Hurricane Forces 2012 Deer Season Changes

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved recommendations from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to revise hunting rules/regulations for the 2012-13 deer season due to Hurricane Isaac.

Changes for Maurepas WMA are outlined as part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ recommendations for deer season updates due to Hurricane Isaac. (Map: LDWF)

LDWF’s Wildlife Division recommended the changes following deer herd assessments made to determine the impact of Hurricane Isaac on deer populations in parishes flooded by the storm.

Wildlife Division Administrator Kenny Ribbeck outlined major areas of concern that included the Lake Maurepas Basin, and Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. He noted that those areas had historically lower deer densities and poorer habitat quality compared to other areas in Louisiana.

Assessment methods utilized included biologists on the ground and in boats, as well as aerial reconnaissance. LDWF staff interviewed hunters, landowners, and LDWF Enforcement Division agents and included reports from the general public.

In the Lake Maurepas Basin, storm surge pushed water levels five to six feet above normal, major flooding lasted four days in some areas, encompassing an estimated 391,000 acres. The assessment noted light to moderate adult deer mortality, but high fawn mortality estimated at nearly 90 percent.

A large alligator protects a deer killed by drowning after Hurricane Isaac smacked Louisiana late last summer. (Photo: LouisianaSportsman.com and courtesy of Mary Ostarly)

Recommendations/Approved  for Maurepas Basin Defined Area: Portions of St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Livingston, Ascension, St. James, St. John and St. Charles parishes; beginning west of the Tchefuncte River from Lake Pontchartrain to LA 22; also south and east of LA 22 to LA 70, and east of LA 70 to LA 3125; and north and east of LA 3125 to LA 641; and west of LA 641 to US 61; then north of US 61 to the Jefferson Parish line.

• Archery Season – no change

• Youth, Bucks only, still: Oct. 27-28 (2 days)

• Bucks only, still: Nov. 23-Dec. 2 (10 days)

• Bucks only, with or without dogs: Dec. 8-30 (23 days)

• Bucks only, primitive: Jan. 19-27 (9 days)

RECOMMENDATIONS / APPROVED for Wildlife Management Areas:

* Biloxi WMA – Archery Season – no change

* Joyce WMA – same as Lake Maurepas Basin Defined Area, except still hunt only

* Manchac WMA – Archery Season – no change

* Maurepas Swamp WMA –

• Archery Season – no change

• Youth, Bucks only: Nov. 3-4 (2 days)

• Bucks only, modern firearms, mandatory check: Nov. 23 (1 day)

• Bucks only, modern firearms: Nov. 24-25 (2 days)

• Bucks only, modern firearms: Dec. 22-28 (7 days)

• Bucks only, primitive: Jan. 14-20 (7 days)

*Pass-a-Loutre WMA –

• Archery Season – no change

• Bucks only shotgun – no change

Severe flooding conditions in Plaquemines Parish, where protection levees were over-topped and the lower east bank was hit by a 14-foot storm surge, produced moderate adult deer mortality and high fawn mortality. Severe habitat degradation was noted as the result of salt water shock and debris deposited by storm surge.

In those portions of St. Bernard, mainly areas outside the flood wall, lower marshlands that were severely flooded led to high fawn mortality and light adult deer mortality.

Recommendations/Approved for Plaquemines Parish and St. Bernard, outside the major flood wall.

• Archery Season – no change

• Youth, Bucks only, still: Oct. 27-28 (2 days)

• Bucks only, still: Nov. 23-25 (3 days)

• Bucks only, with or without dogs: Dec. 22-Jan. 6 (16 days)

• Bucks only, primitive: Jan. 19-27 (9 days)

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