Don’t have a place to hunt doves Saturday?
State Wildlife and Fisheries’ wildlife managers are coming to your aid.
In addition to fields on 11 wildlife management areas and one U.S. Forest Service tract, state managers have leased five fields across the state to accommodate the start of the Sportsman’s Paradise's near nine months of hunting.
It’s can’t be said often enough: you need nontoxic (usually steel) shot to hunt the WMAs, the USFS and the five leased fields. So, no lead shot. Shot size is restricted to No. 6 and smaller.
There are other differences, too.
While hunters on private lands can begin hunting one-hour before sunrise Saturday — old-timers remember when opening-day hunts began at noon — state-run and state-leased hunts will begin at noon Saturday. The exception is the Elbow Slough WMA where hunters can begin their season one-half hour before sunrise.
You’ll need a basic hunting license and a no-fee Harvest Information Program — HIP — certificate to be legal.
The leased dove fields are located in Amite, Boyce, DeRidder, Lecompte and Ragley.
Permits will be issued beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, and everyone hunting will need a permit. In most cases, these leased fields can accommodate only a certain number of hunters, and when all permits are handed out, none will be issued until hunters leave the field.
Permits will cost $10 for 18-and-older hunters.
The five leased fields include:
- Amite: 161 acres, 127 acres of cut/burned crabgrass. 210 Hulos Lane; Amite is 4.6 miles southwest of town on La. 16. Retrievers will be allowed. Call the LDWF’s Hammond office at (985) 543-4777 for more info.
- Boyce: 110 acres of harvested corn off La. 8 about a half-mile north of Boyce bridge. Parking allowed on levee road only. Retrievers allowed, but no ATVs. Call Cliff Dailey at (318) 487-5885.
- Lecompte: 220 acres of harvested corn 14 miles south of Alexandria on U.S. 165S & U.S. 71S left one mile onto Lamourie Road to check-in station. Retrievers allowed. ATV use restricted to field roads. Call Justin Ebarb at (318) 487-5885, Ext. 3407.
- DeRidder: 510 acres harvested/shredded corn about five miles off U.S. 190 west of La. 171/27 intersection. Check station near water tanks. Retrievers allowed. ATV could be restricted to field roads under wet conditions.
- Ragley: 800 acres bush-hogged sorghum sudan, barnyard grass, pearl millet, cowpeas & sun hemp (65 acres might be burned prior to hunt.) Chris Cormier Road west of the Texas Eastern Road/Leon Dartez Road intersection 6.4 miles south of U.S. 190. Retrievers allowed. ATVs restricted to field roads. Call Lake Charles (337) 491-2575 for the last two sites.
Again, a reminder no lead shot on state WMAs nor federal lands.
The 11 dove-hunt WMAs beginning close to home, and particular regulations for all three dove-season splits include:
- Sandy Hollow WMA: Sept. 7, closed Sept. 8-13, then open Sept. 14 through the end of the first split. Youth-only (17-and-younger) hunt scheduled Sept. 7 for North Tract. Youths must be accompanied by supervising adult. North Tract, 3 fields, 33 acres in millet, corn, and sorghum. South tract, 14 acres in brown-top millet, corn, and sorghum.
- Sherburne WMA: 83 acres in millet and milo (68 acres prepped before first split) along Little Alabama Road. Remaining 15 acres will be prepared for second split.
- Pointe-Aux-Chenes WMA: 70 acres, 35 acres in millet, 35 acres in “natural regeneration.” Hurricane Barry flooded this area. See Louisiana Hunting Pamphlet, 2019-2020 to hunt dates and times. Website: wlf.louisiana.gov, under “hunting” then “regulations.”
- Elbow Slough WMA: 60 acres, 10 acres in millet, 20 acres in scattered milo. Note: opening weekend lottery hunt only. Hunting allowed Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays for first split and from Oct. 6- Nov. 25.
- Richard Yancey WMA: 84 acres in millet. Fields prepped before first and second splits.
- West Bay WMA: in Allen Parish, clear cuts with goat weed.
Other WMAs with dove hunting include:
- Bayou Pierre WMA, northwest Red River Parish;
- Bodcau WMA, Bossier Parish, Whittington Fields;
- Boeuf WMA, Caldwell Parish, Elliott Field;
- Clear Creek WMA, Vernon Parish;
- Loggy Bayou WMA, Bossier Parish;
- U.S. Forest Service, Calcasieu Ranger District, Vernon Unit, Vernon Parish.
The leased fields are open Saturday only. No hunting will be allowed to the public after that day.
Louisiana is divided in to two zones, North and South, for dove hunting.
The dividing line, from west to east, is La. 12 to U.S. 190, then east to Interstate 12, then southeast to I-10 to the state line.
There are three splits in each zone: South Zone, Sept. 7-15, Oct. 12-Nov. 17 & Dec. 19-Jan. 31; North Zone, Sept. 7-29, Oct. 12-Nov. 1 & Dec. 28-Jan. 26.
You can have four dove species in the daily bag limit of 15 — mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared and ringed turtle-doves. Possession limit is 45, but only after the third day in each split.
Because collared doves and ringed turtle doves are nonnative species, there is no bag limit, but only if the hunter leaves a fully feathered wing and head on the bird when taking it from field to home. If wing or head is removed it will count in the 15-per-day limit.