Mornings here in Louisiana have gotten a tad cooler, hinting at winter's return in the coming weeks. And with that, every deer hunter here in Area 2 of Northwest Louisiana has "visions of old Bullwinkle dancing in their heads."

Course, archers got to kick things off for deer season back on October 1. And beginning this past Saturday, October 9, it was youth and Veterans' turn as their special week continues through this Friday, October 15.

However, coming the week of October 23 through October 29, those wishing to step back in time will be afforded a full week of deer hunting with primitive weapons.

Once upon a time here in Louisiana, primitive weapons had to be traditional muzzleloaders like the old Flintlocks featured in the photo above.  However, those regulations changed a number of years ago to include a number of more modern style firearms.

That leaves a lot of hunters somewhat in the dark, scratching their heads and wondering, so exactly what firearms are legal for primitive weapons hunting.

So, What's Legal?

According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, it's legal to hunt with any of the following:

  • Rifles or pistols, .44 caliber minimum, or shotguns 10 gauge or smaller, all of which must load exclusively from the muzzle, use black powder or approved substitute only, take ball, shot, or bullet projectile only, including saboted bullets. All of the above may be fitted with magnified scopes.
  • Single shot, breech loading rifles or single shot, breech loading pistols, .35 caliber or larger, having an exposed hammer that use metallic cartridges loaded either with black powder or modern smokeless powder. All of the above may be fitted with magnified scopes.
  • Single shot, breech loading shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller, having an exposed hammer, loaded with buckshot or slug.


  • Youths 17 or younger may hunt deer with any legal weapon during the Primitive Firearms Season in each deer hunting area.  Either-sex deer may be taken in all areas open for deer hunting EXCEPT when a Bucks Only season is in progress. In such cases, hunters must conform to the bucks only regulations.

I've been asked by a number of fellow hunters if their lever action .35 Whelen was legal. Nope!  But the single shot .35 Whelen is probably one of the most popular firearms in the state.

Just remember when it comes to a rifle, it must be single shot and breach loaded and a minimum of .35 caliber.

And lots of people aren't aware they can hunt with their shotgun, but they're completely legal, as long as it too, is single shot, breach loaded and 10 gauge or smaller.

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