The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on Tuesday (Feb. 8) announced plans to make changes to the 2011-13 hunting seasons, including extension of deer hunting in two areas of the state during the 2012-13 season. Commissioners also adopted a notice of intent for 2011-12 Wildlife Management Areas rules and regulations.

The two notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming fall hunting season and provide for a public comment period.

Some of the proposed changes include:
• Combining deer hunting Area 4 with Area 1 for the 2012-13 hunting season.
• Extending the primitive firearm season in deer hunting Areas 1 and 6 for the 2012-13 hunting season to the end of January.
• Removal of the requirement that deer hunters must record the validation number on their license after validating their harvested deer and an extension of the amount of time required to report harvested deer from 72 hours to seven days.
• Amending the language pertaining to the take of crows, blackbirds, cowbirds and grackles on private land and WMAs due to a change in federal regulations. Non-toxic shot and an annual report submitted to USFWS will be required.
• Modifying firearms regulations pertaining to WMAs to be consistent with state law.
• Eliminating the vehicle tag requirement from the self-clearing permit required to use WMAs.
• Establishing Limited Access Areas on Joyce and Manchac WMAs.
• Modifying the hunting seasons on several WMAs to provide additional opportunities.

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting season, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from March through May and can be submitted to Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, LDWF, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, until May 5.

The public meeting schedule for the proposed 2011-12 hunting season is as follows:

• March 9 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
• March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
• March 15 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas
• March 16 at 6 p.m., Ponchatoula High School Cafeteria, 19452 Hwy. 22.
• March 17 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
• March 22 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles