Hard to believe it, but tomorrow is the start of hunting season, and this year we'll see one big change for dove hunters.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website shows that season will begin on September 2 and if you plan to dove hunt on a Louisiana Wildlife Management Area or any of the LDWF leased dove fields this season, there's a new regulation from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that's probably going to force you to buy new ammo.

No longer in these areas will it be acceptable to use lead shot.  Just like the restriction we received for hunting ducks a number of years ago, we'll now have to use "non-toxic shot", size 6 and smaller for dove hunting.

From what I can tell, this does NOT apply to private land; only to those outlined areas. WMA's and LDWF leased dove fields.

In a notice we read on the LDWF website we read:

 

The change is intended to reduce the deposition of lead shot and potential effects of lead on wildlife. Current research has demonstrated that in dove fields and areas surrounding dove fields, deposition of lead is high and concentration of lead is elevated in the soil.

The regulation was proposed and adopted in order to mitigate the potential exposure of lead to wildlife in areas impacted by this activity. Go to the LDWF web site at wlf.louisiana.gov to see the 2017-18 hunting rules and regulations.

For more information, contact Steve Smith at ssmith@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2359.