Baton Rouge, LA (KPEL News) - Louisiana hunters can add black bear season to their calendars. The Louisiana Wildlife Commission will receive public comment for 90 days, but has otherwise approved times and locations for hunting one of the state's largest mammals. Make sure you know all the rules and are prepared to head out.

Commission members heard from Louisiana's large carnivore expert in October about the current bear population and how much it has grown in recent years. Bears have become a nuisance to farmers and foresters, and hunting can help keep the numbers manageable.

Louisiana Black Bear
Trail Cam pic via Southern Boys Outdoors Facebook

What Exactly Did the Wildlife Commission Approve?

Members specifically defined when, where, and even how hunters can participate in bear season.

Who Can Hunt?

They didn't approve a wide open season, and anyone hunting bear must have a tag, similar to the way alligator season is managed. Also, the limit is ONE bear per season.

Bear hunter training will be mandatory for anyone who applies for a tag or to whom a tag is transferred.

When Can We Hunt?

The first season won't be until December 2024. It will run for roughly two weeks, from the first Saturday in December until the Sunday following the third Saturday in December.

How Can We Hunt?

First, hunters will not be able to use dogs when hunting bear.

Second, the method used to harvest the bears is specified in the Louisiana Wildlife Commission's Notice of Intent and reads:

Methods of take:  Firearms .25 caliber or larger, muzzle loading rifles or pistols, .44 caliber or larger, or shotguns 10 gauge and smaller slugs only, all of which must load exclusively from the muzzle, use black powder or approved substitute only, take ball or bullet projectile only, including saboted bullets.  All of the above may be fitted with magnified scopes. Legal gear for archery includes traditional bow, compound bow, crossbow or any bow drawn, held or released by mechanical means and at least having a draw weight of 30 pounds. 

As mandated during other hunting seasons, hunters must wear hunter orange or blaze pink on their head, chest or back.

Where Can We Hunt?

Bear hunting will only be allowed in what the commission has designated as Bear Area 4 that includes:

  • East Carroll Parish
  • Madison Parish
  • Tensas Parish
  • West Carroll Parish
  • Portions of Catahoula Parish
  • Portions of Franklin Parish
  • Portions of Richland Parish

Seven bear areas are defined in the notice of intent, but hunting will only be allowed in area 4.

Which Bears Are Legal to Harvest?

All Louisiana Black Bear with the exception of cubs and females with cubs. The document defines a cub as any bear that weighs 75 pounds or less.

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