Kisatchie National Forest representative Michael Balboni asked the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to ban dog hunting for deer on Kisatchie National Forest this season.
The LWFC will consider the matter at its April and May meetings.
KNF attempted to ban dog hunting last season, but the measure was judicially overturned before the season.
I'm at the March meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and the regulations board just approved the use of the following calibers for the primitive-arms season:
.357 S&W Mag.
.38 S&W Special
.35 Win. SL
.351 Win. SL
Not recommended by the department nor approved by the commission was the .35 Whelen because of its high power. LDWF official Jimmy Anthony called it a 'long-range ballistic missile.'
Here's an interesting post from our sister site that's invaluable if you have any plans to target turkeys with a bow and arrow:
Having sent the February issue of Louisiana Sportsman to the printer on Thursday, I took a breather yesterday by making my first Delacroix trip in three weeks. The action was about as good as could be hoped for in January.
Eric Williamson of St. Gabriel and I made a long drift in Pointe Fienne, easing the anchor out three or four times when we got into decent action, and counted our fish at the end of the drift. We had 46, and returned to the beginning of the drift to nab our final four for the limit. The 50th trout came over the gunnel at 9:10 a.m.
The action was never feverish -- in fact, we had only one double -- but the fish were nice-sized; we had only one throwback and had to measure only two or three.
We threw DOAs under rattling corks, and the fish had no trouble seeing our baits in the pretty water. The water temperature was 59 degrees, and the fish hit and fought like summer trout. They'd just about rip the rod out of your hands, and would go absolutely bananas after you set the hook.
With mild temperatures in the forecast for the next several days, the action should stay the same. Just keep an eye on the wind. It really picked up around 9:00 yesterday, and had a definite westerly component to it. If the water falls hard or otherwise dirties up, fishing will get a lot more challenging.
Good luck if you go, and be sure to post your reports at louisianasportsman.com.
The January issue should be arriving in your mailbox any day, if it hasn't already, but also beginning this month, you'll get a digital edition emailed to you if you're a subscriber to Louisiana Sportsman. That is, of course, only if you've provided us with your email address.
If not, go to www.louisianasportsman.com/digital/ and add the required info.
Don't worry: You'll still get the mailed physical copy. We're also throwing in a little lagniappe.
We build up on our minds that these animals are smart.
I received the following from Illinois duck biologist Ray Marshalla:
I have reviewed the weather forecast for some areas of the continent that might indicate when to expect duck migrations. So far, duck migrations in the Illinois River Valley have been ahead of normal for early migrants such as teal and pintails and behind for later migrants such as mallards. The Mississippi River valley has been behind for the most part but picked up recently. We were unable to conduct aerial surveys last week due to weather, but hope to get some flown this week. Southern Illinois has been behind normal migration until recently as well. Last week we saw a good movement of ducks into Illinois, but many mallards seem to be staying north for the most part.
Weather forecasts for this week look favorable for another good push of ducks south, including mallards. The usual rule of thumb for freeze up to occur causing migration is at least three days in a row where the average daily temperature is at or below 32 degrees. The average is calculated by adding the high and low temperatures and dividing by two. Here are some forecasts for average daily temperatures for the general areas where ducks might be staging that migrate through Illinois. Some ducks from Canada and the Dakotas may fly right to Illinois even though temperatures may not cause freeze up in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Others could head to Arkansas and Louisiana since it is getting late for early migrants regardless of temperature. Ducks tend to migrate at night with clear skies and north or northwest winds. They often leave ahead of a front.
Average Temperature Forecasts
Today - 23, Tue 15, Wed 10 , Thu 16, Fri 7 , Sat 4, Sun- 3
Looks like ducks in Saskatchewan will be heading south soon.
Today 32, Tue 23, Wed 16, Thu 26, Fri 22, Sat 14, Sun 15
Ducks should be leaving ND as well this week.
Today 37, Tue 26, Wed 21, Thu 28, Fri 35, Sat 23, Sun 19
Same for SD for migration forecast.
Today 41, Tue 30, Wed 28, Thu 31, Fri 38, Sat 35, Sun 27
Many ducks should leave this area by Friday, but temperatures are moderating after that so many may hang up at this latitude for a while.
Today 46, Tue 39, Wed 32, Thu 32, Fri 37, Sat 34, Sun 35
On the verge of freeze up this week, but many ducks may stay in this latitude as well.
State Waterfowl Biologist
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Division of Wildlife Resources
I'm at the November meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and just spoke to Larry Reynolds, waterfowl study leader for the department. He said the department had planned to begin flying for the survey today, but the rain and cloudy weather may prevent that. Either way, they will definitely fly tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday.
He said he expects an overall average survey for early November, with Catahoula Lake showing above-average numbers and Southwest Louisiana coming in far below average because of dry conditions.
But, Reynolds said, his predictions are nearly always wrong, so nothing will be definitive until fly the surveys.
Reynolds spoke to his cohorts in the Dakotas this week, and learned that the major migration of ducks has not occurred yet.
'The historical freeze-up in (the breeding grounds) falls in line with my birthday, which is Oct. 25, but it hasn't happened yet,' Reynolds said. 'So that tells you we're late.'
Got this from the CRCL:
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation are looking for interested canoe paddlers to volunteer for a cypress swamp restoration project near the Caernarvon Diversion in Plaquemines Parish, LA. This project will promote a healthy cypress forest on land that has been accumulating from sediment outflow from the Caernarvon Diversion. The restored cypress forest will provide critical habit for wildlife and provide storm protection to the adjacent marsh and communities.
We are also looking for volunteers to unload and transport trees when they are delivered on Tuesday, November 1st. We will need volunteers to help unload the trees from an 18 wheeler truck and transport them, by boat, a short distance up a canal and unload them at the planting site. This will help prepare the trees to be planted on the following days.
Transporting Cypress Trees:
When: Wednesday November 2nd and Thursday November 3rd
9:00 a.m. to no later than 2:00 p.m.
Where: Caernarvon Diversion Outfall Canal (near Poydras, LA)
Tree Planting with Canoes:
When: Wednesday November 2nd and Thursday November 3rd
9:00 a.m. to no later than 4:00 p.m.
Where: Caernarvon Diversion Outfall Canal (near Poydras, LA)
Detailed direction will be sent out closer to the event.
All planting equipment (gloves, shovels, etc.), lunch, and refreshments will be provided.
Volunteers can bring their own canoes, but we have extra canoes available (there will be one canoe for every 2 volunteers). Volunteers will paddle a short ride out to the planting site and will plant from the canoe along the marsh edge. Volunteers must be over 18 years old.
Additional information, including directions and what to bring, will be provided a few days prior to the event.
All volunteers must register with the Coalition to attend the event!
To register, please send the following info to CBRPintern@crcl.org:
What date you plan to attend (volunteers can sign up for more than one day).
Can you bring your own canoe yes/no? (for volunteers coming on Nov. 2nd or 3rd).
CRCL has access to extra canoes for paddlers that need one.
We understand that plans can change. If, after registering, you find you are unable to attend the event, please email CBRPintern@crcl.org and let us know you have to cancel so we can make your spot available to other potential volunteers.
LSU plays this week against Auburn, and if you've seen Auburn play this year, you know this one could be a laugher.
What do you think? How badly are the Bengal Tigers going to smash Cam Newton's leftovers? Predict the score in the comment section below. Whoever comes closest wins a free copy of David Moreland's Louisiana Whitetails.
In the event of a tie, whoever entered the score first wins. All guesses must be made before noon on Friday in order to be eligible. Good luck!
This is from Ducks Unlimited biologist Mike Checkett:
Summary For September
In the British Columbia/Western Boreal Forest Region, migration may have been stalled in some areas, but foraging conditions are great along the B.C. coast. Although it has been relatively warm and dry in the Prairie Region, conditions are still favorable thanks to exceptional spring conditions. Alberta is still experiencing its best conditions in years, and northern pintails appear to have had an excellent production year.
Unprecedented conditions also continue in Saskatchewan, where the fall flight should be excellent.
In Manitoba, waterfowl are flocking and feeding in fields, where they are finding an abundance of food. The outlook for the fall flight is also generally positive in the Eastern Region, although early-nesting birds faced some challenges in Atlantic Canada.
Throughout the year, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) reports on wetland habitat conditions across Canada and the factors that influence them. These Habitat Reports provide insight into the annual breeding success of waterfowl, which is largely influenced by the abundance of water on the landscape in the spring and the quality of wetland habitats throughout the breeding season.
The latest Habitat Report can also be found, along with previous reports, on the DUC website.
On a personal note, I just returned from filming in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and I can confirm that in 11 years and despite warm temperatures, I have never seen water conditions and the number of birds that I did during this trip.
After an eight-month wait, bow season finally opens tomorrow! Best of all, it's actually going to feel a little like deer season with this front we've got coming through today.
Sunrise will find my son and me on a stand in Washington Parish hoping anything brown wanders a little too close. He's been shooting every day for the last three months, and is money within 30 yards. Now we'll get to see how he handles the shakes when the real thing is on the other side of the sight pin.
Be sure to post your reports from opening weekend. We want to hear about your successes and failures. Hopefully we'll all have more of the former than the latter.
Dave Moreland's new book Louisiana Whitetails arrived Tuesday, and we started mailing out all preordered copies on Wednesday morning. If you preordered a copy, watch for it in your mailbox beginning today.
If you haven't ordered your copy yet, you can visit the Outdoor Store on this site, or follow this link:
You'll be a better hunter this year after you read this outstanding book.
I'm at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and the commission just approved a department proposal to get rid of the turkey zones for the 2012 season.
The commission at a prior meeting had approved a staggered start to the season, designed to give North Louisiana hunters a later start to the season than those in South Louisiana.
But now, the season will open March 24 statewide.
The October issue of Louisiana Sportsman will have more details.
Just a little over two weeks until Dave Moreland's Louisiana Whitetails is released. Trust me, you don't want to go into the woods this season without reading this book.
Don't forget that all orders received before Sept. 15 get free shipping. Go to the Outdoor Store and order now, before the time slips away. Here's the link:
I was fortunate enough to catch plenty bass in pretty water this weekend out of Venice, but it seems like the pretty water is getting harder and harder to find in the area. That's because the amount of filtering marshland is dwindling faster than our nation's economy.
But that's not true at the site of the West Bay Diversion. Check out this link to see John Snell's excellent report on what is looking like a wildly successful project.
Got this from the Coast Guard:
SOUTH PASS SHOALING AND NAVIGATION ADVISORY
Due to severe shoaling, controlling depths for South Pass have been significantly reduced. Current controlling depths can be obtained from the Office of the District Engineer, Corps of Engineers in New Orleans.
As a result of the severe shoaling, the Aids to Navigation in South Pass may not be marking safe water. Due to the shoaling, the Coast Guard has temporarily discontinued the lateral aids and has replaced them with non-lateral marks until further notice.
The following Aids to Navigation will be affected:
South Pass LBB 2 (LLNR 12575), South Pass LB 3 (12580), South Pass 3A (12585), South Pass Light (405), South Pass Temporary LB 11A & 13 have been discontinued.
South Pass LT 4 (LLNR 12590) and South Pass LT 16 (12670) will be changed to white lights with published flash characteristics and warning day boards worded 'Danger Severe Shoaling'.
Lights will be removed and non-lateral day boards will be installed on:
South Pass LT 5 (12595), Picayune Bayou LT 7 (12605), Oysterville LT 9 (12610), Old Grand Bayou LT 10 (12620), Upper Cave LT 11 (12635), South Pass LT 11A (12640), Franks Crossing LT 13 (12645), Depot Pt LT 14 (LLNR 12650, South Pass LT 14A (LLNR 12655) and South Pass LT 15 (LLNR 12665).
Once there are sufficient water depths to safely mark for navigation, the Coast Guard will re-establish the lateral aid marking system. All mariners are urged to transit this channel with extreme caution or utilize an alternate channel.
When dawn broke this morning over the awakening community of Delacroix, the winds were dead calm and the launch lines were, um, insane.
Word has gotten out about a strong bass bite in Lake Lery, and trout are at peak levels of aggression in Black Bay. The calm conditions made both in play, so the backdowns at Sweetwater and Serigne's practically alternated bass and bay boats. A line of one headed north, and an armada of the other pointed east.
Even with the non-existent winds, my son Joel and I had no intentions of heading outside. We're marsh lovers, and our lightweight G3 is perfect for inside waters but out of place in the big bays.
Year in and year out, we've found that the inside fishing during the summer rates a close second to that found outside this time of year, and today was no exception. Certainly some boats limited outside, and we didn't limit inside, but we had a good mixed bag.
After waiting in line to launch, we finally got the trawl in the water, and had 300 shrimp and a handful of croakers in the livewell in minutes. We tried a favorite pond near the Pencil Canal, and caught a few trout, reds, bass and a flounder before the sun got too hot and shut down the shallow bite.
We then bounced around Lake Batolo and Pointe Fienne, catching a fish here and there in filthy water, before finally getting on a decent speck bite in a cut off of Oak River. We ended the day with 25 trout, two reds, two bass and a flounder. Total gas burned: 5 1/2 gallons.
We talked to Capt. Jack Payne back at Sweetwater, and he had done well early in Black Bay. He and his clients were back at the dock at 9 a.m.
My son Joel and I fished Delacroix this weekend for the Save Our Lake Rodeo, and had a decent trip. We caught 24 fish consisting of seven different species: speckled trout, redfish, black drum, flounder, sheepshead, croaker and channel catfish.
Saturday night, I did a blind taste test with my mother, father, wife and son with the following species: speckled trout, redfish, black drum, croaker and channel catfish. I fried them all the exact same way, and got them to rate each fish on a scale from 1-10.
Remarkably, they all put the fish in the exact same order of quality, without having any idea what the others were picking. Can you guess the order?
To make it easier for you, the fish were the following sizes: redfish (17 inches), black drum (16 1/2 inches), speckled trout (15 inches), channel catfish (14 1/2 inches) and croaker (9 inches).
Sure, fishing in Lake Pontchartrain is crummy right now, but much of the rest of the Pontchartrain Basin, which includes virtually everything on the east side of the river, is on fire. There couldn't be a better time for the 14th annual Save Our Lake Rodeo, which is this weekend, Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4.
Fishing the event benefits a very good cause, particularly now that the lake has been inundated with fresh water, and tickets are only $35 for adults and $15 for kids. The fee includes entry into the rodeo and awards presentation, two Back to the Beach Festival tickets (that event is also this weekend), a rodeo T-shirt and a one-year membership to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.
It's a ridiculously good deal, and is always a lot of fun.
Tickets are available at the Gulf Outlet Marina and at Puglia's in Metairie.
The weigh station is at the Kenner Boat Launch from noon-5:30 p.m. Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday, and the awards ceremony is on Saturday at 5:20 p.m. Radio personality Don Dubuc and I will serve as masters of ceremonies.
Capt. Dudley Vandenborre, the best fisherman I know, will be giving a fishing seminar Friday at 6 p.m.
For more information, visit www.saveourlake.org or call 504-836-2205.
Don't miss out!