Public land bonanza exists in Louisiana

Hunting deer on public land in Louisiana can be very rewarding. Whether you choose one of the wildlife management areas or a national wildlife refuges, you will have the opportunity to fill your doe and buck tags without having to put up with the expense of joining a private club or leasing land.

You will also have the opportunity to hunt in the diverse areas our state offers, from our famous swamps and marshes in the southern part of the state, to the rolling hills of central and northern Louisiana, from the massive cypress and oaks to the plentiful pine forests.

Whatever part of the state you live in or care to travel to has public areas just waiting for you to explore. Most are not nearly as crowded to hunt as you might think, especially during the bow only season.

Even an area as vast as Sherburne WMA (located near Krotz Springs), which has over 40,000 acres available to hunt, can be almost deserted on a weekday during bow season. I have been amazed at how little participation there is compared to a weekend.

Now granted, the public areas can get crowded on weekends. Particularly on gun-hunting, either-sex days, but those days are limited and you just have to use a little more strategy and knowledge of the area to find “your” spot to get away from the crowds.

Some public areas are accessible only by boat, but in general most of them are available for you to drive your vehicle in, walk in or use an all terrain vehicle. Many have campgrounds where you can pitch a tent or bring a camper and spend a night or several if you care to.

I have been very fortunate to meet quite a few nice guys while hunting around the state on public areas. At times when we get to talking, some of them may recognize me from the Web site or the magazine or know my name from the same source, so we have a talking point. But many times, I am just another guy out there trying my best to kill a deer, just like them. Through these chance meetings, I have made quite a few new friends and hunting partners. We share our knowledge and enjoy hunting together and have done so for many years in some cases.

Hunting is hunting, and guys who hunt public areas are really no different than the ones who don’t. They all have the same passion and just love to be in the outdoors.

Bottom line is, if you haven’t tried hunting on public land – maybe because you don’t know the first thing about it or you may have heard that it is too crowded or dangerous or it is overwhelming to decide which one to choose – why don’t you send me an email so I can help you to get started exploring one or more of these wonderful areas our state has to offer.

Some of the areas I have hunted and have an intimate knowledge of are the Atchafalaya Delta WMA, Sherburne WMA, Attakapas WMA and Mandalay NWR. I have also hunted a bit at Thistlthewaite WMA, West Bay WMA and Bayou Teche NWR. I would be happy to assist you in getting started at one of these areas.

In future blogs, I will detail my knowledge, suggestions and tips for getting a deer on each of these public areas in a more detailed manner.  In the meantime, be a courteous and ethical hunter and, above all, be safe! Good luck guys!

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