Tentative dates allowing for 60 days of hunting were set for 2012-13 waterfowl seasons in early August during the regular meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
Final dates will be ratified by a declaration of emergency
from the Commission after approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Shooting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until sunset.

The season will be split into three zones: west, east and coastal.

If approved, dates in each zone will be:

• West Zone — Nov. 10-Dec. 9; Dec. 22-Jan. 20
• East Zone — Nov. 17-Dec. 2; Dec. 15-Jan. 27
• Coastal Zone — Nov. 10-Dec. 2; Dec. 15-Jan. 20

Youth waterfowl weekend hunts will be held Nov. 3-4 in the West and Coastal zones, and Nov. 10-11 in the East Zone. A proposal to move the youth waterfowl weekend to the end of the final hunting segment in the East Zone was dumped after public support for the traditional preseason dates.

Additionally, public comment asking for an East Zone opening segment consisting of 16 days and second segment with 44 days was accommodated.

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

The daily bag limit on coots will be 15, while the daily bag limit for mergansers will be five (only two of which 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 will be twice the daily bag limit.

Light geese and white-fronted geese will have a 74-day season:

• West Zone — Nov. 10-Dec. 9; Dec. 22-Feb. 3
• East Zone — Nov. 3-Dec.  2; Dec. 15-Jan. 27
• Coastal Zone — Nov. 10-Dec.2; Dec. 15-Feb. 3

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 four.

The Canada goose season will run concurrent with the light and white-fronted goose season, but close on Jan. 31 in the West and Coastal zones, except for a small  area in Southwest Louisiana that will remain closed.

That closure zone includes the following area: Beginning at the Texas state line, proceeding east along state Highway 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 state Highway 82, then south along Louisiana Highway 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 state Highway 82.

Open waters of Lake Arthur and the Mermentau River from the Highway 14 bridge southward will also be closed to Canada goose hunting.

The daily limit for Canada geese is three in aggregate with white-fronted geese, while the possession limit is six in aggregate with white-fronted geese. That means the daily limit for geese will allow three dark geese (white-fronted and Canada geese), no more than two of which may be white-fronted geese.

The Statewide Conservation Order for light geese will be:

• West Zone — Dec. 10-21; Feb. 4-March 9
• East Zone — Dec. 3-14; Jan. 28-March 9
• Coastal Zone — Dec. 3-14; Feb. 4-March 9

Only snow, blue and Ross geese may be taken during the Conservation Order, and daily bag and possession limits
are eliminated.

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.

The rail season will be Sept. 15-30 and Nov. 10-Jan. 2.
For King and Clapper rails, the daily limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 30. Sora and Virginia rails will have a daily and possession limit of 25 in the aggregate.

Gallinule season will be run from Sept. 15-30 and Nov. 10-Jan. 2.  The daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 30.

Snipe season will be:

• West Zone — Nov. 3-Dec. 10; Dec. 22-Feb. 28.
• East and Coastal zones — Nov. 3-Dec. 3; Dec. 15-Feb. 28.

The daily bag limit for snipe will be eight, with a possession limit of 16.

An extended falconry season for ducks, rails and gallinules will take place from Nov. 3 through Feb. 1.