Currently, a hunter is issued tags for three antlered and three antlerless deer when purchasing a big-game license. But the department's proposal is to change one of the buck tags to an either-sex tag. A hunter would have the option to use that tag on a doe rather than a buck.
The department made the proposal to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at its February meeting.
The department also proposed extending the second primitive firearm season in Areas 1 and 6 until Jan. 31. Currently the seasons stretch for seven days, and end on a Sunday.
Additionally, youth hunters under 17 would have the option to use any legal firearm during that season in all areas and on all wildlife management areas.
The department would also like to maintain strict deer regulations in all areas of the Morganza Spillway south of Interstate 10.
Deer throughout the entire Spillway were hit hard by last year's record-high rivers and the subsequent opening of the Morganza flood gates.
As a result, the commission had implemented shorter seasons and reduced doe harvest regulations throughout the area during last year's season.
The regulation change helped, but the population isn't yet fully recovered, particularly in the lower part of the floodway, according to biologist Randy Myers, who made the presentation to the commission.
"Our staff is still concerned about the deer population in that area," Myers said.
The department will hold six meetings across the state beginning on March 13 to hear public comment on the proposals. They are as follows:
- March 13: Alexandria Convention Hall, 6 p.m.
- March 13: LDWF Office, Minden, 6:30 p.m.
- March 14: Yambilee Festival Building, Opelousas, 6:30 p.m.
- March 15: LSU Ag Center, Lake Charles, 6:30 p.m.
- March 15: Bastrop Visitor Center, 6 p.m.
- March 21: St. John Parish Council Chambers, 6 p.m.
Public comment may also be made by writing Randy Myers, LDWF, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.
To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations for the upcoming season, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.