Deer hunters across Louisiana should prepare themselves for a constant stream of advisories during the coming years to be aware of what chronic wasting disease could mean to the state’s deer herds and the future of big-game hunting in the state.
In addition to state Wildlife and Fisheries’ reports since CWD was detected in Mississippi — the deer was found in late January within five miles of Louisiana’s shared border of the Mississippi River — two hunter-be-aware items surfaced last week.
The first one came from LDWF wildlife biologists to recommend to hunters avoid supplemental feeding of deer because “using bait stations … increases the chance of spreading diseases among deer, including chronic wasting disease.”
The second came during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting when the LWFC approved an emergency declaration barring hunters taking deer in five north Louisiana locales on the east side of the Mississippi River from bringing a deer back across the river and back into the state.
These areas are in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes and became effective when the commission OK'd the move, which, again, is being taken to reduce the possibility of Louisiana deer being exposed to always fatal CWD.
This step treats deer taken from those five areas the same as all cervids (deer, elk, mule deer) taken on out-of-state hunts, a move adopted by the LWFC in 2017. It means hunters cannot bring whole animals into the state, but can transport “cut, wrapped and boned-out meat; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; antlers, clean skull plates with antlers, cleaned skulls without tissue attached, capes, tanned hides, finished taxidermy mounts and cleaned cervid teeth” into the state.
State biologists have said Louisiana is fortunate CWD has not been found in the state after being detected in 25 states including the three surrounding Louisiana. Thursday’s measure tracts new Mississippi regulations, transport rules that mimic Louisiana rules.
The recommendation against supplemental feeding came with the advice for landowners and hunters to increase native forage for the state’s deer through what biologists called, “prescribed fire, mechanical vegetation manipulation and application of appropriate fertilizers.”
The Wildlife Division also advised hunters to check for these “best practices” with LDWF Private Lands Program biologists in the seven district offices.
These two moves come after the LDWF unveiled plans to increase hunter-harvested deer checks for CWD in East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes and to continue its usual CWD checks throughout the state during the current deer season.
The Wildlife Division has tested about 9,000 deer for CWD since 2002, and reminded deer hunters who want their field-dressed deer tested to contact LDWF district offices from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays before.
For proper handling of these deer, and for other CWD info, go to the LDWF website: wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD.
State Enforcement Division agents issued citations to 65-year-old Ray Louviere Jr., of Prairieville, and 80-year-old Livingston resident Robert Holland for allegedly “possessing” 53 bass during the agents’ Sept. 21 stop near Gibson in Terrebonne Parish.
Reports came from waters south of Bayou Black Marina in Gibson of what one angler described as an “unbelievable fishing trip,” and the LDWF reports a complaint about a pair of men having over the legal limit of bass. the agents set up at a boat launch and found the two men having 33 more bass than the legal limit set at 10 per day.
The two men face fines of up to $350 and a possible 30-day jail sentence along with $433 in civil-restitution fines.
LDWF secretary Jack Montoucet announced Friday the appointment of former State Representative Robert Shadoin, R-Ruston, to the deputy secretary post in the agency effective Monday.
Shadoin is a graduate of Ruston High, Louisiana Tech and the LSU Law School.