A successful appeal to a ruling banning the use of dogs to hunt deer on Kisatchie National Forest lands turned into a nine-day deer-dog season for Louisiana hunters Wednesday when the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved adding the days to the state’s hunting season.
Five of the seven commission members heard the appeal from the Louisiana Sportsmen’s Alliance and the Northwest Louisiana Fox Hunters Association to reinstate the “with or without dogs” season to sections of the U.S. Forest Service’s KNF.
The declaration of emergency, passed by a 5-0 vote, added the Dec. 17-25 deer-dog season and came with a Dec. 26-Jan 1 still-hunt-only season.
The special meeting was needed after a ruling by the USFS’ Atlanta regional forester Elizabeth Agpaoa prohibiting the use of dogs to hunt deer throughout the 600,000 national forest that winds through nine of state’s central and northwest parishes.
The LSA and the NWLFH groups appealed Agpaoa’s ruling, which was reversed in July by the USFS’s national office.
KNS spokesman Mike Balboni told the commission that Agpaoa is reviewing the document to correct the deficiencies in the original deer-dog ban and could issue another ruling sometime this fall.
The Dec. 17-25 season applies only to all or parts of the KNF’s Catahoula, Winn and Kisatchie districts and the Evangeline Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District.