Hunting in Louisiana

Last Updated: 14th May 2023

Hunting in Louisiana is known for its rich diversity of game and scenic landscapes. The Sportsman’s Paradise is proud of having long hunting seasons to provide hunters ample opportunities to hunt their desired species.

But hold your horses before packing your gear! Some of the top hunting lands in the state are privately owned, offering an exclusive chance to bag some game. But remember, you’ll need permission or a lease to access these prime hunting spots.

Ready to dive into the wonders of Hunting in Louisiana? This article will provide you with everything to know about the hunting opportunities in the State.

Let’s get started!

Hunting Seasons in Louisiana

In Louisiana, hunting seasons are indeed generously long, providing ample opportunities for hunters to engage with the great outdoors and pursue a variety of game species.

Here’s a general overview of some of the main hunting seasons:

Deer HuntingArchery: Mid-September to mid-February
Muzzleloader: Early October to late January
Firearm: Mid-October to late January
Alligator HuntingEastern Part: Last Wednesday of August (for 60 days)
Western Part: First Wednesday of September (for 60 days)
Wild Turkey HuntingSpring Season: Throughout April
Upland Game HuntingCrow: Early September to early January
Quail: Mid-November to late February
Small Game HuntingRabbit and Squirrel: Early October to late February
Squirrel-Extended: Early to late May
Raccoon, Opossum, Bobcat: Year-Round
Remember, these hunting seasons might change yearly. Always check the current year’s hunting regulations and season dates on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) website before heading afield.

This vibrant state is chock-full of hunting adventures that will thrill your senses and satisfy your wild side. Let’s take a walk on the wild side and discover some of the most popular hunts in the Louisiana wilderness.

Deer Hunting

Louisiana is a haven for deer hunters with its vast forests, marshes, and wildlife management areas. The state’s white-tailed deer population is healthy and thriving, making it a prime location for hunters like you who have the whitetail in their sights.

The primary deer species in Louisiana is the white-tailed deer. These beautiful animals are known for their speed, agility, and adaptability to inhabit various habitats. Hence, these species can be found in forests, wetlands, and agricultural areas.

What makes Louisiana deer hunting fun is its generous bag limit. Hunters can take up to six deer per season, but no more than three can be antlered, and no more than four can be antlerless. However, depending on deer population data, the LDWF may change these limits from season to season, so always check the current regulations.

Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl hunting in Louisiana is something every waterfowl enthusiast should experience. The state’s abundant wetlands, marshes, and flooded timberlands create a winter haven for ducks and geese. This diverse range of waterfowl includes mallards, pintails, teal, and gadwalls, to name just a few.

Louisiana offers both public and private land hunting opportunities. The state has several Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) open to public hunting.

All waterfowl hunters 16 years and older must have a hunting license, a Louisiana Duck License, a Federal Duck Stamp, and a HIP certification. So ensure you obtain all these before you chase these exciting species down.

Wild Turkey Hunting

When the gobble of a wild turkey echoes through the air, then the journey is on. Louisiana is the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers looking to experience the excitement of turkey hunting.

The state is home to the Eastern wild turkey, the most widespread species in North America. And these species can be found in various habitats like mature hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood forests.

The spring season is the prime time for Louisiana turkey hunting, and each hunter can bag one gobbler (male turkey) per day and two per season. Note: you can’t hunt turkeys with dogs, and baiting is a no-no too. It’s you against the turkey, mano a mano.

Alligator Hunting

With the state’s extensive marshlands and bayous, Louisiana is well-known as prime habitat for American alligators, providing unique and thrilling hunting opportunities.

Alligator hunting in Louisiana is a bit different from hunting other game species. It involves setting baited hooks or lines in locations frequented by alligators, then checking those lines later to see if an alligator has been caught. Once an alligator is on a line, it can be dispatched using a firearm or a bangstick.

Exciting, right? But remember that this hunt is regulated through a tag system. So if you’re interested in participating in this hunt, make sure you apply before the deadline ends.

Top Hunting Destinations in Louisiana

This state is a hunter’s paradise, with countless prime locations that cater to every level of expertise. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, Louisiana has something to offer you.

Here are the top Louisiana hunting destinations where you can hunt your heart out:

Atchafalaya Basin

The Atchafalaya Basin is an enormous wetland and swamp covering over 800,000 acres, making it the biggest in the United States.

This expansive wilderness is home to abundant wildlife, including deer, small game, waterfowl, and even alligators. The swamp has a magical quality, with Spanish moss draped from the trees and the sounds of animals reverberating throughout.

For deer hunting, the Atchafalaya Basin Wildlife Management Area has a designated “Either-Sex” hunting period during which both bucks and does can be hunted.

Kisatchie National Forest

As the only national forest in Louisiana, Kisatchie is a gem spanning over 600,000 acres. Its diverse terrain of piney woods, hills, and unique sandstone bluffs is a haven for deer, turkey, and small game. The solitude and serenity might make this your favorite hunting retreat.

Regulations here are a bit specific. For deer hunting, both archery and firearms are allowed, but there are antler restrictions during certain periods.
Turkey hunting is allowed only in the spring, where hunters can bag one gobbler per day and two per season.

Meanwhile, small game hunting follows the state guidelines.

Sherburne WMA

This WMA is part of the Atchafalaya Basin. Its 44,000 acres of bottomland hardwoods, cypress-tupelo swamp, and open water provide the perfect environment for deer, waterfowl, and small game. It’s a hotspot for duck hunters, especially thanks to its plentiful flooded timber and marshes.

Regulations in Sherburne WMA mirror those of the larger Atchafalaya Basin, but there’s an additional requirement for hunters to complete a self-clearing permit that’s available at each WMA entrance. This permit ensures wildlife managers can track the number and type of game harvested.

Private Land Hunting

While public lands are teeming with opportunities, hunting on private lands in Louisiana adds an extra dash of thrill and serenity to your hunting journey.

Private land hunting often means less pressure on your desired game species, resulting in a more relaxed hunting experience and potentially larger and more abundant wildlife.

But remember, hunting on private lands needs more effort compared to when on public land. And in Louisiana, there are several routes you can take to hunt on private property.

  1. Lease Property: Some landowners lease their lands for hunting. These leases can be for a day, a season, or even a year, and prices vary based on the size of the property and the game available.
  2. Hunting Club or Organization: Another way is through clubs or organizations that lease large tracts of land and then offer memberships to hunters. Being part of a hunting club not only gives you access to prime hunting grounds but also connects you with a community of hunters.
  3. Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP): This program allows private landowners to manage deer populations on their property more effectively, often leading to healthier deer and better hunting opportunities.

Remember, with great hunting comes great responsibility. Respect the land you’re hunting on. Leave no trace. Follow all state regulations, and adhere to any additional rules set by the landowner or club. Private land hunting is a privilege, not a right.

Hunting License and Permit

License Types

First and foremost, before you head out into the field, you’ll need to get a hunting license. Louisiana offers different licenses based on the hunter’s age, residency status, and the type of game to be hunted.

Remember that hunters born after September 1, 1969, must complete a Hunter Education Course to purchase a hunting license.

Adult Hunting1-Year Hunting: $20.005-Day Hunting: $65.00
10-Day Hunting:
1-Year Hunting:
Youth Hunting$5.00$5.00
Senior Hunting$20.00N/A

Permit Types

Aside from a hunting license, the LDWF also requires hunters to obtain the necessary permit to hunt their desired species. These permits are instrumental for wildlife managers to boost conservation funding and monitor the estimated hunters for each species.

Deer Hunting1-Year Hunting: $15.005-Day Hunting: $35.00
10-Day Hunting:
1-Year Hunting:
Turkey Hunting1-Year Hunting: $12.005-Day Hunting: $35.00
10-Day Hunting:
1-Year Hunting:
Alligator Hunting$150.00$300.00
Waterfowl Hunting1-Year Hunting: $12.005-Day Hunting: $35.00
10-Day Hunting:
1-Year Hunting:
Federal Duck Stamp$27.72$27.72

Hunter Orange Requirements

For safety reasons, it is required that all individuals, including hunters and their companions, wear either a Hunter Orange or “Blaze Pink” hat or cap, as well as a Hunter Orange or “Blaze Pink” outer garment above the waist that covers at least 400 square inches, during any open gun season for deer on both public and private lands.

The Hunter Orange or “Blaze Pink” clothing must be solid in color and can’t be a camouflage pattern.


Well, now that you finished this guide, it might be clear to you now why this state is called a Sportsman’s Paradise. It boasts a selection of game species to hunt and vast hunting lands to enjoy nature while chasing your desired hunt.

But before heading afield, make sure you’re familiar with the sustainable hunting practice by learning the fact and fiction of hunting. Remember, always hunt responsibly!