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STAND HUNTING

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This was an article in the Daily Comet, the Lafourche Parish paper.

LOCKPORT - Grousing by long-time hunters of central Lafourche marshes about a new state law that bans shooting deer from permanent stands that dot state wilderness areas has drawn the attention of several local officials, leaving open the possibility of a move toward repeal.

But supporters of the law, who say they have been bullied out of marshlands by deer hunters who claim shooting rights over vast areas from the contested perches, are digging in their heels and lobbying legislators to stay the course.

Joe Eskind, an avid sportsman who owns a Houma outboard repair business, is among those who say a ban on hunting from permanent deer stands is appropriate and necessary.

“I think it is important to do away with these huge deer stands,” Eskind said. “It intimidates other people from hunting close to them because they are so high up. People in the past they chased you away. They claim ownership because the deer stand has been there so long.”

A long-standing statute already banned construction of permanent deer stands on state property. But over the years hunters built them regardless, particularly in areas near Lake Long, a sportsman’s paradise of bountiful fishing chock-a-block with various species of waterfowl and deer.

There was no law banning hunting from the stands, and sportsmen have taken to using them over the years whether they built them or not. That’s where the conflict arose, between those users and other deer hunters who say they have been run off, as well as duck hunters who say the high stands endanger them.

The ban on use of the existing stands – or those hunters might illegally build in the future – does not affect use of single-person stands that can be put up at the beginning of a hunting day and then removed.

The Lake Long stands, however, have been described by one wildlife enforcement agent as “hotels” 20 feet above the marsh that have long been the cause of disputes.

Last week, State Sen. Reggie Dupre D-Houma, said he would look into complaints from Lafourche hunters that the ban on stand-hunting destroys a long-standing tradition and heritage. The portable stands are not suitable for use on the waterlogged trembling prairies that dominate the area, they complain.

Dupre did not take sides on the issue, but said he would research it, and suggested that state leases of land or stands might be one solution.

That resulted in a flurry of phone calls from Eskind and other hunters, many from the Houma area, who thought the stand issue was resolved.

Another area lawmaker, Rep. Loulan Pitre, R-Cut Off, said he is also researching the matter.

But Lafourche Parish Council member Phillip Gouaux II said he favors the stands and plans to meet with lawmakers to have the new law amended or stricken.

“In the past there have been some problems, but I for one have utilized a stand that was pre-existing. The stands have wooden latches on the doors that would allow anybody who chooses to get on it. I understand both sides,” Gouaux said. “But on the safety side it is a heck of a lot safer to have people hunting out of fixed stands.

David Colvin, a Houma truck driver who hunts the Lake Long area, disagrees.

“I have four kids of my own. We hunt and fish all winter back there and it is getting ridiculous,” Colvin said. “When you slip into a spot most of the time you get run out or threatened. If you want a stand, all you have to do is climb a tree and sit in the fork and there’s your wide-open marsh.”

Chad Theriot, a shipbuilder who is campaigning for continued use of the stands, said he is aware that there have been disputes in the past. But law enforcement should deal with people who claim state land as their own, and the state shouldn’t eliminate a tradition he says is dear to his heart and his family.

“This is our heritage,” Theriot said. “We don’t keep anyone out of the marsh. People come and hunt from all over, from Houma, from everywhere. We welcome anyone who wants to come here and hunt.”

Eskind and other hunters, meanwhile, say the stands are not their only concern. They would also like to see the use of high-powered rifles by deer hunters eliminated because they pose a danger to people in the area.
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Easy answer...
Burn em!
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Heritage to be stupid
If you want to have a nice stand and control all the area around it, buy the land. Public land is for the all the public, first come first serve.
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burn em
there is no place for permanent stands on public land. The law is as it is to keep the playing field level for all of us.
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PUblic?
what section are yall refering to as public. i thought just the lake itself was public. I know the land between the lake and the intercoastal is under private ownership. and the north was leased out to a club.
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Please explain
Why should there be a long standing tradition of private use on public property?
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state land near lake long
there is a lot of state property in that area that you can deer hunt.......some between the lake long and the intercoastal and across the company canal....if you want to find out the true boundarys....go to the "sonris" web site and go to minerals leases....the boundarys will show up shaded in yellow......you will be suprized what you will find in state land that you can hunt.......i personally dont hunt back there because of all that bull.S**t...time to put an end to all that "claim your stake" crapp..!!
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Public land
I live pretty close and was out looking around that area last year. Ran into a hunter coming out of there and asked him if he knew where the state lands were. Could have gotten a better answer if I had asked him how to get to the moon. He wouldn't give any help at all which I would assume he feels it is his private area. What office can you go to to see a good map of state land sections?
I have mixed feelings on the stand rules. I guess it boils down to everyone has to pay for the greed of a few, I can see some of these guys getting very upset if you were in "THEIR" stand when they get there regardless of the first come guidelines. I'm sure some had shooting lanes cut and mashed in front of "THEIR" stands. I guess the only solution is to tear them all down and actually patrol it a little to make sure new ones don't get re-erected. I sure don't like the idea of toting a ladder or tripod thru the marsh for 1/4 mile. But I guess this is the only way to keep it fair. Have to wait and see what our officials decide. Ricky
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Took a lot of work but public land is for all of us RS 41:15
This issue was addressed several times over the recent years and in 2005 a change was made and signed into law that prohibits building these stands, I believe it was signed via ACT 259. In 2006 another change was made and signed into law to HB 1229, ACT 842 that prohibits building and hunting from these stands. It also allows LDWF to enforce the violations. This year the final vote pass the house with a vote of 103 yea's, 0 nay's, 1 absent and the senate 36 yea's, 0 nay's and 3 absent. I would hope this is a dead issue and also hope the law is enforce. Below is the RS code as it stands today.

RS 41:15

Hunting on state land; restrictions
A. No person shall construct or hunt from a permanent stand on state land. A permanent stand is a stand that is either a non-portable, freestanding structure or a stand that uses nails, screws, spikes, or other means to attach to a tree and which is not designed to be hand carried by one person nor to be removed daily. Any permanent stand may be removed and destroyed.
B. A portable stand may not be left on state lands unless the stand is removed from the tree or left in a non-hunting position. Each portable stand shall be legibly tagged with the owner's name, address, and phone number.
C. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to land under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. The use of such land shall be regulated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in accordance with the provisions of Title 56 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission may promulgate rules and regulations under the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act for the implementation of the provisions of this Section.
D. Violation of any provision of this Section or rules adopted pursuant to this Section shall constitute a class two violation punishable as provided in R.S. 56:32.
Acts 2005, No. 259, §1; Acts 2006, No. 842, §1.

Have a good day !!
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