The decision has no effect on the current hunting season, but will be implemented during the 2011-2012 season.
The Kisatchie National Forest and the Southern Region conducted an in-depth environmental analysis and reviewed more than 1,200 public comments before issuing the decision.
Comments included concerns about this activity’s effects on public safety, impacts on adjacent private lands and the potential loss of this type of hunting opportunity.
“This decision addresses the need to reduce safety concerns by limiting conflicts between dog-deer hunters, other forest users and adjacent landowners,” said Liz Agpaoa, Regional Forester for the Southern Region.
“Through the analysis we have determined that dog-deer hunting is no longer appropriate on the Kisatchie National Forest.”
Currently, the Kisatchie National Forest is the only public land within Louisiana with a wildlife management mandate where dog-deer hunting is allowed.
Conflicts occur between users when deer-hunting dogs range beyond the control of hunters and trespass onto private land.
Over the last several years, adjacent landowners and other forest users have expressed concerns to the Forest Service on issues ranging from livestock harassment, personal confrontations, shooting from and across roads and road damage from the influx of dog-deer hunters.
“We will continue to work with the State of Louisiana to implement this decision,” Agpaoa said.
Other forms of hunting, including deer hunting without dogs, will continue as a primary activity on the forest.
The decision allows for administrative appeal. For more information about this decision, please visit the Kisatchie National Forest website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/kisatchie.