The black bear is an iconic symbol of Louisiana. For years the species has been protected as an endangered species in the state. But now, the population of the animals has grown to such a large number that hunting could soon be allowed on a limited basis in Louisiana within the coming weeks.

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Back in November, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife issued a notice of intent that they would allow up to 10 black bears to be harvested in the state this winter. To hunt the black bear in Louisiana a hunter would be required to get a permit. Permitting would be done via lottery. Those licensed hunters who win a lottery position would then have to take a bear hunter training course.

What Are the Restrictions for Hunting Black Bears in Louisiana?

The Department of Wildlife would also impose some very strict restrictions on what kind of black bear could be harvested during this special "bear season". The harvesting of female bears or cubs would be prohibited. Bears under 75 pounds would also be a prohibited target.

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There will also be geographic restrictions should this hunting season get final approval from the Department of Wildlife. Hunting for black bears would only be allowed in Tensas, Madison, West Carroll, and East Carroll Parishes. There would also be bear hunting allowed in portions of Richland, Franklin, and Catahoula Parishes.

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When Will Public Hearings on the Proposed Black Bear Season Take Place?

As of now, Louisiana's black bear season has not been officially approved by LDWF. There will be public hearings on the proposal. Here is when and where those hearings are scheduled over the next few weeks.

  • Jan. 16, 2024, at 6 p.m. at the LSU Ag Center, 4531 Louisiana Highway 605 in St. Joseph;
  • Jan. 18, 2024, at 6 p.m. at the West Monroe Convention Center, 901 Ridge Ave., West Monroe;
  • Jan. 23, 2024, at 6 p.m. at the Black Bear Golf Course Conference Center, 253 Black Bear Dr., Delhi.

You may also make comments on the proposed hunting season by contacting John Hanks at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife's Large Carnivore Program. The phone number is 318-343-8325. Public comment on the proposed season will be accepted through February 5th.

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells

 

 

 

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