much variation in the breeding dates, even within individual parishes, due to the restocking that was done in the’ 50s and ’60s around the state ...

2015-16 WMA [Wildlife Management Area] Forecast September 1, 2015 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman
...  the documented deer harvest total on WMAs in 2014-15 was 3,568 bucks and 2,554 does... one deer per 181 acres ... The 10-year average for all WMAs is one deer per 193 acres...

Science vs. opinion August 31, 2015 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman
... A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist admitted his agency is considering shorter deer seasons and more-conservative limits because the mandatory season, which the vast majority of hunters have ignored, indicate lower deer numbers. The announcement led to hunters on Facebook opining everything from calls to leave the seasons alone to laying the blame on the biologists ...

... only 20 to 30 percent of the deer harvested in the state last season had the tags validated ... failing to tag a deer is a Class 3 violation which has a $250 to $500 fine with up to 90 days in jail. An unvalidated tag violation is a Class 2 offense, carrying a $100 to $350 fine with up to 60 days in jail...


... LDWF agents were contacted around 11:45 p.m. on August 18 after a deputy with by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office saw two deer in the back of a truck. The vehicle had been pulled over for a moving violation at the intersection of Hwy 1024 and 16 in Watson..

Gun hunting kills majority of deer August 19, 2015 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman
...  131,300 of the 139,900 deer (94 percent) killed last season were taken by some form of firearm...

Shorter deer seasons, lower limits eyed by LDWF August 18, 2015 Louisiana Sportsman
... One of the main factors Durham said is a primary driver in the crash of the deer population is loss of habitat as rural areas have been either opened for farming or eaten up by urban development.  The end result is fewer forested acres in the state — and it’s those forests that support deer herds...

Hogs a major problem for deer hunting August 18, 2015 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman ·
... “Hog populations affect deer numbers through direct competition for food resources and fawn predation,” ...

Montgomery men face multiple charges in deer death August 18, 2015 Louisiana, The TownTalk
... Two Montgomery men are facing multiple charges after allegedly shooting a nine-point buck last week, which they then left in a field ...

Numbers show most Louisiana hunters don't report their deer August 17, 2015 Louisiana, NOLA.com
... During the most-recent deer season, only 65,081 deer were reported by hunters, which is fewer than half the department's estimated statewide harvest of 139,900...   must still rely on antiquated mail-survey data with low participation rates to make estimates about the health of the state's herd  ... more than 273,000 sets of deer tags for the 2014-15 season.

... According to the agency's 2014-15 Deer Harvest Report, 273,541 hunters were issued tags to pursue deer last season...  only 139,900 deer were bagged, which was a 16 percent decline from 2013-14, when Louisiana hunters took 166,200 deer...

LDWF adds to acreage of one of its best WMAs August 11, 2015 Louisiana, NOLA.com
... Russell Sage rates among the biggest deer producers in the state, with hunter-efforts per deer always in the single digits... purchased an additional 2,767 acres ...

LDWF looking for public input on Wildlife Action Plan July 11, 2015 Louisiana, KTBS
... . In order for millions of dollars in federal aid to continue, the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to update a plan for the next ten years... The public comment period on the next draft of the wildlife action plan will close August 1st, as the final draft deadline is October of 2015... View the draft Wildlife Action Plan ...

... In the past, hunters were only allowed to carry a .22 caliber pistol loaded with rat shot that could only kill small pests... 

... controversial ... because of the potential for bowhunters to use the guns as hunting weapons to take deer when other hunters aren't allowed to use guns...  advocates for the bill insisted that the bill was intended to allow bowhunters to protect themselves against aggressive animals ...

Alleged illegal hunters busted by smartphone June 19, 2015 Louisiana, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... A trio of hunters was arrested after authorities found pictures of game animals allegedly harvested illegally on one of the hunters' smartphone...  photographs of deer killed in Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes that were not reported ...

Rains have produced lush habitat June 12, 2015 Louisiana Sportsman
...One herbaceous forb that is a very desirable browse plant that I saw chomped on was Lactuca, wild lettuce. This plant makes a tall stem that is hollow and very succulent... One herbaceous forb that is a very desirable browse plant that I saw chomped on was Lactuca, wild lettuce. This plant makes a tall stem that is hollow and very succulent...

Louisiana Legislature locked and loaded with gun bills June 10, 2015 NOLA.com
... Senate Bill 212, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, lets bow hunters carry any size gun ... The purpose of allowing bow hunters to carry guns when out of deer hunting season is for protection, in the event of a feral hog attack ...

Operation Game Thief distributes rewards June 1, 2015 Louisiana, Shreveport Times
... Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc., a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $9,500 to diligent citizens statewide at its recent quarterly meeting ...  incidents included 13 deer cases, four turkey cases ...

Plant Warm-Season Food Plots for Deer May 27, 2015 Louisiana, Growing Louisiana
... Adult does require at least 11 to 15 percent protein during late pregnancy, but after fawning, they need somewhere between 14 and 22 percent protein for best milk production. Younger animals that are actively growing require much higher levels of protein than adults... everal varieties of cowpea ...

Our universities are paying the price for our extravagance May 14, 2015 Louisiana, The Daily Advertiser
...  we're outsourcing the monitoring of our black bear population, the study of our white-tailed deer...

Improving deer herd health, regulations topics at field day April 27, 2015 Louisiana, ArkLaTex
...  “There are mainly two types of facilities. There are the breeder pens that are fairly common in this part of the state that feed the larger high-fence hunting operations.” ... sizes range from 30 to 40 acres for the breeder pens to 500 to 2,500 acres for the hunting operations...

State of the deer April 19, 2015 Arkansas, NWA Online
... "When you look at harvest trends in other states, it's been a downward trend," said Cory Gray, deer program coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. "Ours is either flat-lined or climbing." ... In the recent past, a 50/50 buck-to-doe kill was inconceivable.  "It wasn't too many years ago that we were harvesting a 70-30 buck-to-doe ratio," ....

LDWF biologists conduct white-tailed deer studies April 19, 2015 Louisiana, KTBS
...  "some of the collection methods that we have is that we look at the kidneys for kidney fat to see how healthy that animal is. We will take a look at the liver and slice it open for liver flukes again as an indicator of health. If it is in the spring we can take those fetuses and measure them and see when that doe was bred...

... “Deer harvest numbers are down 20 percent statewide,” Davidson said. “The harvest numbers have been down for the last three years.” ... Several hunters want to have the deer seasons start later or run later in their respective areas, mainly due current season dates falling in pre rut and seeing more deer signs late in the season ...

... Agents on Thursday cited Walter Prine, 20, of Denham Springs, Aaron Morris, 20, of Denham Springs and Stefan Reynolds, 25, of Gonzales ...

Conditions don't dictate shorter hunting season February 14, 2015 Louisiana, Monroe News Star, Scott Durham is the deer program manager 
... Harvest declines have been observed in the reporting data in many parishes, including some in Area 1, since mandatory reporting was initiated in 2008-09... If declines continue or a trend becomes clear, the deer section will come forward with new recommendations for an Area 1 season...
... 
... Enforcement agents received a tip about illegal night hunting taking place in Jefferson Parish, and began monitoring social media. Based on the information collected there, they were able to obtain search warrants for residences, cell phones and social-media accounts...

... a total of 40 cases in 2014. A total of 67 subjects were apprehended and a total of 218 offenses were written in regards to the reviewed cases. The LOGT has paid out a total of $358,900 since inception in 1984... 

... "A lot of guys are managing for older bucks," ...  Louisiana led every state in the nation with the highest percentage of harvested bucks aging 3 1/2 years or older... 68 percent ... In the nation overall, 34 percent of harvested bucks were 3 1/2 or older. That's up from 32 percent the previous year and way up from 23 percent in 2003-04...

... "Agents believe the trees were cut down to block navigation to the northern part of the WMA in order to keep other hunters out of the area," ... The felled trees blocked a canal that connects Cocodrie Bayou to Bayou de la Bay on the WMA ... 

Change in deer season schedule needed January 31, 2015 Louisiana, Monroe News Star
...  most everyone I've spoke to has come to grips that deer season in Louisiana is too long... We have too many tags per person. This has no bearing on those hunters that take 15-20 deer a year anyhow, but a limit of two bucks and one doe would suffice. There is no way Margaret Ann and I can eat six deer ...

... hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses, no possession of deer tags, taking deer using illegal methods, taking over the daily  limit of deer and possession of illegally taken deer. .. Agents seized 11 deer and two rifles in the case...

Daniel Barnes of Louisiana helps a young buck from a neighbors fence. The deer's leg was wedged between wooden slats. Great save Daniel! - January 24, 2015


Night hunter sells at least six deer in Madison Parish, agents say January 22, 2015 Louisiana, The Times-Picayune 
... while he was in custody at the East Carroll Parish jail, he had taken up to 15 deer since November, and sold at least six of the deer in Madison Parish. He also killed and sold migratory birds, according to agents...

Commission Adopts Notice of Intent for Revisions to Deer Management Assistant Program January 8, 2015 Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries 
... Under DMAP, LDWF biologists work with participating hunting clubs and private landowners to accomplish their specific goals and objectives for deer population management.  To view the full, amended notice of intent, visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items. Public comment will be accepted at the LWFC monthly meetings through April 3, 2015. Comments will also be accepted by mail sent to Johnathan Bordelon, Wildlife Division, Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 9800, Baton Rouge, LA, 70898-9000 or via email to jbordelon@wlf.la.gov.

No major changes for hunting seasons January 8, 2015 Louisiana, The Advocate
...  The only major change will affect deer hunters in Area 5, heretofore a heavily regulated deer-hunting zone in northeast Louisiana, where a change to add two weeks to the deer season proposed in 2014 will kick in for the next season...

Illegal hunting at Baton Rouge parks spooking cyclists December 28, 2014 Louisiana, The Daily Advertiser 
... The Baton Rouge parks department is putting up signs in a few parks and conservation areas to remind people that it’s illegal to hunt there...  corn was recently found near the bike trail at Hooper Road Park... 

... For the second year in a row, Loggy Bayou produced the most deer per hunter effort ... one of the few bottomland hardwood areas remaining in Northwest Louisiana. The area is flat and subject to annual flooding from the backwaters of the Red River...

Rut appears 'on' in southeast parishes December 12, 2014 Louisiana, The Advocate
... The primary rut, a breeding period that can last 6-8 days, comes to the south-central and southeastern parishes near Christmas. A secondary rutting period follows about a month later when bucks seek out any of the does that weren’t bred in the primary stage...

Coushatta man cited for deer hunting violations December 12, 2014 Louisiana, ArkLaTex
...  cited Jason Ivey, 46, for taking more than the daily limit of antlered deer, taking more than the season limit of antlered deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements...

...  "significant changes" to hunting regulations for the 2015-16 season... Extend Area 5 hunting dates by two weeks.  Prohibition of possession of bait on wildlife management areas ...

... a photo that his game camera took of two men with deer at 8:37 p.m. on Nov. 22 2014 in the Kolin and Effie area of Rapides Parish... contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465

How Far Do Bucks Really Travel During the Rut? December 2, 2014 Louisiana, Bowhunting Magazine
... Louisiana State University professor Michael Chamberlin captured and placed radio telemetry collars on 37 bucks ... bucks maintained home ranges smaller than 400 acres! Both adult (2 1⁄2 years old and older) and yearling bucks ...

... Game Biologist with the LDWF says, "So far, from our initial data, that the harvest is pretty comparable to last year." 2013 was an above average season. .. .This spring and summer have been really great. We've had really good rainfalls. Nice mild temperatures so that made a lot of good food out there in the woods for the deer...

Poachers busted shooting deer at night, LDWF says November 14, 2014 Louisiana, The Times-Picayune 
... cruising a public road while shining a spotlight for deer around 9 p.m., according to the department. Their Q-beam fell on a spike, so Barton shot it, agents said.  Almost immediately, a car approached the scene, and Roberts and Barton fled, wrecking their truck in the process ...

La. men must pay $1.5M in deer smuggling case October 31, 2014 Louisiana, News-Star 
... Three Louisiana, men have been sentenced for smuggling white-tailed deer into Mississippi in violation of a law that protects the state’s deer population from chronic wasting disease...

Dog-deer hunting still banned at Kisatchie National Forest October 29, 2014 Louisiana, The Times-Picayune 
... A federal appeals court has upheld a ban on using dogs to hunt deer in the Kisatchie National Forest... "deer-dog" hunting was banned at the 360,000-acre forest in 2012 ...

Having good records help solve part of the deer puzzle October 28, 2014 Louisiana, Monroe News Star
... it's critical to understanding and successfully managing a deer herd. Real information is needed. Real data, not guesses ...  hunting club members themselves, with some effort toward structured deer harvest, sightings, and record keeping, can provide pieces to and help solve the puzzle...

Moon phase has no impact on deer-breeding, studies show October 20, 2014 Louisiana, The Times-Picayune 
... At least two research projects, both of which had enormous sample sizes, showed the phase of the moon influenced deer breeding not at all.  The first was published in 2007 by Rod Cumberland, deer management biologist for the Canadian province of New Brunswick...

The rut of white-tailed deer in Louisiana October 14, 2014 Louisiana, Monroe News Star
... The earliest rut is underway now in the southwestern region of the state. Mid-November is prime rut time for much of the state. And there is a late rut in December and even January in some places that wind it up. Particularly the Delta region of northeastern Louisiana. That's quite a range of deer breeding behavior over almost half of the year in different areas of the state...

Deer season is under way October 12, 2014 Louisiana, Bastrop Daily Enterprise
... “I look for a good year in store for this upcoming season primarily because we had good rainfall all over the state this spring and summer. Not only did this provide ample succulent forage for deer, it improved the reproduction of deer as well. We should see a good fawn crop with the type of recruitment we like to see,” ...

Louisiana Deer Harvest Numbers Increasing October 6, 2014 LockerDome
... the state relies on a mail survey system to collect data for their annual harvest reports. In 2008, the state implemented a tagging system that requires all hunters to tag animals, and then report a harvest. Hunter participation in the tagging program has been horrid, to put it mildly...

Mother Nature's Deer Season Advantages September 30, 2014 Louisiana, digbatonrouge.com
... “We rank [mast] production of about zero to three,” Durham said. “Last year, in this part of the state, we registered 1.58 for red oaks and 0.92 for white. Anything close to two is good crop.”  ... last year was a low production year, especially compared to good years like 2011 when mast production was high...

Louisiana Deer Hunting Forecast for 2014 September 28, 2014  gameandfishmag.com
... a sharp decline in deer harvest numbers from preceding years... the overall deer harvest numbers from the 2013-2014 should be up ... cold weather makes deer move, and a lack of natural food means more deer will be looking for calories near corn piles and food plots...

... feral hogs are responsible for a decline in popular game species such as deer ... “Research shows that deer and hogs do not mix and that deer can be displaced by hogs,” read the department’s annual deer report. “Research has shown that deer detection rates can be up to 49% less where hogs occur. Hog populations affect deer numbers through direct competition for food resources and fawn predation ...

Deer herd launched from release 50 years ago August 30, 2014 Louisiana, Bastrop Daily Enterprise 
... “I recall back in the 1960s bringing a load of deer we had trapped down at Red Dirt National Wildlife Refuge south of Natchitoches. I stopped by my granddad Charlie Lyle’s home in Ruston to let him see what we were bringing to Lincoln Parish. I still remember him shaking his head and telling me he has lived in Lincoln Parish all his life and these are the first deer he had ever seen in this part of the state...

Pet deer removed from local home August 29, 2014 August 29, 2014 Louisiana, KSLA 12 
... an ArkLaTex woman ... after recently rescuing a baby deer on the side of the road after its mother died... a police officer [spotted the deer] ...  I said, 'we're going to put a collar on him and turn him loose.'"  But Hubbard never got the chance. She said that within 20-minutes of the officers visit Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Agents were at her door, to take away John Deer. "I asked them and they said they were going to euthanize him ...

Louisiana Deer News and Information Archive by Topic

Louisiana Data: An estimated minimum of 500,000 deer in 2014.  The deer harvest fell by 16% in 2014, although an increase was expected due to better weather.  Some hunting areas were changed to reduce hunting pressure.  The population has been declining since about 2000.  State wildlife officials estimated 500,000 to 750,000 deer in the state in 2011, drought and high temperatures reduced the herd that year and 2010. Coyotes and hogs have also reduced the herd.  In 2014, 273,541 hunters took 166,200 deer. More than 273,000 sets of deer tags for the 2014-15 season. 
     Populations in the southeast were severely impacted by high water from Hurricane Isaac in 2012 with 90 percent fawn mortality in some areas.   Rain and a good acorn crop in 2013, but the population has been on the decline since about 2007, falling by about 20 percent. Hunting Statistics  LDFW has changed some deer hunting regulations to support herd growth.  Although the harvest was up in 2014, the increase may be attributable to a poor mast crop (acorns and other) that forced the deer out into the open more.  Rainfall has been lower than average for about a decade, reducing foliage and contributing to the decline of the herd.  Estimated 1989 population:  650,000.  Graphic from LDFW 2014 report, click to enlarge.

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

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Mission Statement: "To manage, conserve, and promote wise utilization of Louisiana's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their supporting habitats through replenishment, protection, enhancement, research, development, and education for the social and economic benefit of current and future generations; to provide opportunities for knowledge of and use and enjoyment of these resources; and to promote a safe and healthy environment for the users of the resources." From About About LDWF and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheriries Strategic Plan

Deer Management Objectives:
Each WMA (Wildlife Management Area in the state) has a federal-aid management plan developed by Region biologists and deer are important features of most of these plans. Managed deer hunts are held each year to allow the harvest of surplus deer and prevent habitat damage resulting from overbrowsing. Biological data collected from harvested deer provide a basis for assessment of population health. Seasons are generally shorter on public lands than on private lands because WMAs receive higher hunter use over a shorter period of time than private lands. The Forestry Section of the Wildlife Division has developed a forest management plan for each WMA to insure proper management of the forested habitat. These plans in combination with deer browse surveys are used to assess current and predict future deer habitat conditions.