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Lake life

Duck, duck, goose

The LDWF has recommended a 60-day season for ducks, coots and mergansers in the three zones in place for the 2013-14 hunting season. Shooting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until sunset. The recommendations include three zones for the second year in a row and are pending Uncle Sam’s approval, of course, via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Most of our area is in the East Zone. In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 23 to Dec. 8.  The second segment will start Dec. 14 and end Jan. 26. At that time (Jan. 26) millions of migrating ducks will start appearing in our area and stay for about two more months….it never fails.

In the West Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 16 and close on Dec. 15.  The second segment will open on Dec. 21 and run through Jan. 19. In the Coastal Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 9 and close on Dec. 1, and the second segment will open on Dec. 14 and run through Jan. 19.3waterfowlzonemap

Youth waterfowl hunts will be held Nov. 16 and Feb. 1 in the East Zone, Nov. 9 and Jan. 26 in the West Zone, and Nov. 2-3 in the Coastal Zone.

The daily bag limit on ducks is six and may include no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be females), two pintails, two canvasback, one mottled duck, one black duck, three wood ducks, three scaup and two redheads.

The daily bag limit on coots is 15.  The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which only two may be hooded mergansers.  The merganser limits are in addition to the daily bag limit for ducks. The possession limit on ducks, coots and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit.

The following is probably more information than most hunters want, but just in case, here it is:

Light geese and white-fronted geese will have a 74-day season.  The first segment in the West Zone will open on Nov. 16 and close on Dec. 15.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 21 to Feb. 2.  The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 9 and run until Dec.  8.  The East Zone second segment will run from Dec. 14 to Jan. 26.  In the Coastal Zone, the season on light and white-fronted geese will be Nov. 9 to Dec.1 and Dec. 14 to Feb. 2. The daily bag limit on light geese is 20, with no possession limit.  The daily limit on white-fronted geese is two, with a possession limit of six, however when the Canada goose season is open, the limit on white-fronted and Canada geese will be three per day of which no more than two can be white-fronted.

The Canada goose season in the West Zone will open on Nov. 16 and close on Dec. 15.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 21 to Jan. 31.  The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 9 and run until Dec.  8.  The East Zone second segment will run from Dec. 14 to Jan. 26.  In the Coastal Zone, the first segment will be Nov. 9 to Dec.1 and Dec. 14 to Jan. 31.

There will not be a Canada goose season in a small area of southwest Louisiana. That closure zone includes the following area: Beginning at the Texas state line, proceeding east along Hwy 82 to the Calcasieu Ship Channel, then north along the Calcasieu Ship Channel to its junction with the Intracoastal Canal, then east along the Intracoastal Canal to its juncture with LA Hwy 82, then south along LA Hwy 82 to its juncture with Parish road 3147 to Freshwater  Bayou Canal, then south to the Gulf of Mexico, then west along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico to the Texas state line, then north to the point of beginning at LA Hwy 82.  Open waters of Lake Arthur and the Mermentau River, from the Hwy 14 bridge southward, will also be closed to Canada goose hunting. The daily limit for Canada geese is three dark geese of which no more than two can be white-fronted geese.  The possession limit is nine for Canada geese.

The Statewide Conservation Order for light geese will open the first segment in the West Zone on Dec. 16 and run to Dec. 20, and the second segment will run from Feb. 3 to March 2.  The first segment in the East Zone will run from Dec. 9 to Dec. 13, and the second segment will run from Jan. 27 to March 2.  The first segment in the Coastal Zone will run from Dec. 2 to 13, and the second segment from Feb. 3 to March 2.  During this time, only snow, blue and Ross geese may be taken and daily bag and possession limits are eliminated.  The use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns is allowed.  Shooting hours during the Conservation Order begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until one-half hour after sunset.

Rails and gallinules may be taken from Nov. 9 to Jan. 1.  For King and Clapper rails, the daily limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 45.  Sora and Virginia rails have a daily limit of 25 in the aggregate and a possession limit of 75.  Gallinules have a daily bag limit of 15 with a possession limit of 45. Snipe season will open in the West Zone with the first segment from Nov. 9 to Dec. 15, and the second segment from Dec. 21 to Feb. 28. In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 9 to Dec. 8, with a second segment running Dec. 14 to Feb. 28.  The coastal zone’s first segment is from Nov. 2 to Dec. 1 and second segment is from Dec. 14 to Feb. 28.  The daily bag limit is 8 and the possession limit is 24. An extended falconry season for ducks, rails and gallinules will take place from Nov. 4 to Feb. 2.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.louisiana.gov.

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