Wildlife Management Areas
The following rules and regulations concerning the management, protection and harvest of wildlife have been officially approved and adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in accordance with the authority provided in Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, Section 109 of Title 56. Failure to comply with these regulations will subject the individual to citation and/or expulsion from the management area.
- Persons using WMAs must possess a WMA Access Permit.
- Users are cautioned that by entering a WMA managed by LDWF, they may be subjecting themselves and/or their vehicles to game and/or license checks, inspections and searches.
- WMA seasons may be altered or closed anytime by LDWF’s Secretary in emergency situations (floods, fire or other critical circumstances).
- Hunters may enter the WMA no earlier than 4 a.m. unless otherwise specified. Hunters must check out daily and exit the WMA no later than two hours after sunset, or as otherwise specified. Reference individual WMA listings for specific requirements.
- All privately owned property which is completely surrounded by a wildlife management area shall be subject to all state hunting and fishing provisions, including those provisions regarding seasons. Such private property shall not be subject to the special hunting and fishing provisions which govern the wildlife management area, except that deer may not be taken with the aid of dogs. However, the owner or lessee of such property shall be required to participate in the deer management assistance program provided for in R.S. 56:110. In addition, the owner or lessee of such property shall not be allowed to hunt, trap or take resident game by the aid of baiting or placing bait intended to attract or entice the resident game to the area where hunters are attempting to take them.
- Dumping garbage or trash on WMAs is prohibited. Garbage and trash may be properly disposed of in designated locations if provided.
- Use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) on WMAs is prohibited.
- Disorderly conduct or hunting under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemicals and other similar substances is prohibited.
- Damage to or removal of trees, shrubs, hard mast (including but not limited to acorns and pecans), wild plants and non-game wildlife (including reptiles and amphibians) or any species of butterflies, skippers or moths is prohibited without a permit from LDWF.
- Burning of the marsh is prohibited. Hunting actively burning marsh is prohibited.
- Gathering and/or removal of soft fruits, mushrooms, berries and American lotus seeds and pods shall be limited to five gallons per person per day.
- Nature Trails: Trails shall be limited to pedestrians only. No vehicles, ATVs/UTVs, horses, mules, bicycles, etc. allowed. Removal of vegetation (standing or down) or other natural material is prohibited.
- Deer seasons are for legal antlered deer unless otherwise specified.
- Small game, when listed under the WMA regulations, may include both resident game animals and game birds as well as migratory birds.
- Oysters may not be harvested from any WMA, EXCEPT that oysters may be harvested from private oyster leases and State Seed Grounds located within a WMA, when authorized by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and upon approval by the Department of Health.
- Unauthorized entry or unauthorized hunting in restricted areas, refuges or limited access areas, is prohibited unless otherwise specified.
- Operating, modifying, tampering with or altering water control structures is prohibited.
- For your safety ALL oil and gas production facilities (wells, pumping stations and storage facilities) are restricted. Access is prohibited.
WMA Access Permit
A WMA Access Permit shall be required for use of LDWF- administered lands including wildlife refuges, wildlife management areas (WMAs) and wildlife conservation areas (WCAs).
- Persons 17 years of age and under are exempt from this requirement.
- A WMA Access Permit is not required for motorists/boaters traveling through the WMA provided that the most direct route is taken and no activities or stops take place.
- The WMA Access Permit is included in the Lifetime, Louisiana Sportsman’s and Senior Hunt/Fish licenses.
A Self-Clearing Permit is required for ALL ACTIVITIES on WMAs. Please see information about the Self-Clearing App.
The Self-Clearing Permit consists of two portions: Check In and Check Out.
- - All persons must obtain a WMA Self-Clearing Permit from a Self-Clearing Permit Station or check in/out electronically through the LDWF Self-Clearing Permit app/Internet Web portal. If checking in through a Self-Clearing Permit Station check-in portion must be completed and put in a permit box before each day’s activity on the day of the activity. Users may check in one day in advance of use.
- The check-out portion must be carried by each person while on the WMA and must be completed and put in a permit box immediately upon exiting the WMA
- Self-Clearing Permits are not required of fishers and boaters who enter a WMA via watercraft from outside the WMA, provided they do not get out of the watercraft and onto WMA property.
- Self-Clearing Permits are not required for motorists/boaters traveling through the WMA provided that the most direct route is taken and no activities or stops take place.
Physically challenged Wheelchair Confined Deer And Waterfowl Hunting Areas
Special deer and waterfowl hunting areas, blinds and stands identified with LDWF logos, have been established for Physically Challenged Hunter Permit (PCHP) wheelchair confined hunters on WMAs. Hunters must obtain PCHP permits and are required to make reservations to use blinds and stands. PCHP wheelchair hunting areas are available on Alexander State Forest, Bayou Pierre, Big Colewa Bayou, Buckhorn, Clear Creek, Floy Ward McElroy, Fort Polk-Vernon, Maurepas Swamp, Sherburne and West Bay WMAs. Check WMA hunting schedules or call LDWF Field Offices for additional information.
Special Seasons and Lottery Hunts
Online Lottery Applications
Lottery hunt applications will only be available online at www.wlf.la.gov/page/lottery-hunts
NOTE: Some of the below hunts may be by pre-application lottery. For details, see individual WMA schedules, contact any Field Office, or visit our website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov.
For open, non-lottery youth hunts, only youths 17 or younger may hunt, EXCEPT on Sandy Hollow WMA Youth Dove Hunt (see specific WMA Schedule for details). All other seasons are closed EXCEPT physically challenged seasons. Youths must be accompanied by one adult 18 years of age or older. Youths must possess a hunter safety certification or proof of successful completion of a hunter safety course. If the accompanying adult has proof of successful completion of a hunter education course or was born before Sept. 1, 1969 and has a valid hunting license, this requirement is waived for youths younger than 16 years of age. Additionally, any youth participating in the hunt shall have in their immediate possession a Youth License. Adults may not possess a firearm. Youths may possess only one 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.
Self-clearing permits are required on all youth hunts that are open, non-lottery hunts.
Select WMAs only. Contact the appropriate field office for details. Youth deer seasons are offered on the following WMAs (reference individual WMA listings for dates): Atchafalaya Delta, Attakapas, Bayou Macon, Big Lake, Bodcau, Boeuf, Buckhorn, Clear Creek, Camp Beauregard, Dewey W. Wills, Grassy Lake, J.C. Sonny Gilbert, Joyce, Maurepas Swamp, Pass-a-Loutre, Pearl River, Pomme de Terre, Richard K. Yancey, Russell Sage, Sabine, Sabine Island, Salvador/Timken, Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Spring Bayou, Tangipahoa Parish School Board, Thistlethwaite, Tunica Hills and West Bay.
Youth lottery hunts are offered on the following WMAs (reference Individual WMA listing for dates): Buckhorn, Dewey W. Wills, Floy Ward McElroy, Pointe-Aux-Chenes, Richard K. Yancey, and Sherburne WMAs. Online lottery applications must be returned no later than Aug. 31 for all pre-application lottery deer hunts.
Select WMAs only. Contact the appropriate field office for details. Youth squirrel seasons are offered on Bodcau, Boeuf, Clear Creek, Grassy Lake, Little River, Maurepas Swamp, Pearl River, Pomme de Terre, Russell Sage, Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Spring Bayou and West Bay WMAs on Sept. 24-25.
Loggy Bayou WMAs will have an open youth dove hunt the first Saturday of the Mourning Dove Season. Sandy Hollow WMA will have a youth dove hunt the first Saturday of the Mourning Dove Season. See Sandy Hollow WMA regulations for details.
Select WMAs only. Contact the appropriate field office for details. Youth turkey seasons are offered on the following WMAs (reference individual WMA listings for dates): Big Lake, Bodcau and J.C. Sonny Gilbert.
Youth lottery hunts will be offered on the following WMAs (reference individual WMA listings for dates and status of hunt as a lottery or open, non-lottery hunt): Clear Creek, Fort Polk-Vernon, Pearl River, Peason Ridge, Pomme de Terre, Richard K. Yancey, Sherburne, Spring Bayou, Tunica Hills, and West Bay. Online lottery applications must be returned no later than Feb. 8 for all pre-application lottery turkey hunts.
WMAs with youth lottery hunts are closed to all activities except turkey hunting by authorized youth hunt participants, shooting range use, and fishing on the day(s) of the youth hunt. Only one turkey is allowed to be taken during lottery hunts.
Select WMAs only. Contact the appropriate field office for details. Youth waterfowl seasons are offered the same weekend as the state youth waterfowl hunts on all WMAs unless otherwise noted (reference individual WMA listings for details).
Youth lottery hunts are offered on the following WMAs (reference Individual WMA listing for dates): Bayou Pierre and Sherburne WMAs. Online lottery applications must be returned no later than Sept. 30 for all pre-application lottery waterfowl hunts.
Physically Challenged Seasons And Physically Challenged Lottery Hunts
NOTE: Some of the below hunts may be by pre-application lottery. For details, see individual WMA schedules, contact any Field Office, or visit our website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov.
Only hunters possessing a Physically Challenged Hunters Permit (PCHP) may hunt. Further restrictions may apply.
Select WMAs only. Contact the appropriate field office for details, permit application, or maps of hunting areas. Either-sex deer may be taken on the following WMAs (reference individual WMA listings for dates and status of hunt as a lottery, pre-application, or open non-lottery hunt): Alexander State Forest, Big Colewa Bayou, Buckhorn, Dewey W. Wills, Floy Ward McElroy, Richard K. Yancey, Sandy Hollow, Sherburne and West Bay. Contact Field Offices for permit application and map of specific hunting area.
Disabled Veterans Lottery Hunts
Hunts restricted to those persons selected by lottery. Only U.S. Veterans with proof of service connected disability may apply.
Sherburne WMA only (reference individual WMA listings for dates). Hunt restricted to those persons selected by lottery. Contact the Lafayette Field Office for application and details. Online lottery applications must be returned no later than Sept. 30.
General Lottery Hunts
Select WMAs only. Contact the appropriate field office for details. General Waterfowl Lottery hunts are offered on the following WMAs (reference individual WMA listings for dates): Bayou Pierre and Sherburne. Visit www.wlf.la.gov/page/lottery-hunts to apply online.
Select WMAs only. Contact the appropriate field office for details. General Turkey Lottery hunts are offered on the following WMAs (reference individual WMA listings for dates): Bayou Macon, Clear Creek, J.C. Sonny Gilbert, Pearl River, Sabine, Sherburne, Tunica Hills and West Bay WMAs. Visit www.wlf.la.gov/page/lottery-hunts to apply online. Only one turkey per hunter is allowed to be taken during lottery hunts.
Elbow Slough only (reference individual WMA listings for dates). Hunting by pre-application lottery only. Visit www.wlf.la.gov/page/lottery-hunts to apply online.
Consult 2022 trapping regulations for specific dates and regulations. All traps must be run daily. Traps with teeth are illegal.
A licensed hunter may take raccoon or opossum, two per person per day, during daylight hours only, during the open hunting season on WMAs.
Nighttime experimental raccoon hunting: All nighttime raccoon hunting, where allowed, is with dogs only.
Small Game Emphasis Areas
Specially designated areas on certain WMAs will allow small game hunting with dogs, confined to that specific area when the remainder of the WMA is restricted to still hunt only. Additionally, off season training of rabbit and bird dogs may be allowed on some of the Small Game Emphasis Areas. Small Game Emphasis Areas are offered on Big Colewa Bayou, Bayou Macon, Bayou Pierre, Boeuf, Dewey W. Wills, Marsh Bayou, Pomme de Terre, Richard K. Yancey, Russell Sage, Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Tunica Hills and Walnut Hill WMAs. See individual WMA schedules for details.
Bird Dog Training Area
Bird Dog Training Area (BDTA) Rules and Regulations Summary
Bird dog training areas (BDTA) are established on select wildlife management areas (WMA) to afford users an opportunity to train recognized breeds of pointing dogs, spaniels, and retrievers with live released birds. All dogs must wear a collar or tag imprinted with the name and phone number of the owner or trainer. The BDTA is not intended to serve as a hunting preserve. BDTA boundaries are indicated on WMA maps and marked with signs and/or paint.
- Each person using the BDTA for dog training must have a valid self-clearing permit in his/her possession while engaged in dog training on the BDTA. Said permit must indicate the number and species of birds released for training purposes in the comments section.
- Only bobwhite quail, mallards or pigeons may be released within the boundaries of the BDTA for dog training activities (use of pigeons and mallards may be prohibited on specific BDTAs). When WMA/public land hunting seasons are closed, only bobwhite quail, mallards and pigeons may be taken and possessed.
- No more than 6 quail or mallards per day may be released, taken, or possessed per permittee. Wild quail may be taken on the BDTA at any time the BDTA is open to dog training and must be included in the 6-bird limit. There is no limit on the number of pigeons that may be taken, released, or possessed. All mallards must be toe-clipped, or fitted with a seamless band, or otherwise marked in accordance with federal regulations. Pigeons are not required to be banded. Persons in possession of live bobwhite quail or mallards must have a valid game breeders license or bill of sale from a licensed game breeder.
- When the WMA/public land hunting seasons are closed, only shotguns with shells containing shot not larger than lead size 8 or steel size 6 are permitted on the BDTA. Mallards may only be taken with steel or other approved non-toxic shot. Firearms must be encased or broken down upon entering and leaving the BDTA when the WMA hunting seasons are closed. Pistols capable of firing only blanks are also permitted.
- Persons engaged in dog training on BDTAs during WMA hunting seasons must comply with WMA/public land hunter orange requirements.
- See individual WMA hunting schedule for season/BDTA open dates.
Sport fishing, crawfishing and frogging are allowed on WMAs when in compliance with current laws and regulations EXCEPT as otherwise specified under individual WMA listings.
Archery Season for Deer
The archery season on WMAs is the same as outside EXCEPT as otherwise specified on individual WMAs. Either-sex deer may be taken on WMAs at any time during archery season EXCEPT when bucks-only seasons are in progress on the respective WMAs. Archers must abide by bucks-only regulations and other restrictions when such seasons are in progress.
Primitive Firearms Season for Deer
Either-sex unless otherwise specified. Youth 17 or younger may use any legal weapon during the primitive firearms season on WMAs (Refer to Legal Gear for Primitive Firearms Season on Deer Hunting).
Methods of Taking Game
- For deer, season limits on WMAs are part of the deer area limit. Daily bag limits are the same as statewide daily bag limits UNLESS a Bucks Only Season is in progress on that WMA EXCEPT Floy Ward McElroy WMA (reference individual WMA listings for seasons).
- Moving deer or hogs on a WMA with organized drivers and standers, drivers or making use of noises or noise-making devices is prohibited. Deer hunting on WMAs is restricted to still hunting only.
- Baiting, hunting over bait, or possession of bait is prohibited on all WMAs EXCEPT bait may be kept in a vehicle traversing a WMA road or parked on a WMA road. Bait is defined as any substance used to attract game via ingestion.
- During Mandatory Deer Check hunts, deer may not be skinned nor have any external body parts removed, including but not limited to feet, legs, tail, head or ears before being checked out.
- When Mandatory Deer Checks are specified on WMAs, hunters must check deer at weigh stations as designated on WMA maps.
- Hunting from utility poles and structures, and oil and gas exploration facilities or platforms is prohibited.
- Tree climbing spurs, spikes or screw-in steps are prohibited.
- Construction of and/or hunting from permanent tree stands or permanent blinds on WMAs is prohibited. Any permanent stand or permanent blind will be removed and destroyed.
- A permanent blind is any blind using non-natural materials or having a frame which is not dismantled within two hours after the end of legal shooting time each day. Blinds with frames of wood, plastic, metal poles, wire, mesh, webbing or other materials may be used but must be removed from the WMA within two hours after the end of legal shooting time each day. Blinds made solely of natural vegetation and not held together by nails or other metallic fasteners may be left in place but cannot be used to reserve hunting locations. Natural vegetation (including any material used as corner posts) is defined as natural branches that are two inches or less in diameter.
- Permanent tree stands are any stands that use nails, screws, spikes, etc. to attach to trees.
- Deer stands may not be left on WMAs unless the stands are:
- Removed from trees.
- Placed flat on the ground.
- Left in a non-hunting position (a non-hunting position is one in which a hunter could not hunt from the stand in its present position).
- Legibly tagged with the user’s name, address, phone number and LDWF ID number.
- All portable stands, blinds, tripods, etc. found unattended in a hunting position, not placed flat on the ground, or untagged will be confiscated and disposed of by LDWF.
- No stand may be left on any WMA prior to the day before deer season opens on that WMA and all stands must be removed from the WMA within one day after the close of deer hunting on that WMA.
- Free standing blinds must be disassembled when not in use.
- Unattended decoys prohibited. Decoys left unattended will be confiscated, forfeited to and disposed of by LDWF.
- Spot-lighting (shining) from vehicles is prohibited.
- Horses and mules may be ridden on WMAs EXCEPT where prohibited and EXCEPT during firearms seasons for deer and turkey. Riding is restricted to designated roads and trails depicted on WMA map. Organized Trail Rides prohibited, EXCEPT allowed by permit only on Camp Beauregard WMA (contact Pineville Field Office for details). Hunting and trapping from horses and mules is prohibited EXCEPT for quail hunting or as otherwise specified. Horse-drawn conveyances are prohibited.
Hunter Orange and Blaze Pink
- All hunters (including archers and small game hunters) and trappers, EXCEPT waterfowl hunters and mourning dove hunters on WMAs must display 400 square inches of “Hunter Orange” or “Blaze Pink” and wear a “Hunter Orange” or “Blaze Pink” hat or cap during open firearms seasons for deer.
- Quail and woodcock hunters and hunters participating in special dog seasons for rabbit, squirrel and feral hogs are required to wear a minimum of a “Hunter Orange” or “Blaze Pink” hat or cap.
- All other hunters and archers (while on the ground), EXCEPT waterfowl hunters, also must wear a minimum of a “Hunter Orange” or “Blaze Pink” hat or cap during special dog seasons for rabbit and squirrel.
- Hunters participating in special shotgun season for feral hogs on Atchafalaya Delta, Pass-a-Loutre, Pointe-aux-Chenes and Salvador WMAs must display 400 square inches of “Hunter Orange” or “Blaze Pink” and wear a “Hunter Orange” or “Blaze Pink” cap.
- Deer hunters hunting from concealed blinds must display a minimum of 400 square inches of “Hunter Orange” or “Blaze Pink” above or around their blinds which is visible from 360 degrees.
ALSO, all persons afield during hunting seasons are encouraged to display “Hunter Orange” or “Blaze Pink.”
- Firearms having live ammunition in the chamber, magazine, cylinder or clip when attached to firearms or crossbows cocked and in the ready position are not allowed in or on vehicles, boats under power, motorcycles, ATVs/UTVs, ATCs or in camping areas on WMAs.
- Firearms may not be carried on any area before or after permitted hours EXCEPT in authorized camping areas or as otherwise specified and EXCEPT as may be permitted for authorized trappers (see Quadrupeds Quadrupeds & Resident Game Birds Seasons).
- Firearms and bows and arrows are not allowed on WMAs during closed seasons EXCEPT on designated shooting ranges or as permitted for trapping, and EXCEPT as allowed pursuant to R.S. 56:109.C and R.S. 56:1691. Bows and broadhead arrows are not allowed on WMAs EXCEPT during deer archery season, turkey season or as permitted for bowfishing. Active and retired law enforcement officers in compliance with POST requirements, Federal Law Enforcement Officers and holders of Louisiana concealed handgun permits or permit holders from a reciprocal state, who are in compliance with all other state and federal firearms regulations, may possess firearms on WMAs, provided these firearms are not used for any hunting purpose.
- Encased or broken down firearms and any game harvested may be transported through the areas by the most direct route provided that no other route exists EXCEPT as specified under WMA listing.
- Loaded firearms are not allowed near WMA check stations.
- The following cannot be carried onto any WMA EXCEPT during modern and primitive firearm deer seasons and during special shotgun season for feral hogs on Atchafalaya Delta, Pass-a-Loutre, Pointe-aux-Chenes and Salvador WMAs (see individual WMA season schedules for specific regulations).
- Centerfire rifles
- Break-action centerfire and Bolt-action centerfire handguns
- Scoped centerfire handguns
- Shotgun slugs or shot larger than BB lead or F steel
- Target shooting and other forms of practice shooting are prohibited on WMAs EXCEPT as otherwise specified.
- Discharging of firearms on or across, or hunting from designated roads, ATV/UTV trails, nature trails, hiking trails, and their rights-of-way is prohibited during open firearms seasons for deer.
- A WMA Camping Permit is required for each camping party utilizing a LDWF-operated campground on a WMA. A camping party is defined as one to five individuals 18 or older. If any camping group is over five individuals 18 or older, then multiple WMA Camping Permits are required. Youths 17 and younger are exempt from the WMA Camping Permit requirement. The WMA Camping Permit(s) or camping permit number shall be displayed at each camping party’s campsite. A campsite is defined as any tent, RV, camper, vehicle or site occupied within a campground or vessel/houseboat moored adjacent to a campground.
- Camping on WMAs, including trailers, houseboats, vessels, recreational vehicles and tents, is allowed only in designated areas and for a period not to exceed 16 (EXCEPT Bodcau WMA is not to exceed 14 days during a 30-day period) consecutive days, regardless of whether the camp is attended or unattended. At the end of the 16-day period camps must be removed from the area for at least 48 hours. Camping area use limited exclusively to outdoor recreational activities. Camping on WMAs is available on a first-come, first-serve basis unless otherwise specified.
- Houseboats and vessels utilized for recreational activities are prohibited from overnight mooring within WMAs EXCEPT on stream banks adjacent to designated camping areas. Overnight mooring of vessels that provide lodging for hire are prohibited on WMAs. Houseboats and vessels shall not impede navigation. No refuse or garbage may be dumped from these boats. Houseboat mooring on Atchafalaya Delta WMA is allowed via permit only, in designated areas, during hunting season. Permits for Atchafalaya Delta WMA are available via annual lottery or by a five-year bid lease program. Contact the Lafayette Field Office for details.
- Discharge of human waste onto lands or waters of any WMA is prohibited. In the event public restroom facilities are not available at a WMA, the following is required: anyone camping on a WMA in a camper, trailer or other unit (other than a houseboat or tent) shall have and shall utilize an operational disposal system attached to the unit; tent campers shall have and shall utilize portable waste disposal units and shall remove all human waste from the WMA upon leaving; houseboats moored on a WMA shall have a permit or letter of certification from the Health Unit (Department of Health and Hospitals) of the parish within which the WMA occurs verifying that it has an approved sewerage disposal system on board. Further, that system shall be utilized by occupants of the houseboats when on the WMA.
- Firearms may not be kept loaded or discharged in a camping area unless otherwise specified.
- Campsites must be cleaned by occupants prior to leaving and all refuse placed in designated locations when provided or carried off by campers.
- Trash must be contained at all times while camping.
- Burning of trash is prohibited.
- Glass containers and bottles prohibited on campgrounds.
- Swimming is prohibited within 100 yards of boat launching ramps.
Except for licensed activities otherwise allowed by law, commercial activities are prohibited without a permit issued by the Secretary of LDWF.
- Commercial fishing is prohibited year-round on the following WMAs: Salvador/Timken, Pointe-aux-Chenes WMAs, EXCEPT commercial fishing on Pointe-aux-Chenes is allowed in Cutoff Canal.
- Commercial fishing is prohibited during open waterfowl seasons on the Grand Bay, Silver Lake and Lower Sunk Lake on Richard K. Yancey WMA.
- Permits are required of all commercial fisherman using the following WMAs: Grassy Lake, Pomme de Terre and Spring Bayou WMAs. Non-compliance with permit regulations will result in revocation of commercial fishing privileges for the period the license is issued and one year thereafter.
- Drag seines (EXCEPT minnow and bait seines) are prohibited EXCEPT experimental bait seines allowed on Dewey Wills WMA north of LA 28 in diversion canal.
- No commercial fishing activity shall impede navigation and no unattended vessels or barges will be allowed.
- Commercial fishing is allowed on Pass-a-Loutre and Atchafalaya Delta WMAs. See Pass-a-Loutre for additional commercial fishing regulations on mullet.
No person or group of persons may act as a hunting guide, outfitter or in any other capacity for which they are paid or promised to be paid directly or indirectly by any other individual or individuals for services rendered to any other person or persons hunting on any WMA, regardless of whether such payment is for guiding, outfitting, lodging or club memberships.
ATV (definition): An All-Terrain Vehicle is a wheeled or tracked off-road vehicle (not legal for highway use) not to exceed the following: weight - 750 lbs; length - 85 inches; width - 48 inches. ATV tires are restricted to those no larger than 26 x 12 with a maximum 1-inch lug height and a maximum allowable tire pressure of 12 psi as indicated on the tire by the manufacturer. Use of all other ATVs or ATV tires are prohibited on a WMA.
UTV (definition): A Utility Type Vehicle (or Utility Terrain Vehicle) is any recreational motor vehicle other than an ATV, wheeled or tracked, not legal for highway use, designed for and capable of travel over designated unpaved roads, traveling on four or more low-pressure tires not to exceed the following: weight - 1900 lbs; length - 128 inches; width - 68 inches. UTV tires are restricted to those no larger than 27 x 12 with a maximum 1-inch lug height and a maximum allowable tire pressure of 12 psi. UTVs are commonly referred to as “side-by-sides” and may include golf carts.
Personal Water Craft (definition): A vessel which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion and is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing or kneeling on the vessel rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.
ATV and ATV/UTV Trails Signage and Marking
All trails will be marked with signage and the following:
- Entrances to ATV trails will be marked with peach colored paint.
- Entrances to ATV/UTV trails will be marked with orange colored paint.
- Entrances to Physically Challenged Only trails will be marked with blue colored paint.
- Entrances to ATV trails that are open year-round will be marked with purple paint.
- The end of all trails will be marked with red paint.
The following are prohibited on WMAs
- Vehicles having wheels with a wheel-tire combination radius of 17 inches or more (measured from the center of the hub and horizontal to ground).
- The testing, racing, speeding or unusual maneuvering of any type of vehicle.
- Tractor or implement tires with farm tread designs R1, R2 and R4 known commonly as spade or lug grip types.
- Use of airboats, aircraft, personal water craft, “mud crawling vessels” (commonly referred to as crawfish combines which use paddle wheels for locomotion) and hover craft, and EXCEPT type A personal water craft, model year 2003 and beyond, which are eight feet in length and greater, may be operated within WMAs from April 1 until the Monday of Labor Day weekend, from sunrise to sunset only, and EXCEPT personal water craft are allowed on designated portions of Alexander State Forest WMA year-around. No person shall operate such watercraft at a speed greater than “slow/no wake” within 100 feet of an anchored or moored vessel, shoreline, dock, pier or persons engaged in angling or any other manually powered vessel.
- Driving or parking vehicles on food or cover plots and strips.
- Blocking the entrance to roads and trails.
- Operation of licensed motorized vehicles (LMVs) legal for highway use, including motorcycles, off of designated roads as indicated on WMA maps.
- Operation of ATVs or UTVs off of designated, marked ATV or ATV/UTV trails, EXCEPT that those UTVs in which the manufacturer’s specifications do not exceed the weight, length, width, and tire restrictions for ATVs are allowed on ATV trails, and EXCEPT when WMA roads are closed to LMVs. ATVs and/or UTVs may then be operated on those roads when allowed. NOTE: Only ATV and UTV trails marked with signs and/or paint, AND depicted on WMA maps are open for use.
- Operation of electric bicycles off of designated roads and ATV/UTV trails as indicated on WMA maps.
- Leaving of ATVs and motorcycles overnight on WMAs, EXCEPT on designated camping areas.
- Use of ATVs/UTVs from two hours after sunset to 4 a.m., EXCEPT raccoon hunters may use ATVs during nighttime raccoon take seasons only.
- Use of ATVs/UTVs from March 1 - Aug. 31 EXCEPT squirrel hunters are allowed to use ATV trails during the spring squirrel season on certain WMAs, and EXCEPT certain trails may be open during this time period to provide access for fishing or other purposes, and EXCEPT allowed on Year-Round ATV/UTV Trails.
- Operation of internal combustion powered vessels within designated Limited Access Areas (LAAs) prohibited during the months of September through January. Trolling motors may be used to access and navigate within LAAs. A trolling motor is defined as a self-contained unit that includes a completely submerged electric motor at the end of the shaft, propeller and controls, and is affixed to a vessel, either at the bow or stern. Vehicles prohibited November through January. LAAs are on Atchafalaya Delta, Boeuf, Dewey W. Wills, Joyce, Manchac, Pass-A-Loutre, Pointe-Aux-Chenes and Russell Sage WMAs. See WMA maps for specific locations.
- Operation of vessels beyond bare steerage speed (the slowest speed a vessel can travel while maintaining directional control) in no wake zones.
Physically Challenged ATV/UTV Permits and ATV/UTV Trails
Use of special ATV/UTV trails for physically challenged persons is restricted to ATV/UTV physically challenged permittees. Physically challenged ATV/UTV permittees are restricted to physically challenged ATV/UTV trails or other ATV/UTV trails only as indicated on WMA maps or as marked by sign and or paint. Persons 60 years of age or older, with proof of age, are also allowed to use physically challenged trails and need not obtain a permit. However, these persons must abide by all rules in place for these trails. Physically challenged persons under the age of 60 must apply for and obtain a Physically Challenged Hunter Program Permit from LDWF.
Retrieval of Game with ATVs
- Hunters are allowed to retrieve their own downed deer and hogs with the aid of an ATV or electric bicycle, EXCEPT on Atchafalaya Delta, Biloxi, Lake Boeuf, Pass-a-Loutre, Pointe-aux-Chenes, Salvador/Timken, Sherburne, and Thistlethwaite WMAs, and the Crusel Tract of Maurepas Swamp WMA and KNF Vernon Unit lands within Fort Polk-Vernon WMA, under the following conditions:
- No firearms or archery equipment is in possession of the retrieval party or on the ATV or electric bicycle.
- The retrieval party may consist of no more than one ATV or electric bicycle and one helper.
- ATVs or electric bicycle may not be used to locate or search for wounded game or for any other purpose than retrieval of deer and hogs once they have been legally harvested and located. -
- UTVs may not be used to retrieve downed deer or hogs.
NOTE: A maximum 20 mph speed limit is recommended for all land vehicles using WMA roads, unless specific signage otherwise allows or restricts.
- UTVs may not be used to retrieve downed deer or hogs.
- All use of dogs on WMAs, EXCEPT for bird hunting and duck hunting, is EXPERIMENTAL as required by law. Having or using dogs on any WMA is prohibited EXCEPT for nighttime experimental raccoon hunting, squirrel hunting, rabbit hunting, bird hunting, duck hunting, hog hunting and bird dog training when allowed (see individual WMA seasons listings for WMAs that allow dogs).
- Dogs running at large are prohibited on WMAs. The owner or handler of said dogs shall be liable.
- Only recognizable breeds of bird dogs and retrievers are allowed for quail and migratory bird hunting. Only beagle hounds which do not exceed 15 inches at the front shoulders and which have recognizable characteristics of the breed may be used on WMAs having experimental rabbit seasons.
- A leashed dog may be used to retrieve wounded or un-recovered deer during legal hunting hours. Any leashed dog used to trail or retrieve wounded or un-recovered deer shall have on a collar with the owner’s name, address and phone number. In addition, a dog may be used to trail and retrieve un-recovered deer after legal hunting hours; however, no person accompanying a dog after legal hunting hours may carry a firearm of any sort.