Because biologists have been called upon in recent weeks to release several bears caught in coyote or hog snares, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is strongly recommending that trappers refrain from using snares in at least 15 parishes across the state.
According to a press release, the expanding populations of feral hogs and coyotes has led to an increase in the use of snares to control these animals. While the bears caught in the snares all survived the experience, hog snares and most coyote snares are set with the intent to be fatal, so they pose a significant risk to the bear population.
Land managers trying to control hogs in bear country are advised to use other means, such as cage or corral traps with the required opening on top. Coyote trappers in these areas are advised to utilize leg hold traps instead of snares, the release states.
Persons using snares to trap any animal are required to have a Louisiana trapping license. Persons using box or corral traps to capture feral hogs are required to have a basic hunting license. Cage or corral traps are required to have an opening in the top that is at least 22 by 22 inches square or 25 inches in diameter, if round. The opening in the top of the trap will allow non-target animals such as black bears to escape if captured.
The 15 parishes named in the release where snares are discouraged are Avoyelles, East and West Carroll, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, Iberia, Madison, Pointe Coupee, Richland, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Landry, Tensas and Vermilion.
In cooperation with the Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association, the LDWF has produced a brochure that provides recommendations and additional information about the use of snares in bear country. To view the brochure, you can go to the Wildlife tab on the LDWF website, or click here.