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huntert Profile Photo
Deer Hunting in Northeast Louisiana

Tensas National Wildlife Refuge

I have a question to all the hunters that have been hunting TNWR. Have you seen a decrease in the deer population in the last few years? The reason for me asking is because I have been hunting Tensas for about 15 years. I have killed many deer and have seen many deer killed. Went to the first gun hunt this year and hardly seen any deer killed. Did notice many hunters. I heard that there were only about 160 deer killed for the first gun hunt. To me that is terrible. I have seen years when I hunted the ATV trail on sharkey road and in one weekend 300-400 deer would be killed. This year I have spoken to many hunters and they are saying the same thing, not many deer. I did see that they had a doe day this year, I am not sure why. Why not go back to the 3-5 day muzzle loading gun hunt. I am not trying to bash TNWR. I love hunting there. Just looking for any information if you are seeing lots of deer or hardley no deer. Thanks and safe hunting. Please watch out for the bears, there have been 2 killings of bears in Louisiana in the last few weeks. TNWR is starting to have many hogs, a bear can be easily mistaken for a hog. A black bear is a beautiful animal.
December 07, 2012 at 7:09am
22 Comments
motorboat Profile Photo
Posted December 10, 2012 at 8:02am
Tensas

I hunted primitive weapon last weekend and this past weekend's gun hunt. I saw only 3 does over two weekends. It is hard to say what the issue is. I didn't see much sign but probably because it has been so dry.



The biggest factor this year was the weather, IMO. It was warm. The second biggest factor is that the acorn mast this year was so large. The deer have to move very little to find food. Lastly, I think the amount of hunters was down because of the weather and the hunters were not pushing deer around.



I'm not going back until the rut. I heard some of the bigger bucks were being taken from up north this year.

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hunt r Profile Photo
Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:09pm
tnwr

The biggest problem is the forest has grown up. Refuges used to have buck only hunts. About 15yrs. ago the antis were pitching a fit about trophy hunting so the nwr changed to either sex for evry hunt. Tensas was established for bears and ducks so its managed for that, not deer. I just thought of this today. We as hunters look at natural food as something that feeds deer. NWR look at all wild things as haveing equal status. So when i see signs of deer eating natural browse, i encourage that. But they see the plant as being just as important as the deer so that is a sign to them that the deer are damageing the plants and therefore too many deer. When they say its too many does, what they mean is too many for the habitat to support without seeing signs of browseing.

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Lamplighter Profile Photo
Posted December 10, 2012 at 9:22pm
Tensas

I know they are pressured by the State to create yet more firearm days.



They have cut the Lotto hunts to 1000 applicants per hunt.



They have cut the Mzl days down to 2 days



But, the State is pressuring them.

The refuge is greatly under the carrying capacity



Weapons have become more efficient. That is a good thing for those who know when to stop. Bad the other way.



The new doe day was a ratio thing. 2011-12 season saw more bucks than does killed. Instead of lowering the # of firearm kills by lowering the # of lotto applicants, they went the other way and decided to take more does. Ratio wishes over-powered the total number in the herd wishes. Bad management indeed.



Deer are there, but not in the numbers they should be. I let quite a few walk every year, including small basket bucks and all does with young yearlings. I have very little problem getting what I want but still, it could be a whole lot better. Got to cut back on firearm kills and NO MORE doe days.

• View Reports by Lamplighter
ja-rod Profile Photo
Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:01am
tensas

talked to a game warden this past weekend and he said the same thing that the state was pressuring them to go to state rifle regulations and get rid of the lotto hunts. if that happens it'll get real bad up there. 'hunted big lake lately?' if they try that we need to get a petition going on here and bayou bucks.

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tuffhuntin Profile Photo
Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:27am
state?

what concern of the state is tensas, isn't the nwr system federal, i thought federal trumps state?









the couple of times i have been on tensas for the lottery hunts and primitive hunt have been crazy, way to many people hunting the place, i think they give out too many lottery permits and they should do a lottery hunt for primitive also, if they open it up to the public gun hunts it will be a mad house in there

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bucknut Profile Photo
Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:43pm
Its about the money

They will not lower the number of people for the Lotto hunts. They make more money with more people. They don't care if no one kills deer. They using the money for Bear research.

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Lamplighter Profile Photo
Posted December 11, 2012 at 5:30pm
Lottery Permits

They have been lowering the lotto permits. 1750 last year. 1000 this year. way back, 2000.

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ja-rod Profile Photo
Posted December 11, 2012 at 8:14pm
?

game warden said they picked 1500 for the december hunt this year

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springhillbandit Profile Photo
Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:34am
Tensaspermits nwr

Them boys from ville platte and Thibodeaux and abbyville (with them white rubber boots) come up to tensas by the truckloads and shoot everything that moves . They don't give a sh@t about conservation, they just want something to put in a gumbo. This past weekend I let a 3 pt walk Sat morn. On sun morning I saw the same deer let him go again, I told myself I might see you next year if a coon-ass don't see you first, bout 15 min later BOOM!!!!!!

Saw him on a deer dolly headed to the check station!!!!



Drive over 200 miles to a place where numerous state records have been killed and shoot a1-1/2 year old deer that don't weigh but 100 lbs

• View Reports by springhillbandit
springhillbandit Profile Photo
Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:36am
Tensaspermits nwr

Them boys from ville platte and Thibodeaux and abbyville (with them white rubber boots) come up to tensas by the truckloads and shoot everything that moves . They don't give a sh@t about conservation, they just want something to put in a gumbo. This past weekend I let a 3 pt walk Sat morn. On sun morning I saw the same deer let him go again, I told myself I might see you next year if a coon-ass don't see you first, bout 15 min later BOOM!!!!!!

Saw him on a deer dolly headed to the check station!!!!



Drive over 200 miles to a place where numerous state records have been killed and shoot a1-1/2 year old deer that don't weigh but 100 lbs

• View Reports by springhillbandit
springhillbandit Profile Photo
Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:37am
Tensaspermits nwr

Them boys from ville platte and Thibodeaux and abbyville (with them white rubber boots) come up to tensas by the truckloads and shoot everything that moves . They don't give a sh@t about conservation, they just want something to put in a gumbo. This past weekend I let a 3 pt walk Sat morn. On sun morning I saw the same deer let him go again, I told myself I might see you next year if a coon-ass don't see you first, bout 15 min later BOOM!!!!!!

Saw him on a deer dolly headed to the check station!!!!



Drive over 200 miles to a place where numerous state records have been killed and shoot a1-1/2 year old deer that don't weigh but 100 lbs

• View Reports by springhillbandit
motorboat Profile Photo
Posted December 13, 2012 at 1:11pm
I agree

I'm not sure what it is, but them Terrebone boys got a bad name up in Tensas. Everyone I talked to does not like 'the boys from Houma'.



I have no idea what they did up there but I kinda like my friends from the area (except Peledet).

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huntert Profile Photo
Posted December 13, 2012 at 6:09pm
Watch what you say SPRINGHILLBANDIT

I am not sure who or whar you are referring to about Thibodaux boys, but I am from Thibodaux! I do not shoot anything that passes in front of me. I have 10 or 11 guys that make the Thansgiving hunt every year and we DO NOT SHOOT ANYTHING!!!! I would watch who you are talking about, becuse those Thibodaux boys are some BAD a**es and you may reget what you say about them. I know lots of people that hunt Tensas from this area and they go there to hunt and have a good time, Just beause they hunt Tensas does not mean that they have to shoot a trophy deer. The lottery is there for the TNWR to manage the deer heard, even though I believe the deer heard is down. I see no reason to bash a person if he drives 200 miles and wants to kill a 1 1/2 year old deer. He/she is supplying food for his/her family, and that is a great thing to do.

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springhillbandit Profile Photo
Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:11pm
Tensas nwr

Did anybody hear how many deer was killed on that 2nd lotto

• View Reports by springhillbandit
huntert Profile Photo
Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:18pm
amount

I spoke to Mrs Gene and she advised me that it was around the same amount as the first hunt, 160-170. that is not good. I know the weather has a lot to do with it, but it is no where like it use to be.

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motorboat Profile Photo
Posted December 14, 2012 at 8:09am
Thibodaux

I didn't even spell it in my post, Keith. As to the mention of your name, it was a joke brah. You have no idea how many friends I have from Terrebone. You need to learn how to spell 'quite'.



However, I am 'quite' certain that many people near the refuge where I stay were bad mouthing Houma boys. I heard it myself. I have no idea what they did or what the fuss is about. I met a couple at the boat launch who were more than friendly. In my post, I was simply stating what I heard while out there.



Your friend owns and manages private land. If you had any reading comprehension skills, you would know that this thread was about hunting the refuge, not strictly managed private land.



Get over yourself and go away. In your quest to look for minute things I got wrong, you failed miserably.

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Choupic-Man Profile Photo
Posted December 14, 2012 at 8:43am
Peledet

Peledet , you forgot to say BOOM .... Lol

• View Reports by Choupic-Man
springhillbandit Profile Photo
Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:23am
Tensas nwr

Yeah I didn't figure there was a lot killed. The weather was terrible and a lot of people got rained out. On a positive note there was a ton of spikes and 3 pts that will live another year on the count of that.

• View Reports by springhillbandit
motorboat Profile Photo
Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:21am
Chopique

Cho-man: You do realize who you are siding with? If you knew the man or his past, I doubt you'd side with him.

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Lamplighter Profile Photo
Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:39am
Tensas

I'm not involved in the Houma thing. I have a good friend from Houma.



My first yr @ Tens was the 99-00 season. I'm from the old school conservation days, though only 48 now. Take what you can eat, not the 5 houses down the road, but what you can eat. Being long term invested up there, I let tons of deer walk. I have let a medium 8 walk one year, because the day before I killed an identical one. There is no need to kill them just because you can.



Last January I let a nice 6 pt go chasing 4 big does past me at 15 yards. He came back by himself later and stopped right in front of me. Let him go. Next day let 2 does go. Already had my meat for that year.



I just do not want to shoot any more basket racks any more there. Firm believer in Let them go so they can grow. Yet I took a fine mount in 09, and one 12/9/12.



People have to fight that new urge to show up at camp with meat for the multiple high fives. Whatever the peer pressure may be, it comes in many forms, people have to get past that and let some go. When visiting a camp with many folks there, I listen and observe. When I hear a hunter bragging that he could have killed that tiny 4 pointer but didn't, he may not know it, but others hear him. That quiet individual in the back corner not talking much, he hears him. Thats a good thing. Get past that peer pressure.



Anyway, back to numbers. Yes of course, Tensas is in bad shape. Of course it is. It is up to Kelly to correct it. I seriously doubt you'll get any volunteerism out of the hunters. The younger crowd 29-35 is an entirily different generation. It is up to Kelly to cut some of the firearm days out.

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motorboat Profile Photo
Posted December 14, 2012 at 2:05pm
Boom

Bye bye peledet. Guess you've been 'disbarred' from LAS.

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motorboat Profile Photo
Posted December 17, 2012 at 11:43am
Numbers so far

Antlerless Hunt - 38

1st Lottery Gun Hunt - 162

Primitive Weapon - 107

2nd Lottery Gun Hunt - 206

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