Louisiana Hunters Face Growing Deer Shortage; Consider Shortening Season
There are more hunters, but fewer deer in Louisiana, according to research from the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. As a result, state officials are considering a hunting season consisting of fewer days or lower season limits.
According to the most recent Deer Harvest Report, more than a quarter million hunters were deer licenses last season, the highest number since the state's "tagging" program was begun six years ago.
But, according to that same study, only 139,900 deer were killed. That's a 16 percent decline from a year ago, when Louisiana hunters took 166,200 deer.
At the turn of the century, hunters were bagging about 250,000 deer a year.
Experts say the reason for the decline is two-fold: Selectivity, or more specifically, old age management, and productivity issues, especially in certain parts of the state.
Wildlife and Fisheries officials say that no clear-cut plan is currently in place, but a decision to attempt to remedy the shortage is coming soon.