All About Hunting In Louisiana

Louisiana is one of the most important wintering areas for in the United States which is best for waterfowls.

For centuries, hordes of ducks and geese have used the state’s coastal bays and marshes, flooded swaps, agriculture fields, inland lakes and river backwaters during migration and winter.

These areas happen to be a good breeding habitat for wood ducks, mottled ducks. This tremendous resource supports some of the top waterfowl hunting in the United States.

Louisiana is a home for waterfowl which also attract many birdwatchers and scientists for the study.

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1. Hunting Season

1.1 Squirrel

October 5 to February 28 and May 2 – 24, private lands only.

1.2 Wild Turkey

Area A – April 4 – May 3

Area B – April 4 – 26

Area C – April 4 – 19

Youth/Physically challenged weekend – March 28-29

1.3 American Alligator

Louisiana is divided into two hunting zones for alligator. The east zone opens for hunting in the last Wednesday of September. Each zone remains open for 60 days from the opening date.

1.4 White Tailed Deer

Hunting season for white tailed deer starts from October to January.

1.5 Cougar

Hunting season for Cougar starts from January 1 to December 31.

1.6 American Black Bear

Hunting season for Cougar starts from December and stretches till April.

1.7 Raccoon

Hunting season for raccoon starts from mid-November to the end of the March.

2. What Species To Hunt In Louisiana

2.1 White Tailed Deer

White tailed deer are most commonly found in almost every continent, exception lies for Australia and Antarctica. They are found in almost many habitats, but are specifically found in woodland areas where they easily find shelter and different sources of food.

In Southeast Louisiana, wet, spongy land happens to make good hiding place for them during the hunting season. Pines, which are found in Southeast Louisiana provide excellent shelter and warm bedding material during winters.

Deers are found very active in dawn and dusk.

3 Tips to hunting south Louisiana’s public land deer

2.2 Raccoon

Raccoons are the common animal that are found in the United States, exception lies for the arid regions of the Southwest and some regions of the Rocky Mountains.

Raccoons are found in almost every part of Louisiana and also are found in various habitats, from pine and hardwood forests to coastal marshes.

Raccoon’s prominent black mask that is all over its face and blackish plus yellowish color rings that encircle the heavily furred tail makes it easily recognized and different.

2.3 American Alligator

The American alligator has a reviving success story from an endangered species to a normal existing species, they are not only saved from extinction but are now thriving.

Louisiana’s conservation plan such as state and federal protection plan, habitat preservation plan has reduced the demand for alligator products and also have improved the wild population to more than one million and is growing till today.

America alligators reside nearly exclusively in the freshwater rivers, lakes, swamps and marshes of the south-eastern United States, primarily Florida and Louisiana.

2.4 Cougar

In Louisiana, owning a cougar is considered to be an illegal act, but there could be some held as pets. It is illegal to hunt or kill cougars, hence are protected under state and federal law.

Cougar is called by many different names in different regions or nations like lion, cougar, panther or puma; all the names refer to the same animal. Its color ranges from light tan to brownish grey.

Bobcats and large house cats if seen from far distance are mostly mistaken for cougars.

2.5 Wild Turkey

The eastern wild turkey is commonly found in Louisiana. Before 1880, the wild turkey’s population in Louisiana was estimated to be one million.

However, by the turn of the century, the state’s turkey population started a precipitous decline due to exploitation of our virgin forests as well as commercial, subsistence and unregulated sport hunting.

2.6 Fox Squirrel

The fox squirrel is typically brown-grey to brown-yellow with a brownish-orange underside. But, it has the most variable coloration of any squirrel in the world, with subspecies that produce dazzling exception.

The fox squirrels have different color patterns some of them have dark-brown pattern on their body, they have a black face with a white nose and some of them have other color pattern variations.

Whatever the color, they all shed their hair twice a year, summer and fall.

2.7 American Black Bear

The Louisiana black bear is the state mammal for Louisiana and it us one of 16 subspecies of the American black bear. Species of black bear are commonly found across North America, but the subspecies of black bear are only found in Louisiana, east Texas and western Mississippi.

Difference between other black bear and Louisiana’s black bear is that the skull of Louisiana’s bear is longer, narrower and flatter in size, it also has larger molar teeth.

3. Where To Hunt

3.1 Public land

Eight percent of Louisiana’s land are publicly owned but if we look at the data then there are roughly 2.1 million acres of public lands available for hunting and Louisiana offers the nation’s top fisheries with miles of coastal areas and shorelines.

3.1.1 Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area

  • 12,983 acres
  • Bass, crappie and bream fishing available in ponds and backwaters
  • Deer, turkey, woodcock and waterfowl hunting

3.1.2 Maureps Swaps Wildlife Management Area

  • 103,263 acres
  • Bass and bream fishing; deer, turkey and small game hunting
  • Alligator and nutria trapping by permit

3.1.3 Bodcau Wildlife Management Area

  • 34,355 acres
  • Ivan lake and Bayou are best known for offering good fishing for bass and bream
  • Good deer hunting available

3.1.4 Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area

  • 137,000 acres
  • Accessible only by boat
  • Noted for waterfowl hunting and redfish fishing

3.1.5 Jackson Bienville Wildlife Management Area

  • 25.089 acres
  • ATV trails available
  • Small game hunting, deer, turkey and quail available

4. License Requirements

  • Residents who were born prior to June 1, 1940.
  • Residents and non – residents who are less than sixteen years of age.

4.1 Lifetime Hunting License

Lifetime hunting license include many types of license permit such as basic hunting, big game hunting, primitive firearms, bow hunting, waterfowl license, turkey hunting license and WMA hunting permit.

Applicants are required to have lived in Louisiana for the immediate six months prior to making application to qualify for residents’ rates. Mandatory documents required with application for applicants under 18 are a birth certificate and a copy of both parents’ driver’s license.

Additional mandatory documents are required with application for any person who is eighteen years old and older such as valid LA driver’s license issued a minimum of six months prior of issuing the license and requirement of one of the following:

  • Louisiana voter’s registration card
  • Louisiana vehicle registration or
  • Two years old state tax filling which is stamped by the Department of Revenue and Taxation.
Changes for hunting and fishing licenses in Louisiana

4.2 Military License

These licenses are valid only during that time when the license is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

Any resident or non-resident who possesses a military identification card that signifies that he or she is currently on active duty with any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard may issue a license for hunting or recreational fishing in Louisiana for the same fees applied for Louisiana’s residents.

Submit completed application with a copy of the applicant’s:

  • Louisiana driver’s license
  • Military identification card
  • Original verification letter from their commanding officer which assures that they are a militant.

4.3 Veteran Bona Fide Residency

A Louisiana resident who was honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States or a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard, for the purposes of purchasing a fishing/hunting license will be considered a bona fide resident of Louisiana once he/she possesses a Louisiana driver’s license, or, if not licensed to drive, is in possession of various special identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety.

4.4 Bona Fide Resident

Any person who is residing in Louisiana with a continuous period of six months prior to the date of which he or she is applying for any type of license and also has manifested his or her intent to remain in this state by establishing Louisiana as his or her legal domicile, as demonstration by compliance with all of the following, as applicable:

  • He or she must have been registered for voting in Louisiana.
  • If license to drive a motor vehicle, he or she is in possession of a valid Louisiana driver’s license.
  • If owning a motor vehicle in Louisiana, he or she is in possession of a proper and valid Louisiana registration for that particular vehicle.
  • If earning an income in Louisiana, he or she must make themselves aware with the state income tax laws and regulations.
Get your Louisiana fishing and hunting licenses online

6. Hunters Education

People who are born on September 1,1969 or after are eligible to apply for the completion of hunter’s education course, according to the rules, for receiving Hunters Education Certificate, one should be at least ten years old and even though ten or eleven-year-old are certified they are not allowed to hunt without any supervision of an adult hunter.

Kids below this age can also apply for this course but legally are not eligible for this certificate.

Validation period of Louisiana Hunter Education is for the lifetime and is available for everyone regardless of any nationality, age, race or sex.

  • Louisiana’s Hunters Education helps in preventing hunting failures and teaching the hunters with all the responsibilities and their roles for the conservation of wildlife.
  • Various important topics are covered under this course such as hunting and firearm safety, survival skills, wildlife and game identification and principles of wildlife management.

Louisiana’s Hunter Education is available online where interested ones can apply and have this course online sitting at home.

Everything You Need to Know About Bowhunter Education

7. Rules And Regulations

7.1 Restrictions

It is very important or crucial to know all the shooting rules and regulations of the areas like public land or private land experiencing dry and hot conditions, or about all the shooting ranges. When the fire restrictions are in effect, many of the national forests, for example, does not allow the recreational shooting.

It is very important to consider all types of ammunition and targets you are using or going to use. People are not allowed to using steel-jacketed ammunition, ammunition with steel-core components, tracer rounds or exploding targets in fire-prone areas because it can maximize the risk of fire.

People are required to park their cars only in the designated areas because they have extremely hot exhaust systems that has the possibility to fire off the dry vegetation and to prevent this damage this has been regulated.

Some other guidelines to be followed with campfires is as below:

  • Extinguish and dispose of smoking materials safely.
  • Follow guidelines to extinguish campfires.
  • Warn others of potential dangers and behaviors for starting wildfires.
  • Report any wildfire you see to authorities.

One should always spread this message to other target shooters, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts for their awareness which help people to avoid trouble.

7.2 Hunter Orange and Blaze Pink

If you are hunting deer on the land which is privately owned and from an elevated stand, you are not allowed to wear hunter orange or blaze pink.

However, if you are hunting on privately owned land where hunting with firearms are allowed and while walking from an elevated stand, you must wear the 400 square inches of hunter orange or blaze pink cap or hat.

If you are an archery deer hunter hunting on lands where firearm hunting is not allowed, you are not required to wear hunter orange or blaze pink.


Hunting is a part of life and is also considered as a circle of life even though others think it is wrong. Hunting was an ancient method for the survival and is still today.

It is a good thing to have hunting and fishing as a sport because without them there would be no humans on earth. Hunting is the past, present and future of American society.

It gets people in the outdoors, protect hunting and cherish it because without hunting the nation would have less money.

For more information, please visit Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries website:


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