No matter how far we get into our state’s usually spectacular summer fishing season, hunting seasons are never far away, not here.

We’re six weeks removed from the end of the spring squirrel season and seven weeks away from the Sept. 5 opening of the dove season. After that, with only a few nonhunting days mixed in, there will be something on hunters’ tables through near the end of May, 2016.

Wow! Darned few other states — Texas and Alabama come to mind — offer that many days afield, or here afield, a-swamp, a-marsh.

While most of the fortunate among us can hunt private lands, or afford ever-increasing fees for leased lands and marshes, the state offers some pretty darned good hunting opportunity on public lands.

Lottery hunts have been set up in high hunting-demand areas, and there are two deadlines around the corner for wingshooters.

There’s an Aug. 7 deadline to apply for one of 40 spots each day, Sept. 5-6, for lottery dove hunts on the Elbow Slough Wildlife Management Area in southeast Rapides Parish. Hunting hours both days will run from one-half hour before sunrise until noon.

Applications are available on LDWF’s website: wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts. You’ll need to send along a $5 fee with the application to: LDWF Wildlife Division, Elbow Slough Lottery Dove Hunts, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000. Before applying, know that nontoxic shot is required to hunt this WMA.

This WMA will open Sept. 9 for all dove hunters and will be open Wednesday, Saturdays, Sundays only through the Sept. 27 end of the first split.

Call Jeff Johnson at (318) 371-3050 or contact him by email: jjohnson@wlf.la.gov for more information.

Next, there’s an Aug. 14 deadline for hunters 18 and older to apply for the White Lake lottery teal hunts set for Sept. 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 23, 26 and 27.

Use the same website as the Elbow Slough lottery to print an application. There’s a $5 application fee, and return the application to: LDWF, Attention: White Lake Teal Hunt, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808. If drawn, there’s an additional $250 fee, and the hunter will be allowed to bring one guest.

Call Wayne Sweeney at (337) 536-9400, Ext. 1 or email him at wsweeney@wlf.la.gov for more info.

Reminding youngsters

July 22 is the entry deadline for the annual Youth Journalism Contest. There are writing divisions for ages 7-13 and 14-18 and a photography division for ages 7-18. Essays should be 300-1,000 words, and 4x6 inches, 5x7 or 8x10 photos should be center-mounted on an 8x10 board. Winners will be feted in an Aug. 8 banquet in Morgan City.

Send entries to Joe Macaluso, Advocate Outdoors, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. ATTN: LOWA. For details, email: jmacaluso@theadvocate.com.