Gun. Hunter orange. Shells. Camo. Let’s see, what are we forgetting?
Ah ha! As you get ready to go deer hunting on Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area, remember to add this to your packing list: A pen or pencil.
You’ll need it to fill out the WMA self-checking permit each visitor to the refuge is required to have in their possession.
It’s a two-part form. Once you fill out your name, date and phone number, tear off the top “check-in” portion on the perforated line and put it in the box.
Keep the larger, bottom “check-out” part with you. When you leave for the day, put it in the box after indicating what you did and any hunting success you had.
The purpose of this permit system is twofold. First, it serves as your permission to be on the refuge. You need it whether you are hunting, bird watching or just riding down the road.
Second, it provides important information to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries about who is using the refuge, what activity they are pursuing and hunting success results so they can better manage the refuge.
Also, if there is a problem, such as a sick or lost hunter, it lets LDWF staffers know where they checked in and if they are still on the refuge. That has happened more than once.
It only takes a few minutes, and if you skip this step you are setting yourself up for a Class 2 ticket ($350 first offense) from an enforcement agent.