As most of you know, I've been collecting public comment on the zones and splits configuration because we get the chance to change our structure every 5 years and there 'may' be some additional options available this year.
Anyone that hasn't commented and wants to can e-mail me at: Lreynolds@wlf.la.gov
Along with zones and splits, I've received LOTS of comments about season dates, length of the split, bag limits, etc. Of course, bag limits are controlled by the USFWS, and we can make changes in season dates and split length/placement every year. My primary focus is the structure of the zones and splits. But I got a well-written e-mail today that nicely represents the most numerous comment I get ........ 'we want a later season.' You guy may already know this stuff, but I thought I'd share the e-mail and my response:
I'm writing to voice my opinion for the upcoming season. I favor the season being pushed back. A later opening date as well as later closing date. My reasoning is here in central Louisiana we don't have enough water for the first split as the rains and cold weather always come later. We just begin to kill mallards about the last 2 weeks of the season.
[I]Thanks very much for your input, XXXX. I will include it in my report to the LWF Commission.
Without a doubt, the most numerous comment I get is the desire for a later closing date. Consequently, I feel obligated to make sure that everyone knows that LDWF runs the season in the East Zone as late as the USFWS allows. Hunters in southern states have been pushing for a later closing date since at least 1960, and probably much longer than that. Only in 1997, when Senator Trent Lott forced a 'framework extension' by attaching it to an Appropriations bill, did we get a later closing date (the last Sunday in January instead of the Sunday closest to January 20th). Of course, that same legislation allowed the northern states hunt a week earlier. I just want you to know that a later closing date has very little chance of happening despite how popular it is with our hunters.
I appreciate your contacting me.
LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader[/I]