New governor has the right recipe ... for squirrel _lowres

Photo provided by CAMERON OHMSTEDE A rare find; a hunter's promise There are pockets of Bachman's squirrels throughout Louisiana, and 17-year-old Cameron Ohmstede was fortunate to take the largest of the squirrel species near his family's camp near Wilson in East Feliciana Parish on the second-to-last weekend of the season. "I noted they're quite larger than not only cat squirrels but even fox squirrels. This one had to have been 3-3.5 pounds," the teenaged hunter said. "It almost looked like a monkey climbing the pine tree. Most people I talked to didn't even know what it was. I honesty thought it was a fox squirrel at first because the Bachman's usually have white on the tip of their tail, but this one didn't." After admitting he mistook this one for another species, Ohmstede said he will not shoot another, "... so they will repopulate around the camp." The squirrel and rabbit seasons end Monday statwide. There will be another squirrel season in May on private lands with daily limits reduced to three, not the eight allowed during the October through February season.

When Gov. John Bel Edwards honored a Saturday morning speaking commitment to the CCA’s Board of Directors meeting in Baton Rouge, he said wished his teenage son well in the woods on family land on a cool, crisp, somewhat windless Saturday morning, the last Saturday of a of the squirrel season that began way back on the first Saturday in October.

There was even a wish that he could have been there, but CCA and the state’s deficit took precedent over a trip to the woods with a shotgun or a .22 rifle.

Edwards delivered the line of the day: “They’ve probably never fixed squirrel at the Governor’s Mansion,” he said, adding that he was more than willing to provide a recipe from Chef John Folse’s “After the Hunt” cookbook if the staff needed a tip to prepare squirrel.

It’s unsure if any of the mansion’s recent occupants ever had squirrel stew or sauce piquante, but the Fosters and the Blancos certainly served duck. Those two families knew what to do in a duck blind and took enough ducks during their terms.

Monday is the final statewide day for the squirrel and rabbit seasons, but squirrel hunters will have a special May 7-29 season on private lands across the state, and a May 7-15 squirrel season on as many as 40 wildlife management areas.

LASS moves venue

Sam Barbera, the director of the LDWF’s Louisiana Saltwater Series said the closure of the Empire Lock means the series’ first redfish event of the year, scheduled March 12 for Delta Marina in Empire, will be moved to the Venice Marina in Venice.

“It’s the same date, just a new venue,” Barbera said, adding that late registration for the first of the six events is $250. Need more information? Go to website: www.LASaltwaterseries.com, or email: sbarbera@wlf.la.gov.

Talking turkey

With the first shots for the state’s spring turkey season three weeks away, it’s never too early to talk turkey, and Flextone has come out with something call-makers call the “Turkey Man 3-Pack” that proves there is something new under the sun for folks who like to use diaphragm calls, mouth calls to lure the big gobblers into range.

There’s a problem with diaphragm calls because somehow they get lost in a pack, or get too wet to use, and tried-and-true hunters never enter the woods without at least two of these calls in their pocket.

Not all diaphragm calls are the same, and veteran hunter Eddie Salter came up with this new three-call package and gave them names — the moderate-rasp, easy-to-use “Drama Momma,” the “Feather Cutter” that can produce seductive yelps, and Trash Talker, an aggressive yelping and cutting call most hunters use when a “hot” gobbler shows up in a field of hens.

Suggested price is $21.99, and, after checking with the company’s distribution center in New Roads, there are 28 stores across the state carrying Flextone.

Classic kayak giveaway

You won’t have to attend the Friday-through-Sunday Bassmaster Classic nor the Classic Expo in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to get in on something Old Town Kayaks called the “Ultimate Fishing Machine.”

The full rigged kayak will be given away next Sunday at the Expo, and the winner doesn’t have to be there to win. It will be shipped to the winner. Go to Old Town’s Facebook page, click on the “Win a Predator” app, then complete the entry form.

For all divers

Louisiana divers who venture into the Gulf of Mexico need to take note that beginning Tuesday the Department of the Navy will implement new regulations on diving around sunken military craft. It involves establishing permit requirements for what the Navy calls, “intrusive activities on sunken and terrestrial military craft under its jurisdiction.”

Basically the new act requires divers to get a permit if they’re going to dive on these sites. Using a 2004 act, the Navy asserts that is has “right, title and interest in and to any U.S. government sunken military craft remains with the U.S. in perpetuity, unless expressly divested. These craft are not to be disturbed, removed, or injured, and violators may face enforcement action for doing so without authorization.”

The announcement further stated that recreational divers or commercial and sport fishermen “may continue to operate over and around (Navy) sunken military craft without requiring a permit as long as they do not intentionally or negligently disturb, remove, or injure them and their contents.”

The full law and requirements can be found on the federal website: https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-20795.

The required application forms and guidelines are available on the Naval History and Heritage Command website: www.history.navy.mil/research/underwater-archaeology/policy-and-resource-management.