The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on Thursday set the tentative 2015-16 early migratory bird hunting seasons, pending final approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
According to a press release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the 90-day dove season is broken down into a north and south zone, with each zone have three segments and including mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared and ringed-turtle doves.
The north zone splits include Sept. 5 – 27, Oct. 10 – Nov. 8 and Dec. 10 – Jan. 15. The south zone splits include Sept. 5 – 13, Oct. 10 – Dec. 1 and Dec. 19 – Jan. 15.
The dove hunting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on all dates in each split, except on Sept. 5 on state wildlife management areas and LDWF-leased fields, where the hunting hours will be 12 noon to sunset, except for Elbow Slough WMA which will open one-half hour before sunrise on opening day.
The daily bag limit for mourning, white-winged and fully dressed Eurasian collared-doves and ringed-turtle doves would be 15 in aggregate and possession of 45 in aggregate. However, there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird. Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed turtle-doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.
The following boundary divides the dove season zones: Beginning at the Texas-Louisiana border on La. Hwy. 12; thence east along La. Hwy. 12 to its intersection with U.S. Hwy. 190; thence east along U.S. Hwy. 190 to its intersection with Interstate 12; thence east along I-12 to its intersection with Interstate 10; then east along I-10 to the Mississippi state line.
Blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal season would last from Sept. 12 - 27 with a daily bag limit of six and a possession limit of eighteen. Federal and state waterfowl stamps are required to harvest teal.
Rail and gallinule seasons are proposed to last 70 days. The first segment would be open from Sept. 12 - 27. The other segment will be set in August with the regular waterfowl seasons.
King and clapper rails would have a daily bag limit of 15 with a possession limit of 45. Sora and Virginia rails would have a daily and possession limit totaling 75. Common and purple gallinules would have a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit totaling 45.
Under the proposal, woodcock season would last 45 days statewide from Dec. 18 - Jan. 31. A three-bird daily bag limit and a nine-bird possession limit would be allowed.
Snipe season will be set in August.
Shooting and hawking hours for dove, woodcock, rail, teal and gallinules are tentatively set for half an hour before sunrise to sunset, including the first day of dove season on Sept. 5 on private land. However, the shooting and hawking hours for these species will start at noon on the first day of dove season on state wildlife management areas, except for Elbow Slough WMA which will open one-half hour before sunrise on opening day of dove season.
Extended falconry mourning dove season would open from Sept. 13 - 29. Extended falconry woodcock season would open from Oct. 28 - Dec. 17 and will reopen from Feb. 1 - 11. The falconry daily bag limit would be three and possession limit of nine birds for all permitted migratory game birds during the extended falconry and regular hunting seasons. Extended falconry seasons for ducks, rails and gallinules will be set in August with the waterfowl regulations.
Hunters are reminded that they must have a HIP permit to hunt migratory birds. HIP permits are free and are available wherever hunting licenses are sold.