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Walker angler catches biggest bass of the season at Toledo Bend

Dennis Lott caught the largest fish of the Toledo Bend Lunker Program’s season Saturday when he reeled in a 12.89-pound monster sitting on a shallow bed in the Housen area.

March 17 at 11:41 am

Burns wins Yamaha ATV in 2014 Louisiana Sportsman Big Buck Contest

Sometimes it's just your time. Lady Luck showers her blessing upon you, and you just can't do anything wrong.

This year's Louisiana Sportsman Show was that time for 12-year-old Jonathon Burns of Napoleonville.

March 16 at 5:54 am

Small tract case study – St. Tammany

Existing habitat

Acres: 150

Location: Northwest St. Tammany Parish

March 15 at 8:00 am

Will you kill a gobbler this spring?

The theme this year for the National Wild Turkey Federation is “Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt.” This is also the theme for the Federation’s new initiative that has set three goals or objectives: conserve and enhance 4 million acres of critical upland wildlife habitat, recruit 1.5 million new hunters, and open access to 500,000 new acres for hunting and other outdoor recreation.

March 14 at 9:00 am

Vidalia hunter arrows big Concordia Parish 11-point on final day of bow season

Clayton Chauvin definitely saved his best bow hunt for last.

March 12 at 2:31 pm

Simmons Sporting Goods' Big Buck Contest results

Hunter Simmons, who manages the sporting goods store’s yearly Big Buck Contest, says that although there were not quite as many trophy bucks brought in, those that were entered were some of the best he’s seen in the past several years. 

March 12 at 9:34 am

Roszell takes down 'Freaky' buck in November, hangs on to win women's division of Simmons' Sporting Goods Big Buck Contest

Tara Roszell is a registered nurse working in the recovery room at Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, and although she’s hunted deer off-and-on for 30 years since she got married,  she’s spent most of her time at home as mom to her kids.

March 07 at 3:25 pm

Don’t be stupid: Wear a PFD

Fishing is at the heart of Louisiana outdoor life. Sure, we love to hunt, but that’s only allowed for a few months each year. Fishing season, on the other hand, never ends.

March 01 at 9:00 am

Small Tract Toms — Turkey-hunting tactics for small properties

My return to turkey hunting after a 15-year hiatus was truly haphazard.

I had recently leased a 150-acre tract of land near Folsom for deer hunting and was scouting for deer sign in late winter trying to learn the lay of the land. What I discovered was startling: The deer lease was full of turkey sign, and I spotted several turkeys during my scouting trips.

With spring fast approaching, I thought a little turkey hunting might help me get more familiar with the new lease, but realistically my expectations were fairly low.

I was in for a real surprise.

March 01 at 7:00 am

Wetland Warriors — Battling coastal erosion by hunting nutria

“The coyotes ate all the rabbits! The ducks got short-stopped! And the squirrels all live in woods leased by deer clubs who hate squirrel hunters! So how’s a kid supposed to scratch his hunting itch nowadays?” 

Artie was in another of his moods at Doc’s camp. 

“Oh, I don’t really mean hunting itch,” he continued after a hearty swig and a thunderous belch. “I mean blasting and killing itch. Oh, I know, I know. It’s not really ‘blasting and killing;’ it’s ‘harvesting,”’ he added with a smirk. “And I know, I know: It’s not all about the shooting. It’s about ‘the camaraderie, about learning sportsmanship and conservation principles, about watching the beautiful sunrise, the pretty roseate spoonbills, about blah, blah, blah.’ Sure — sure.

March 01 at 7:00 am

The jewel in the city

I was in the heart of the urban jungle.

It was 4:30 in the morning.

The neon sign on the Morning Call coffee shop in New Orleans City Park blazed brightly, so it seemed open. But everything was dead quiet — no cars in front; no people visible inside. 

I ventured to the door, half-expecting it to be locked. It swung open, revealing an impressive mounted largemouth bass on the wall of the foyer. The label beneath it said it was 7 pounds, 14 ounces and had been caught by Mike Laviolette.

March 01 at 7:00 am

Manchac swamp stranding shows importance of survival gear

If you’ve ever traveled Interstate 55 south to New Orleans, you have passed over that exotic, and almost mystical area between two of Louisiana’s major lakes — Lake Maurepas, and Lake Pontchartrain.

The mixed cypress and hardwood swamps bordered by brackish and freshwater marshes are connected by Pass Manchac, the winding waterway that connects Lake Maurepas with its much larger brother, Lake Ponchartrain. 

Little has changed this area since Iberville passed through in 1699, en route to the French fleet anchored at the Chandeleur Islands. He and his brother Bienville split their forces at Bayou Manchac, just south of the site of present-day Baton Rouge. They were returning from their exploration of the Mississippi River as far north as the Red River’s junction with the “Father of Waters.” 

February 28 at 9:00 am

Statewide crappie recap: Saline-Larto complex

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the seventh and final article in an online series on hot crappie spots across the state that originally appeared in Louisiana Sportsman magazine. Today's article features information on the Saline-Larto complex.

February 27 at 11:15 am

Crappie crooks

February can be a little slow, as far as hunting and fishing goes. Hunting seasons are ending. The fish aren’t spawning yet, and besides it’s still pretty cold for getting in a boat.

But in Central and North Louisiana, where a “speck” is a crappie and not a speckled trout, where it is a “white perch” and not a “sac-a-lait,” a little fishing is going on — and most of it is going on in the dark.

And it’s not exactly legal.

February 21 at 9:00 am

Climate change impacting wildlife, study claims

The National Wildlife Federation is urging sportsmen to do their part to help slow down or reverse climate change, concluding in its latest report “Nowhere to Run: Big Game Wildlife in a Warming World” that many big-game species across North America are already being affected and could be headed for a big fall.

The 36-page report says overwhelming evidence points to climate change brought about by air pollution and other chemical additions to the earth’s atmosphere, and that wildlife managers need to take into account possible results when managing big-game populations.

The report, which can be accessed at, points to habitat changes that have already been documented affecting North American big-game populations of moose, pronghorn antelope, caribou, bighorn sheep, mule deer and whitetail deer, and predicts that effects of further climate change could even more drastically affect those species — as well as humans.

February 21 at 6:30 am

Does the moon really matter?

As regular readers of “Happy Trails” have come to know, I am a trail/scouting camera fanatic, and use the data I derive each season from my web of cameras to tell me when and where deer, and bucks in particular, move on my personal hunting property.

I ascribe to the premise that less is not more when it comes to wringing all you can from a set of trail camera photos. I hunt and manage a several-hundred- acre tract of hunting land. There is an approximately 200-acre core area in the center of my overall property, which is accessed at some point by virtually all of the deer that use my property.

February 19 at 9:00 am