We are here at the end of August and the hunting season will start this Saturday the 3rd of September, with the opening day of the pigeon season.
With that in mind, if you plan to spend the coming fall and winter hunting in Louisiana, time is short for a number of last-minute things to take care of.
If this isn’t your first season, you probably know most of what I’m about to write. However, even for experienced hunters, this can serve as a pretty useful checklist.
For those who have never enjoyed a fall hunting season here at Sportsman’s Paradise, this could serve as an invaluable resource for those items to check off your list.
Decide what you plan to hunt
Before you can begin the process of preparing for the season, you need to ask yourself what you plan to hunt.
- All previous
Each of these species requires unique preparation regarding licensing requirements, the type of weapon and ammunition you will be using, the geographic needs to successfully find your prey, and any specialized clothing or accessories you may need.
Get your hunting license
Getting your Louisiana hunting license couldn’t be easier. While you can purchase all the necessary licenses at many retail and sporting goods stores, they can also be purchased online at wlf.louisiana.gov and all information, including deer and turkey tags, can be transferred directly to your LA Wallet at your cellphone.
As I mentioned earlier, you need to know what you will be hunting and have a good idea of where you will be hunting. If you plan to hunt doves or ducks in Louisiana, along with your basic hunting license, you will need your Louisiana federal and state duck stamps and you will need HIP certification. (HIP certification is FREE, but you MUST apply to hunt migratory game birds in Louisiana)
If you plan to hunt deer, you need your basic hunting license and your big game hunting license.
If you only plan to hunt squirrels BUT plan to do so in one of our many Wildlife Management Areas, you will need your basic hunting license, but you will also need the WMA permit.
Secure your ammo
Twenty years ago, this suggestion probably wouldn’t even have been a footnote on a checklist like this one. However, this has become one of the biggest obstacles for many hunters in recent years.
If you didn’t have much ammo left over from last year, you’ll want to start that search now. And don’t limit yourself to an online search, go out and find an ammo dealer that comes to mind. From sporting goods stores to retail stores or even pawn shops, someone should have it or can order it for you, but don’t expect too much.
Look in your deer rifle/Fire your bow/Fire the shotgun
Just because Old Bessie, your trusty 30-06, was dead at the end of last season, doesn’t mean it’s still dead this year. She takes the time to get her to look right so she can make that ethical and lethal shot when the time comes.
Archers must put in time every week between now and the start of the shooting season. Practice makes perfect, and the expectation a hunter should have of himself is perfect and ethical performance.
Bird hunters may want to spend some time shooting clay to retrain the eye. Now is also a good time to experiment with different case manufacturers, load sizes, and so on, to see if you’ve been missing out on a better product.
check your accessories
- Duck hunters will want to examine the shutter for any needed repairs and start brushing it back. Check your waders and repair any holes. Do some of your lures need to be thrown out or given a new coat of paint? Do any of your call reeds need to be replaced? Is the shotgun ready for another long and wet season? If not, it’s time to send it to the gunsmith or consider buying a new one.
- Deer hunters hunting on private land will want to start hoarding driveways and preparing food plots. Bush hog, disk and plant. Check deer stands for safety issues. Replace anything that could cause injury; stairs, steps, ground. I also want to make sure they are free of wasps and snakes. Put fresh batteries in your corn feeder and check for any repairs needed. Fill them up and keep an eye on them for any problems. Turn off game cameras and monitor preseason movement.
- All hunters should stock up on Thermacell supplies. Early season mosquitoes can ruin a trip faster than anything else. You may also want to make sure your Mr. Buddy heater is still in good condition and that you have enough propane bottles on hand for those cold winter mornings. Check all your boots and clothing; especially cold and rain gear. Nothing ends a trip faster than cold and wet.
While I’m sure there are hundreds of other suggestions that could have made this list, this should have set you up. Just be careful and hopefully you’ll take a child with you so he can pass on a love of the outdoors.
WMA and Public Game Reserves in Northwest Louisiana
Northwest Louisiana is home to several public game preserves, and surprisingly, some of these areas are conveniently located and rarely used. Look what we have found.
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