Like many hunters throughout Louisiana and the other Southeast states, I grew up hunting deer with dogs. Members of the family kept deer hounds, and we anxiously awaited the “with or without dogs” segment of deer season.
By the turn of the 20th century, Louisiana’s deer herd was in trouble. Non-stop hunting by people trying to put meat on the table, and market hunters supplying restaurants with venison and leather clothiers with hides was pushing the herd to the brink.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved both the 2014-16 hunting season dates and the 2014-15 general and Wildlife Management Area rules and regulations, including some modifications to deer area boundaries, according to a press release.
“When I was a kid, squirrel hunting was a big traditional thing, like deer hunting is now,” Bob Childress said. “Men would schedule their time off around squirrel season. There weren’t hardly no deer back then. If you saw one, it could make the paper, particularly if it was a big buck. The first of squirrel season, everyone would take their kids and camp out.”
Was I really going squirrel hunting? A squirrel would have to pack a lunch to make it here. It was nearly solid pine trees — tall straight pine trees. Maybe 1 in 5,000 trees was a scrub oak or a stunted, gnarly magnolia.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana last week ruled the U.S. Forest Service acted properly in banning deer hunting with dogs in the Kisatchie National Forest, according to a press release.
Decades ago, most people deer hunted either by using dogs or quietly stalking through the woods. Today, both methods seem to be dying out because of the land lease system and the increasing popularity of climbing and box stands.
The Kisatchie National Forest is open for hunting and fishing despite the government shutdown that has closed other federal lands to all access, a U.S. Forest Service official told Louisiana Sportsman this afternoon.