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Non-toxic shot required on WMA dove fields this season

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If you’re planning on hunting doves on a Louisiana wildlife management area, don’t bring along any lead shot this year.
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, only No. 6 non-toxic shot and smaller will be allowed for dove hunting during the 2017-18 season. The change is intended to reduce the amount of lead shot deposited in fields, as well as adverse side effects on wildlife. To check out the official hunting rules and regulations on the LDWF website, click here. For more information on the new ruling, contact Steve Smith with LDWF at 225-765-2359, or via email at ssmith@wlf.la.gov. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Louisiana waters off limits for 2018 Sabine Elite Series tournament

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The Bayou State’s ongoing battle over public access to tidal waters got nationwide attention Thursday, when Bassmaster’s tournament director decided that competitors in the upcoming 2018 Elite Series event on the Sabine River next spring will not be permitted to fish in Louisiana waters.
That decision came in the wake of an event held out of Orange, Texas earlier this summer, when Louisiana officials notified B.A.S.S. that a large section of backwaters near the launch site — where anglers had practiced and planned to fish — was closed to public access. Trip Weldon said the uncertainty over access and lack of clear signage alerting anglers could create an uneven playing field, and was unacceptable for a top-level bass tournament. ““Due to the gray areas in the Louisiana Delta/tidal waters that could create an uneven playing field, the 2018 Elite event in Orange will be restricted to Texas waters only,” Weldon said in a press release. In Louisiana, all tidal waters are held as public t…

Two southeast La. WMAs expand, gain duck-hunting wetlands

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The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on Thursday approved resolutions that will add more than 1,900 acres of waterfowl wetlands to two wildlife management areas in the southeastern part of the state. Joyce WMA in Tangipahoa Parish added 160 acres known as the Ponder Tract, while Salvador WMA in St. Charles Parish got 1,777 acres known as the White Tract, according to a press release. The property at Joyce WMA was acquired in September of 2016 through an act of donation by the Conservation Fund to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The White Tract at Salvador WMA, acquired in June, was purchased with the assistance of Wetlands America Trust, one of the nation’s largest accredited land trusts and the land trust for Ducks Unlimited.  Additional support came from the property owners, Ducks Unlimited’s Gulf Coast Initiative, LDWF, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant, the release states. Joy…

Arizona court decides gun is legally ‘loaded’ even with an empty chamber

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Arizona court decides gun is legally ‘loaded’ even with an empty chamber



A unanimous three-judge panel upheld the conviction on an appeal of an Arizona man who argued state law is vague on what constitutes an unloaded weapon. The Arizona Court of Appeals decided last week to uphold a weapon charge brought against Bo Lucas Johnson, who was arrested for making what was interpreted to be a threatening statement while handling a gun inside his vehicle in a school parking lot. Johnson’s appeal argued the state’s law on misconduct with a weapon that is not loaded and carried inside a vehicle is unclear, and thus unenforceable since he had a magazine in the pistol, but nothing chambered. “The superior court concluded that the word ‘loaded’ means ‘containing ammunition,’ and we agree,” said Appeals Court Judge Philip Espinosa for the majority, falling back on a 2016 Pima County court ruling in Johnson’s case. Johnson’s conviction involved a September 2014 altercation after a two-day running …

Fall inshore shrimp season to open statewide Friday, Aug. 18 at 6 a.m.

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After hearing from numerous shrimpers during their meeting Thursday afternoon on Grand Isle, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission acted on a suggestion by LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet and pushed the opening day of the fall inshore shrimp season back four days. As they were about to vote on a motion to accept the Aug. 14 opener, Montoucet interjected the possibility of compromising between those that wanted the early start and those favoring opening the season on the 21st to give shrimp more time to grow to marketable size. The Commission took him up on it, and voted to split the difference and have opening day start at 6 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 18. Shrimpers are reminded that Federal Turtle Excluder Device regulations require skimmer net fishermen to limit tow times to 55 minutes from April 1 through Oct. 31. Those times increase to 75 minutes in cooler temperatures from Nov. 1 through March 31. Montoucet has the authority to delay these opening dates if biological and techn…

Head to the Atchafalaya Basin for great bass fishing

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As the Atchafalaya River stage began to drop to a fishable level the first week of July, bass anglers’ fever began to rise as they planned trips into the heart of the nation’s last great overflow swamp, the Atchafalaya Basin. Many of them will focus on the east side of the river and fish a large area that includes, first and foremost, Grand Lake, West Fork Bayou, Middle Fork Bayou, Williams Canal, 21-Inch Canal, Bayou Mallet and Old River. Those perennial bass fishing hotspots, water conditions permitting, are within 20-25 minutes of Belle River Landing, according to Morgan City outdoorsman Bill McCarty, who has been fishing the area since he was old enough to get in a boat. Of course, the river stage must be considered, McCarty said the first week of July. Generally, if it’s too high, many gamefish still are in the woods and swamps, mostly inaccessible to bass anglers, he said. Grand Lake, with its cypress trees offering shade and cover to bass, baitfish and other food on the east s…

Pierre Part angler reels in Leeville leopard red

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If the International Grand Isle Tarpon rodeo had a category for most spots on a redfish, Sally Chapman Mabile likely would have been the 2017 winner in a landslide. Mabile and her husband Todd were enjoying the rodeo festivities and went fishing for a fun trip out of Leeville Friday morning south of Hackberry Bay in the couple’s 22-foot Blue Wave. She was using dead shrimp about 18 inches under a popping cork working along the bank around 9 a.m. when lightning struck. “On that particular spot, as soon as I dropped it and it hit the water, the cork took off,” said Mabile, who lives in Pierre Part and works as a CSR for Dow Chemical in Plaquemine. “Honestly, when we got it in the boat, I thought it was a red, and then I saw all the specks and said, ‘Well, maybe it’s a speck.’ “And as I held it up, we saw it really was a red. It was pretty exciting. Honestly, we didn’t know it was anything special at the time until we started showing it to other people in the area …. Our plan was just t…