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Thanks to some successful TV programs, Louisiana is a destination state for hunters chasing ducks and alligators. Although each species calls for different equipment, both can be encountered on the same stretches of water. Although not as popular as the duck and gator hunts, Louisiana is also home to a healthy deer population.
Imagine chasing a prehistoric beast nearly 20 feet long and weighing an estimated ton. That is what happened on Marsh Island in 1890 when the unofficial world record alligator was caught. The official world record swamp lizard came in at nearly 16 feet and half a ton. It was from Texas.
Regardless, 800-plus-pound alligators still roam the swamps and rivers of Louisiana. The Bayou State allows hunters to go after these most ancient of reptiles.
The Bayou state splits gator hunting into two categories: Resident and Non-resident.
Residents are allowed to hunt alligators with a standard hunting license on private property that will support a hunt. Gator tags are not necessary. Public hand hunts for residents are managed by the government agency or board that oversees the property. Tags and permits for hunting alligators on these lands vary. Residents can hunt alligators commercially or for sport.
“Non-residents can only harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide,” the state fish and wildlife service says. Louisiana hunting guides are a good idea, given a mature bull gator is more than capable of killing a grown man.
Louisiana is the winter stomping grounds for many waterfowl in the Mississippi flyway. The Mississippi flyway boasts the best waterfowl hunting in North America. In terms of duck hunting, Arkansas and Louisiana run neck-and-neck for the best waterfowl wingshooting with Mississippi knocking hard on their doors.
Wide Open Spaces says three of the top 5 places to shoot ducks are down along the coast with two of those in the bays on the Gulf of Mexico. Truly, the entire southern part of the state offers amazing hunts because it is the drainage and flood plain for the Mississippi River. Rice fields offer wingshooting that has to be experienced to be believed.
Louisiana hunting guides can get you onto private land where the birds see less pressure. The guide can also set up decoy spreads the day before so you can grab an extra few minutes of sleep before getting in a blind before daylight.
Duck and geese are considered migratory birds in Louisiana, whether they are resident like some Canada geese and wood ducks or truly migratory like canvasbacks.
The Bayou State is not known for its deer hunting, despite having a healthy herd and good success for hunters. Hunters get three antlered and three antlerless deer with their tags except in Areas 4 and 10 where the limit is three total.
Private land hunting accounts for just over half to about three-quarters of the deer killed in Louisiana. The Creole State requires all deer be reported to fish and wildlife for tracking and management purposes. For about the past 10 years, the number of deer killed dropped. Even more recently, the number of hunters has also dropped. As in most places, some hunters have more success than others.
This private land success rate is another reason to get a Louisiana hunting guide to put you in a stand for deer.
Louisiana is not known as a quail state. Upstate regions do have huntable coveys of wild birds, especially on farmlands that border timber. Plantations with set birds are the source of most quail hunting in the state.
Like so many Southern states, the words “bird hunting” means shooting dove. The state leases some private farms specifically for public dove hunting. Some WMAs have food plots specifically managed for dove hunts.
For some hunters, the wild turkey is the ultimate quarry. With razor-sharp vision and good hearing, old longbeard frustrates many outdoorsmen each year. Studies of turkey hunters in Louisiana and other states provide insight for filling your turkey tags. Get well away from civilization. “On average, hunters hunted 6 hours each day, traveling 5.9 km during a hunt. However, on average hunters stayed within 0.3 km of roads and access trails and the mean daily maximum distance from a starting location (parking area) was 1.5 km. We found that 50% of hunter locations occurred within 18 m of an access trail or road, with 2.9% of the WMA containing 50% of hunter locations,” says a study from the University of Georgia. In other words, get way back in the woods where the hunting pressure is less to increase your odds of getting a turkey.
Louisiana takes a dim view of three different animals. It calls coyotes, feral hogs and armadillos “outlaw quadrupeds” and encourages hunters to shoot them on sight during daylight hours. The state allows suppressors for shooting these varmints and hunting them at night on private property with the landowner’s permission. Turkey hunters who enjoy calling a gobbler should try their hand at summoning a song dog. In addition to having excellent eyesight like turkeys, they have a very strong sense of smell.
The Bayou State has plenty of hunting opportunities all year long. Your guide can recommend what and when to hunt for a memory of a lifetime. Book your next Louisiana hunting trip today on HuntAnywhere.com