Louisiana dove season opens this coming Saturday and from all reports, there is a good dove population this year. With the extremely dry weather, if you have a watering hole to hunt by, you are sure to get some action. Also, any natural food sources should attract good numbers of birds. If you are hunting with someone you don’t know well, make sure your field meets legal requirements BEFORE you go. It’s not rude to ask. In fact, it’s crazy not to. In fact, there are lots of regulations in dove hunting. Know them before going afield.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will provide some public dove hunting opportunities for the Sept. 7 season opening on leased private land and state wildlife management areas around the state. Unfortunately, most of those are out of our area. A large majority of hunters in our area hunt on private fields or farmland.
The 2013-14 dove season opens Saturday, Sept. 7 in the north and south zones. LDWF has leased private land in the following parishes for Sept. 7 only, from noon to sunset. Here’s the info in case you are wanting to make the trip:
Beauregard Parish, DeRidder-335 acres harvested corn and milo; 150 acres shredded corn. Directions: Take Hwy 190 West from DeRidder. The field is approximately 5 miles West of DeRidder on the North side of Hwy 190 just past Hwy 3226. Check in will be near the storage tanks. Contact Kori Legleu at 337-491-2575 x-3021 for more information. Maps will be available at the Lake Charles Office.
Grant Parish — 221 acres harvested milo with strips of sunflower. Directions: Take Exit 99 (Boyce) off I-49 and travel East on Hwy 8. Cross over the Red River and travel approximately ¼ mile and take left at “dove field” sign. Continue on levee road until you arrive at LDWF permit station. No ATV’s allowed. LDWF can assist handicapped hunters to/from their location in the field. Contact LDWF Pineville Office if additional information is needed at 318-487-5885. EXACT CHANGE IS NEEDED FOR PERMITS.
Avoyelles Parish — 90 acres harvested milo. Directions: From Bunkie, take Hwy. 29 to Evergreen, then right on Hwy. 361. Meet at barn located 1.5 miles south of the intersection of Hwys. 361 and 362. Contact Travis Dufour at 337-948-0255 for more information.
The following rules will apply to all leased fields:
1. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
2. Shot larger than size 7 ½ is prohibited (size 7 ½ , 8, 9 are allowed)
3. All trash – including shell hulls – must be picked-up.
4. Only legal doves may be taken.
5. All hunters must have a daily permit as well as appropriate hunting license with HIP certification; note, hunters under 16 years of age do not need HIP certification. The daily permit is available at the field and will be issued on a first-come first-served basis. HIP certifications are available from hunting license vendors. If hunters have formed a line prior to the time permits are issued, permits will then be issued to those in line in order of arrival.
6. There is a $10.00 fee per hunter, 16 years of age and older. Cash or check. Hunters under 16 will be admitted free, but they must check-in and have a permit.
7. When a predetermined number of hunters are admitted, the field will be closed. Additional hunters may be admitted when someone leaves the field and surrenders his/her permit. Use of vehicles, including ATV’s, may be restricted and will vary from field to field. Check with Department personnel about restrictions when you check-in.
8. These leased fields are open to the public September 7th only. Entrance at any other time is trespassing.
These leased fields have been made available through the cooperation of the landowners. Future access to these fields and other private property is dependent on the conduct of the hunters using these fields.
Another good opportunity from LDWF provides public dove hunting opportunities on state wildlife management areas including (closest land to us in bold): Bayou Pierre WMA, northwest Red River Parish; Big Colewa WMA, West Carroll Parish; Boeuf WMA, Caldwell Parish; Camp Beauregard WMA, Rapides Parish; Clear Creek WMA, Vernon Parish; Elbow Slough WMA, Rapides Parish; Floy McElroy WMA, Richland Parish; Fort Polk WMA, Vernon Parish; Loggy Bayou WMA, Bossier Parish; Pointe-Aux-Chenes WMA, Lafourche Parish; Richard K. Yancey (formerly Red River/Three Rivers) WMA, Concordia Parish; Sandy Hollow WMA, Tangipahoa Parish; Sherburne WMA, Iberville/St. Martin Parishes; and West Bay WMA, Allen Parish.
All licensed hunters are reminded that the appropriate Louisiana hunting license with HIP certification is required to hunt doves on public and private land. Those hunters who are ages 18 to 59 are also required to have a WMA Hunting Permit when hunting doves on WMAs.