Photo provided by BOBBY BERTHELOT -- Baton Rouge outdoorsman Richard Wagley outdueled south Louisiana competitors Cy D'Aguila, a multi-year state and Texas Open champion, and Bruce Saale to win the National Wild Turkey Federation-sponsored Louisiana State Turkey Calling Contest last Saturday at Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs. Wagley earned the right to represent the state in the NWTF's Grand National Calling Championships set February, 2015 in conjunction with the NWTF's 39th-annual national convention in Nashville, Tenn.

There’s always a risk in repetition, but in the case of Saturday’s unusual dove-season opener, it’s a good chance to remind hunters of a major change ahead for the 90-day season.

For the first time in two generations, opening-day shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise, a big departure from the decades-old, noon time start (older hunters will remember those hours were in force for opening weekends.)

This new regulation applies to private lands only.

Another reminder is that hunters need to carry a no-fee HIP — Harvest Information Program — certificate into the field along with the necessary hunting license.

Beginning Friday

The state’s Second Amendment Tax-Free Weekend starts Friday and runs through the close of businesses Sunday. All hunting equipment is exempt from state taxes, but, depending on where you buy, might be subject to local taxes.

Again, the best tip is to stock up on your ammo this weekend. Wingshooters have found shot shells scarce for late-season hunts during the past three seasons.

Bound for nationals

Baton Rouge veteran turkey hunter Richard Wagley will head to February’s Grand National Turkey Calling Championships.

Wagley narrowly outpointed fellow Capital City area callers Cy D’Aquila and Bruce Saale during Saturday’s Louisiana State Calling Contest at Pro Bass Shops in Denham Springs.

After dropping the highest and lowest scores from among five judges, Wagley had 195 points to 192 each for D’Aquila and Saale. D’Aquila, a former four-time state and Texas Open champion, won a call-off against Saale to take second place.

The Grand National is the highlight of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s annual convention.

The ‘Rock’ closure

Starting Wednesday (Sept. 3), Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge will be closed to public access until 10 a.m. each day through the refuge’s annual nuisance alligator harvest.

The early morning close will continue until trappers have used all the tags issued by the state to control gator numbers on the refuge. That usually takes seven days.