Monthly Archives: August 2020

HIP Fee waived; On-line licenses still have $2 fee

Screen Shot 2020-08-30 at 5.37.26 PMThe Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said today that a $2 fee assessed when registering online for the Harvest Information Program (HIP) will be waived beginning Sept. 1, 2020.  LDWF said the fee waiver was the result of ongoing negotiations with the vendor that covers online services for HIP certification. LDWF did not receive revenue from that assessment. No refunds will be provided to those who have already paid the $2 online transaction fee.

Customers who obtained their HIP certification online beginning June 1, 2020, were required to pay a $2 online transaction fee to the vendor to cover online services. Transaction fees for on-line license purchases have been in effect since 2006.  Purchasing hunting and fishing licenses online will still require payment of the $2 transaction fee.

HIP had been available at sporting goods stores and other retail outlets, but the department found that hunters were not always asked the required registration questions.  Answers to those questions are necessary to determine the species hunted and relative harvest success for each migratory bird hunter.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services uses that basic information to obtain scientifically valid samples of hunters through a separate mail out harvest survey.

LDWF, as part of a multi-state pilot study coordinated by the Wildlife Management Institute to address invalid registration data, limited HIP certification to online or in-person at LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge.

Persons 16 years old or older, who hunt migratory birds, must have a HIP certification on their person while hunting.  Migratory birds include mourning and white-winged doves, snipe, woodcock, rails, gallinules, ducks, geese, and coots.

It’s the Louisiana Hunter’s Bible

Gun. Shells. Decoys. Bags. License. Clothing. Hat.  The checklist for hunting is long, especially if you want to be prepared for about anything. And the season is about to get underway. Here’s another little thing you don’t need to leave home without.

It’s the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries 2020-21 Hunting and WMA Regulations.  You think hunting is simple? Nope. There are 70 pages of rules, regulations, limits, stipulations and requirements. Make sure you understand the ones that apply to what and where you are hunting. And make sure you have your HIP registration!

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Dove hunting is like any other outdoor sport. You can do lots of prep work and do everything possible to give yourself an advantage. Or you can just show up and hope for good luck.

Most hunters and fishermen know how that second option turns out. Part of doing everything you can to have a successful dove season is putting some MOJO into your dove hunt — as in add some MOJO Elite Series Spinning Wing Dove Decoys to your spread. The doves will have to come check it out and when they do, you can take them out! And make sure to come by and get plenty of shells and all the other gear you’ll need for a good opening weekend of dove season. Good luck and be safe!

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Dove season is getting close

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.55.46 PMLouisiana’s dove season opens in both the North and South Zones on Saturday, Sept. 5, and while most hunters never take advantage of it, the season in both zones actually runs into late January, 2021. There appear to be good populations of doves this year, but if you look at the numbers, declines in the numbers of birds and hunters have been recorded in Louisiana over the past few years.

In the 2014-15 season, LDWF estimated that 48,900 hunters targeted doves with harvest numbers around 902,300. By last season, those numbers had dwindled by more than 50% to 19,800 hunters with a harvest of 332,700. Some of that could be due to lack of proper reporting, but it is hard to tell.

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 11.04.24 PMThe North Zone splits are Sept. 5 – 27, Oct. 10 – Nov. 15 and Dec 26 – Jan. 24. Dove hunters in the North zone should take note: The state’s hunting pamphlet has a printing error showing that the north zone third split runs from December 26-Jan. 2. It should ready December 26-January 24. The South Zone splits are Sept. 5 – 16, Oct. 17 – Nov. 29 and Dec 19-Jan. 21.  Daily limit on doves is 15 in aggregate, either mourning, white-winged, fully dressed Eurasian and collard doves). The possession limit is 35 in aggregate.

“Most of the early season doves harvested in Louisiana are resident birds,” Jeff Duguay of the LDWF says. “We have lots of birds that spend most or all of their lives in Louisiana. They are hatched here and remain year round. Some do migrate though. Our dove banding efforts provide us good information on dove movements. We’ve banded doves that were recovered in the same general location (within 25 miles or less) 3 or more years later. We know that these particular birds have survived several years. Whether they remained in the same general location all this time or moved considerable distances is not known though. We’ve also banded doves that have been recovered in other states including Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri, Florida, Nebraska as well as Mexico.”

Rainfall is probably the biggest factor affecting early dove season. Too much or too little rain can impact crops planted to attract or concentrate doves for hunting. That also affects migratory birds as well as resident birds.

Put the swine in line

Feral hogs are ruining a lot of good hunting lands, agricultural lands and are becoming a nuisance in some neighborhoods that border the woods and rivers. Don’t let them boss you around, put the swine in line with a Hogg Boss system. Come check them out at our store and start getting rid of these messy pests. It’s not too late to thin the herd on your hunting grounds before the upcoming season!

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New zones for Louisiana duck hunters?

Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 1.32.36 PMThe Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended a two-zone, two-split East-West boundary option for the 2021-25 waterfowl hunting seasons to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) during its August meeting Thursday (Aug. 6) in Baton Rouge.

After consideration of hunter preferences from the 2020 Louisiana Waterfowl Hunter Survey and federal waterfowl harvest data from the last 20 years, the recommended option puts the coastal areas of Louisiana in a new West Zone.

The commission is expected to take up the recommendation at September’s meeting (Sept. 3) and welcomes and encourages public comment in the interim. It may also consider other boundary options presented by LDWF waterfowl program manager Larry Reynolds during Thursday’s meeting. To see Reynold’s presentation from Thursday’s meeting, which includes other zone options, go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/assets/Hunting/Waterfowl/Files/Zones-splits-August-Commission-presentation.pdf.

The new waterfowl hunting zones would take effect for the 2021-22 season and run through the 2025-26 season. To see the upcoming 2020-21 waterfowl hunting zones and dates, go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/seasons-and-regulations

To comment on the recommendation, please contact Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456. To contact LWFC members go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/commission.

 

 

 

Visiting Bussey? Come see us!

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SIMMONS’ SPORTING GOODS, BASTROP, LA

Here’s some good information from the Bastrop/Morehouse Chamber of Commerce in case you are visiting Bussey Brake. It’s a good list of where you can find some things you might need to go fishing for a day or even stay awhile!  And of course, you’ll want to come by and check us out at Simmons’ Sporting Goods!  Welcome to Morehouse Parish!

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State NHFD events cancelled

Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 11.09.28 AMIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has canceled National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) events across the state for this year.

“I look forward to attending these events and seeing the joy that they bring to so many families each year,” said Jack Montoucet, Secretary of LDWF. “Unfortunately, it is not worth the increased risk to the public’s health to hold the NHFD events during this pandemic.”

Originally scheduled for September 26, NHFD is a national event celebrated in all 50 states on the fourth Saturday in September. It was created in 1972 when Congress passed two bills establishing a specific day to celebrate the conservation contributions of the nation’s hunters and anglers. The state’s first organized NHF Day celebration was held in Monroe more than 40 years ago.

Clock is ticking on annual Tent Sale

The last few days of the annual Simmons’ Sporting Goods Tent Sale are here, but there’s still time to take advantage of the sales and the enormous inventory. Stock up on all your needs for the coming season and don’t wait too long to make sure you are loaded with ammo. We’ve got loads of it and more coming in all the time.

As you plan for hunting and outdoor excursions, always remember to plan safety into your hunting and training of new hunters. Have fun and be safe!

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Update on Louisiana hunter education classes

Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 3.16.41 PMThe Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is resuming in-person hunter education classes and field days. LDWF, however, is encouraging all students who need hunter education certification to take the online course then sign up for an in-person field course.

To see a list of available classes and field days, go to https://la-web.s3licensing.com/Events/Search?eventTypeId=2. All classes will be at 50% facility capacity during Phase 2 reopening.

COVID-19 prevention steps will be in place and enforced. Students or other attendees are to wear facemasks and observe social distancing requirements. Attendees are not to come to class if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone that has COVID-19 within 14 days of their course.

“It is going to be a challenge for us this year to make sure we offer adequate classes and field days for our customers,’’ LDWF Biologist Program Manager Eric Shanks said. “We want to ensure the safety of our students, volunteers and staff while offering sufficient hunter education courses and maintaining our high educational standards.’’

Class availability may be limited due to reduced facility capacities and cleaning/disinfecting requirements. LDWF asks that all students trying to sign up for a course be patient as staff and volunteers work to meet class demand while ensuring adequate safety protocols are followed.

For more information, go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/hunter-and-trapper-education or contact Eric Shanks at eshanks@wlf.la.gov.