A lot of people know Lousiana for its alligators, long streamers of Spanish Moss, Palmetto Bugs, and cajun cooking. What they don’t know is that Louisiana is very quietly one of the nation’s top spots for duck hunting.
Ducks are waterfowl, and waterfowl, as their name implies, love water. Louisiana is nothing if filled with water and a tolerable atmosphere for migrating ducks in the winter months. Did we mention the food? You’ll want to hunt duck in Louisiana just for the food.
Fortunately, ducks are delicious too, and you will find a ton of hot spots throughout the state, from the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico to the top of Louisiana’s boot. Louisiana, thanks to the Mississippi River, the Gulf Coast, and many coastal zone areas creates a wetland haven for ducks and waterfowl of all kinds.
Louisiana Duck Hunting
For waterfowl hunting, Louisiana divides the state in half, with an “East Zone” that encompasses the eastern half of the boot along with the upper half of the southern portion of the state.
The “West Zone” takes the western half of the state and wraps underneath the East Zone, encompassing the entire Gulf Coast.
In the East, Teal season starts in the first half of September and ends after two weeks have passed.
The regular season for ducks, coots, and mergansers opens mid-November to the first few days of December and again in mid-December, closing for good in late January. Youth hunters usually get a week’s head start and an extra week at the end of the season.
Teal opens up earlier in the year in the West zone, usually around mid-September, and runs for a couple of weeks. Ducks, coots, and mergansers kicks off mid-November to the first week of December.
It Picks back up again after the second week of December and runs through the first week of January. Youth hunting in the West gets an extra week before and after, just like they do in the East.
Where to Hunt
In Louisiana, successfully hunting ducks means successfully finding water. Most people in Louisiana can walk out their front doors and find a body of water within walking distance. Louisiana is also known for having a terrific number of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).
The Pearl River Wildlife Management Area is a great place for duck hunting, and it’s only 30 minutes or so outside of New Orleans. There’s a lot of saltwater in the southern region of Louisiana as well, which makes the Atchafalaya Delta WMA an excellent choice, even if you can’t pronounce it.
The Ouachita WMA and the Boeuf WMA are highly recommended by the stars of Duck Dynasty, and they probably know what they are talking about. The Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot as well. The truth is, you’ll be hard-pressed to not find a great place to hunt ducks throughout the entire state.
What Ducks can you Shoot
Teal is listed all on its own, and if you’re new to duck hunting, it’s the bird that technically kicks off duck hunting season in Louisiana. Teals are one of the smallest of the duck species, and they are soon followed by an open season on all the rest.
- Wood ducks
- Mottled duck
- Black duck
On the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries site, Teal is listed first with a 6/day bag limit and 18 possession. When it comes to all the rest, the bag limit is the same, both in terms of per-day bag limits and possession. However, there is a limit on specific ducks that’s different from the daily.
- Mallards – no more than 4 (no more than 2 can be female)
- Wood ducks – no more than 3
- Canvasback – no more than 2
- Redheads – no more than 2
- Mottled duck – no more than 1
- Black duck – no more than 1
- Pintail – no more than 1
- Scaup – no more than 1 each day for the first 15 days in the season (after which, 2 per day is fine)
- Coots – 15 per day
- Mergansers – no more than 5 per day (only a maximum of 2 can be hooded)
Louisiana is one of the hottest states for duck hunting, and every year, the state is flooded with out-of-state hunters coming in to take advantage of all the great hunting spots. For locals who enjoy duck hunting, it’s a slice of their own, personal heaven.
As far as the seasons go, Louisiana is much like other states, with split seasons and extensions for both veterans and youth hunters allowed. They are also similar in their limitations, with more protective measures placed on black ducks, mottled ducks, pintails, and scaups.
Louisiana is one of the best states in the country for duck hunting and other waterfowl as well. If you’re thinking about where to go this hunting season, you couldn’t pick a better place.
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