The dust hasn’t had time to settle on the proposed 2018-2019 hunting seasons proposed nearly a month ago by the state’s Wildlife Division and already there are changes, additions and subtractions amended during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.

For State Deer Area 5, the originally proposed dates have been moved to an earlier framework to give hunters and earlier opportunity to take doe deer before the beginning of the rut.

Wildlife biologist and division spokesman Tommy Tuma said, “The intent is to improve the sec ratios in advance of the breeding season while reducing pressure on available food resources earlier in the season.”

For State Deer Area 7, the archery season was adjusted to move the opening date to the third Saturday in September, then run through Jan. 15. The archery season in this area opened Oct. 1 and ran through Jan. 31 for nearly two decades.

A major change — no hunting season — was made for the Bussey Brake Wildlife Management Area after state managers realized the lake was slow in refilling, although on-site biologists said it’s possible the lake could refill by the fall, which would leave it up to LDWF secretary Jack Montoucet to open the WMA to hunters.

And, on the Camp Avondale Boy Scout Reservation, an oversight in January prompted an amendment to open a three-day, either-sex firearms season on the area on Nov. 10 for the Veterans Day holiday.

A complete list of the 2018-2019 hunting season dates will be published in Feb. 8’s Advocate Outdoors.

Public hearings

Tuma also announced plans for public hearing on the proposed hunting seasons.

The schedule includes:

  • Feb. 20, Minden, 6 p.m., LDWF office, 9961 U.S. 80;
  • Feb. 23, Lake Charles, 6 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy.;
  • Feb. 26, Ponchatoula, 6 p.m., Ponchatoula High library, 19452 La. 22;
  • Feb. 27, Alexandria, 6 p.m., Convention Hall, 915 Third Street;
  • Feb. 28, Lafayette, 6 p.m., USGS Wetlands Center, 700 Cajundome Blvd.;
  • March 1, Monroe, 6 p.m., LDWF office, 368 Century Link Drive.

Public comment also can be made at the March 1 (9:30 a.m.) commission meeting in Baton Rouge, and by contracting Tuma at (225) 765-2349, email: ttuma@wlf.la.gov.

Eagle Expo expands

The Cajun Coast folks hit on a winner 12 years ago when, after we began seeing more and more bald eagles in the Verret and Atchafalaya basins, they decided to launch a celebration of our nation’s symbol in Morgan City.

For the most part, it was all eagles all the time, even to seminars on how to photograph these birds.

This year, for the 13th annual Eagle Expo, Cajun Coast boss Carrie Stansbury and her staff are adding a new dimension, a “Nature and Our Waterways” presentation scheduled for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, the final day of the Feb. 22-24 event centered in Morgan City and Stephensville.

Stansbury said this expo-in-an-expo at the Morgan City Auditorium is open to all conservation, environmental and outdoors organizations to set up displays, exhibits and/or activity spaces and handle questions from the public. There’s a $25 registration fee.

A registration application is available from Stansbury’s staff. Call Cajun Coast at (985) 380-8224 or email: info@cajuncoast.com for more information.