Early migratory season dates set, regular season proposed

Hunting for teal, dove and other early migratory species begins in September

Season dates for 2012 early migratory hunting were set and dates for the regular 2012-13 waterfowl season were proposed today during the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.

Final approval for the regular-season dates are expected to be given during the August season.

Dove season
Hunting begins statewide on Sept. 1.

In the south zone, hunting in the first zone ends on Sept. 9. It reopens Oct. 13 and closed Nov. 25. A final split runs from Dec. 22 through Jan. 7.

North-zone hunters can continue shooting birds during the first split through Sept. 16. The second split runs from Oct. 6 through Nov. 4, with the final split lasting from Dec. 15 through Jan. 7.

The bag limit for mourning and white-winged doves, along with fully dressed Eurasion collared and ringed turtle doves, is 15 birds in the aggregate. Possession is 30.

NOTE: There is no bag limit on Eurasian collared doves or ringed turtle doves, as long as a fully feathreed wing and head remain attached to the carcass.

The boundary between the northern and southern zone runs from the Texas-Louisiana border on Louisiana Highway 12 and east along Highway 12 to its intersection with U.S. Highway 190, and then east along Highway 190 to its intersection with Interstate 12, continuing east along I-12 to its intersection with Interstate 10 and then along I-10 to the Mississippi state line.

Shooting hours for doves is a half hour before sunrise until sunset — except for Sept. 1, when shooting can begin at noon.

Teal season
Teal hunting will kick off Sept. 15, with hunting allowed to continue through Sept. 30.

The daily bag limit will be four birds per hunter, with a possession limit of eight, for blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal.

Rail hunting

Rail season will last for 70 days, but only the first 16 days of the season were set. That first split will take place Sept. 15-30.

The remainder of the rail-hunting season will be set in August when the regular waterfowl season is set.

The daily bag limit for king and clapper rails will be 15 in the aggregate, with a possession of 30 birds in the aggregate.

Daily and possession bag limits for sora and Virginia rails will be 25 birds in the aggregate.

Gallinule hunting also will be managed under a 70-day season, with the first split lasting Sept. 15-30. The rest of that season will be set in August.

Daily bag limit for common and purple gallinule will be 15 birds, while the possession limit will be 30, both in the aggregate.

Woodcock hunting lasts Dec. 18-Jan. 31 with a statewide season. Daily bag limit is set at three birds per hunter, with possession limit being six.

Shooting hours for teal, rails, gallinules and woodcock will be a half hour before sunrise until sunset.

Snipe season
Hunting dates will be set in August.

Falconry season also was set, with falconry for mourning doves being allowed Sept. 17-Oct. 8.

Falconry season for woodcock was set for two splits: Oct. 28-Dec. 17 and Feb. 1-11.

The falconry bag limit for all permitted migratory species are three per day in the aggregate, with a six-bird possession limit in the aggregate.

Regular waterfowl season proposal

Commissioners also proposed dates for the 2012-13 regular waterfowl season after extensive discussion.

The season would include three zones (the east/west zone boundary was changed during the meeting (see map below).

Each zone also would include a two-day youth hunt, if the proposal receives final approval.

Proposed dates are:

  • Coastal Zone — Nov. 3-4 (youth), Nov. 10-Dec. 2, Dec. 15-Jan. 20
  • East Zone — Nov. 17-25, Dec. 8-Jan. 27, Feb. 2-3 (youth)
  • West Zone — Nov. 3-4 (youth), Nov. 10-Dec. 9, Dec. 22-Jan. 20

Comments on the proposed waterfowl hunting dates can be emailed to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries’ Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.

About Andy Crawford 863 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.

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