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Deer Hunting Seasons

Hunting Regulations Icon Louisiana Hunting

Deer Hunting Seasons Map

Deer Hunting Schedules

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Consult Wildlife Management Area and Federal Land schedules for specific regulations and dates on those areas.

Possession Limit

6 per season, not to exceed 3 antlered OR 4 antlerless per season EXCEPT Deer Area 4 limit 3/season (not to exceed 2 antlered or 2 antlerless deer), and Deer Area 10 limit 3/season (not to exceed 2 antlered or 2 antlerless deer).

Daily Bag Limits

1 antlered and 1 antlerless (when legal)

Deer Tagging Information (2017-2018)

Prior to hunting deer, all deer hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain deer tags. Tags must be in possession when hunting deer.

Process for Tagging Deer

  1. Immediately upon harvesting a deer, the hunter must tag the deer with the appropriate carcass tag before it is moved from the harvest site.
  2. The hunter must record the date of kill for the corresponding tag number on the harvest report card portion of the deer tag license.
  3. The hunter must record the date and parish of kill on the carcass tag.
  4. The tag must remain attached to the deer while kept at camp, or while it is transported to the domicile of the hunter or to a cold storage facility. Hunters who keep the carcass or meat at camp must also comply with the resident game possession tag regulations.
  5. Within 72 hours the hunter must validate the harvest. Hunters may validate deer by calling the validation toll free number, 888-765-2602 or using the validation web site: www.la.wildlifelicense.com.Hunters harvesting deer on DMAP lands should follow the instructions provided to them by LDWF. When deer check stations are in operation, hunters on WMAs can validate deer during mandatory deer check hunts.

Deer tagging procedure for licenses purchased via phone or Internet

Hunters purchasing licenses online at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses will be able to print an E-License using a personal printer for immediate use or save the PDF of licenses purchased to an electronic device which is kept in possession while hunting. Hunters purchasing licenses by phone are given both an authorization number and an LDWF identification number that will serve as their license until such license arrives by mail. Hunters must tag deer with possession tags, using the authorization number or LDWF identification number for the required license numbers recorded on the possession tag. Hunters must maintain documentation of these harvested deer and must validate harvested deer as required by law when the hunter receives the original license and tags.

Replacement of lost tags

Duplicate tags are available to replace lost tags at a charge to the hunter. Hunters that have harvested deer prior to losing their remaining tags must remove and discard the duplicate tags to account for the original tags that have been used and validated. Hunters must record these validated deer on the duplicate deer tag license.

Deer Hunting Regulations

Areas not specifically designated as open are closed.

Methods of Taking Deer

License Requirements

(Additional license requirements are specified below for Archery and Primitive Firearms seasons)

  • Basic Season License, Big Game License (or equivalent combination license), and Deer Tags are required of all persons hunting deer.

Definitions

  • Either-sex: Antlered or antlerless deer.
  • Still Hunting: Stalking or stationary stand hunting without the use of dog(s).
  • Antlered Deer: Deer with at least one visible antler, of hardened bony material, broken naturally through the skin.

Prohibited Activities

(Additional prohibited activities listed under Archery and Primitive Firearms seasons)

  • Take or possession of spotted fawns.
  • Take of deer with firearms smaller than .22 caliber center-fire or shotgun loaded with anything other than buckshot or slug.
  • Take of deer with rimfire firearms.
  • Take of deer while deer are swimming.
  • Take of deer while hunter is in a boat with motor attached in operating position, EXCEPT that this prohibition shall not apply to any person who has lost one or more limbs.
  • Take of game quadrupeds or birds from aircraft, or participating in the taking of deer with the aid of aircraft or from any other moving vehicles.
  • Pursuing, driving or hunting deer with dogs or moving vehicles when or where a still hunting season or area is designated.
  • Training of deer dogs in still hunting areas during open still hunting seasons.

Daily Limit

  • One antlered and one antlerless deer per day EXCEPT when a Bucks Only season is in progress and EXCEPT on some Federal Lands where the daily limit is one deer per day (see specific Federal Lands Regulations for details).

Season Limit

  • Season limit is six, not to exceed three antlered OR four antlerless deer, EXCEPT Deer Area 4 season limit is three (not to exceed two antlered or two antlerless deer), and EXCEPT Deer Area 10 season limit is three (not to exceed two antlered or two antlerless deer). Deer harvested on property enrolled in DMAP may not count in the season or daily bag limit for hunters. See DMAP Regulations (LAC 76:v.111) for more information.

Possession Tags

Any part of a deer divided shall have affixed thereto the name, date, address and LDWF number of the person who harvested the deer and the sex of that animal. This information shall be legibly written in pen or pencil on any piece of paper or cardboard or any material which is attached or secured to or enclosing the part or parts.

Sex Identification

Positive evidence of sex identification, including the head or sex organs, shall remain on any deer taken in Louisiana, so long as such deer is kept in camp or field, or is in route to the domicile of its possessor, or until such deer has been stored at the domicile of its possessor or divided at a cold storage facility and has thus become identifiable as food rather than as wild game.

USE OF DOGS FOR TRAILING AND RETRIEVAL OF DEER

A leashed dog may be used to trail and retrieve wounded or un-recovered deer. Any leashed dog used to trail or retrieve wounded or un-recovered deer must wear a collar bearing the owner’s name, address and phone number. If a dog is used to trail and retrieve un-recovered deer after legal hunting hours, then no person accompanying the dog may carry a firearm of any sort.

Hunter Orange and Blaze Pink

Any person hunting any wildlife during the open firearms deer hunting season and possessing buckshot, slugs, a primitive firearm, or a centerfire firearm shall display on their head, chest and/or back a total of not less than 400 square inches of “HUNTER ORANGE” or “BLAZE PINK.”

Exceptions

  • Persons hunting on privately owned land may wear a hunter orange or blaze pink cap or hat in lieu of the 400 square inches.
  • Not required of persons hunting deer from elevated stands on property that is privately owned. However, anyone hunting deer on such lands where hunting with firearms is allowed shall be required to display the 400 square inches or a hunter orange or blaze pink cap or hat while walking to and from elevated stands.
  • Not required of archery deer hunters hunting on lands where firearm hunting is not allowed by agreement of the landowner or lessee. WARNING: Deer hunters are cautioned to watch for persons hunting other game or engaged in activities not requiring “Hunter Orange” or “Blaze Pink.”

Primitive Firearms Season

License Requirements

  • Primitive Firearms License is required of all persons hunting deer during Primitive Firearms Seasons.

Prohibited Activities

  • Hunting with dogs (All Primitive Firearms Seasons are still hunt only).

Legal Gear

Legal Gear for Primitive Firearms Season includes:

  • Rifles or pistols, .44 caliber minimum, or shotguns 10 gauge or smaller, all of which must load exclusively from the muzzle, use black powder or approved substitute only, take ball, shot, or bullet projectile only, including saboted bullets. All of the above may be fitted with magnified scopes.
  • Single shot, breech loading rifles or single shot, breech loading pistols, .35 caliber or larger, having an exposed hammer that use metallic cartridges loaded either with black powder or modern smokeless powder. All of the above may be fitted with magnified scopes.
  • Single shot, breech loading shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller, having an exposed hammer, loaded with buckshot or slug.

Exceptions

  • Youths 17 or younger may hunt deer with any legal weapon during the Primitive Firearms Season in each deer hunting area.Either-sex deer may be taken in all areas open for deer hunting EXCEPT when a Bucks Only season is in progress. In such cases, hunters must conform to the bucks only regulations.

Archery Season

License Requirements

  • Bow License is required of all persons hunting deer with archery gear during Archery Seasons.

Prohibited Activities

  • Possession or use any poisoned or drugged arrow or arrows with explosive tips.
  • Hunting deer with a bow having a draw weight less than 30 lbs.
  • Hunting with a bow or crossbow fitted with an infrared, laser sight, electrically operated sight or device specifically designed to enhance vision at night (does NOT include non-projecting red dot sights; RS 56:116.1.(b)(4)).
  • Hunting with dogs (All Archery Seasons are still hunt only).

Legal Gear

Legal Gear for Archery Season includes:

  • Traditional bow, compound bow, crossbow, or any bow drawn, held or released by mechanical means.Either-sex deer may be taken in all areas open for deer hunting EXCEPT when a Bucks Only season is in progress. In such cases, archers must conform to the bucks only regulations.

Physically Challenged Season on Private Land

Oct. 7-8, either-sex.

Restricted to individuals with Physically Challenged Hunter Permit. Permit applications are available at regional LDWF offices.

YOUTH AND HONORABLY DISCHARGED VETERANS SEASON ON PRIVATE LAND

Either-sex.
Areas 1, 4, 5, 6 & 9: Oct. 28 – Nov. 3
Area 2: Oct. 14-20

Areas 3, 7, 8 & 10: Sept. 23-29
Restricted to youths 17 or younger only and resident honorably discharged veterans. All legal gear for archery, primitive firearms, and modern firearms allowed.

Youths must possess a hunter safety certification or proof of successful completion of a hunter safety course. Youths must be accompanied by one adult 18 years of age or older. If the accompanying adult is in possession of hunter safety certification, a valid hunting license or proof of successful completion of a hunter safety course, this requirement is waived for youths younger than 16 years of age. Adults may not possess a firearm. Youths may possess only one legal firearm while hunting. The supervising adult shall maintain visual and voice contact with the youth at all times, EXCEPT properly licensed youths 16-17 years old and youths 12 years old or older who have successfully completed a hunter safety course may hunt without a supervising adult.

Resident veterans must be properly licensed and must possess proof of honorable discharge. One of the following must be carried by veterans while hunting:

  • Louisiana OMV issued U.S. Veterans Driver’s License.
  • U.S. Department of Defense Form 214 or one of the following DD_214 equivalents:
  1. Pre DD 214 era documents (1941_1950):
  2. WD AGO (war department adjutant general) Forms, to include WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53_55;
  3. JAVPERS (naval personnel) discharge documents, to include NAVPERS 553, NAVMC78PD, NAVCG 553.
  4. National Personnel Records Center NPRC “statement of service,” issued as a result of a destroyed discharge record during the 1973 National Archives fire.
  5. National Guard/Air National Guard must have NGB_22 with 6 or more years of service.

Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)

Refer to LAC 76:V.111 or contact LDWF Field Offices for specific DMAP rules. Deer management assistance tags must be in the possession of the hunter in order to harvest deer. The tag shall be attached in such a manner that it cannot be removed before the deer is transported (including those taken on either-sex days and those taken with approved archery equipment or primitive firearms). Depending upon the level of participation, antlerless or antlered deer harvested on property enrolled in DMAP may not count in the season or daily bag limit for hunters. DMAP participants must follow the deer season schedule established for their respective areas, EXCEPT antlerless deer may be harvested any day of the deer season on property enrolled in DMAP provided that a DMAP tag is possessed by the hunter at the time of harvest.