When Is It Open Season For Squirrel Hunting in Louisiana?
If you’re thinking about taking a trip to the Kisatchie National Forest to go squirrel hunting this Spring, here’s some information to help you decide when it’s best to head there. There are many important things to consider, including bag limits, seasons, and where to find them. Read on to learn more! And remember to follow the rules! There are several major changes this year, so make sure to read the rules and regulations before heading out to the woods.
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In late winter or early spring, squirrel hunting is a great time to practice marksmanship and stalking techniques. Squirrels can be found almost anywhere that turkey and deer are. They make excellent scouting prey. Look for old deer rut rubs, which may indicate a buck’s travel route, and fresh turkey scratchings, which might point to good turkey hunting locations for the coming year. Hound hunters also take advantage of spring squirrel hunting to keep their older dogs sharp and ready for the fall squirrel season.
Squirrel hunting has been a tradition for Cajun communities for centuries. Cajuns are descended from Catholic French-speaking Catholics who were expelled from Acadia, a former French colony in Nova Scotia. In the 1760s, the families left Acadia for Louisiana. With little else to live on, they had to rely on the abundance of wildlife and other wildlife to survive. Luckily, squirrels, other wild game, and ducks provided them with food and fuel.
Kisatchie National Forest
The state’s wildlife and fisheries commission has approved a notice of intent for spring squirrel hunting. The season runs from May 2nd to May 24th this year, and is closed for National Wildlife Refuges, Corps of Engineers land, and Kisatchie National Forest. The season is open for gray and fox squirrels, and trapping is allowed if you meet certain criteria.
The KNF will open its season on the Saturday before the statewide season starts, which is Good Friday. The season is open for three days. You will find a wide variety of game on the KNF, including rabbits, squirrels, quail, and migratory game birds. The Vernon Unit lands are open for spring squirrel hunting. The Fort Polk-Vernon WMA has restrictions for hunting waterfowl, and the season ends at 2 p.m.
Parishes open for squirrel hunting
The State of Louisiana has many pristine, natural areas that are open to squirrel hunting. These include Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Sherburne WMA, and the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge. Other areas open to the public include Dewey Wills WMA, Catahoula Parish, and LaSalle Parish. The seasonal bag limit is eight squirrels per day and the total possession limit is twenty-four. While the seasons are seasonal, Louisiana hunters are allowed to hunt squirrels from powerboats, paddleboats, and poled boats.
Squirrel hunting in rural areas is a rite of passage. In Ville Platte, 75 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, the locals celebrate Squirrel Day by leaving their homes on Squirrel Day to go squirrel hunting. The city’s population of 7,500 people, a mix of Cajun and French-speaking backgrounds, moves their football games to Thursdays in honor of the season.
There are no bag limits for hunting squirrels in Louisiana, but there are many things to consider before going out for a hunt. You can learn all about bag limits by attending a Squirrel Hunting 101 seminar hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Instructor Michael Dufour has been hunting squirrels for almost 20 years and says you don’t need specialized firearms or expensive equipment to bag the arboreal rodents. It’s also easier than you might think!
To begin, you need a basic hunting license. Then, pack bug spray, water, and a knife. Dufour suggests hunting the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area near the Atchafalaya River and the East Protection Guide Levee. Those who want to take their squirrel hunting experience to the next level should visit Louisiana’s 2.6 million-acre state-owned public lands. Bag limits for squirrel hunting in Louisiana are four per licensed hunter, but if you want to take in more than that, you’re required to pay a fine of up to $500. You can also be fined $50 or 15 days in jail for hunting squirrels without a basic hunting license.
There are specific hunting seasons for squirrels in Louisiana. These are controlled by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Hunting regulations and hunting permits are available online. Generally, the state’s regulations prohibit taking more than eight squirrels per day. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also has information about specific seasons for squirrel hunting on certain wildlife management areas (WMAs).
Small game is generally closed during the winter and spring seasons. However, beagles and dogs are allowed for rabbit and squirrel hunting. The training of dogs is permitted from June 1 to August 31. However, you must be under the age of 16 to hunt these animals. The last day of the season for squirrel hunting in Louisiana is November 30. The hunting seasons for all other wildlife in the state are the same. The exceptions are the dates and times when small game hunting is prohibited.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.