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HUNTER’S OF PUBLIC LANDS LIVES MATTER

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It is truly another sad day for those that hunt public lands in Louisiana. Once again, the legislature, with the passage of SB 212 (2015), and the LDWF decision to not honor this new law for those that hunt public lands, has reaffirmed that there is a two tiered system of justice, or a double standard of rights and privileges, for hunters in the State of Louisiana.

Those that hunt on private land (including hunting clubs) get to enjoy this new law that allows them to protect themselves, but once again, those that hunt public lands were left out by the Louisiana legislators, Bobby Jindal, and LDWF administration. Perhaps our legislators, the governor, and the administration of the LDWF, are letting us know that the safety and lives of public land hunters, including those that were attacked by feral hogs in the last few years in the Pearl River WMA, don’t matter.

Bobby Jindal said, 'Louisiana is widely known as the Sportsman's Paradise and that's why we've continuously worked to strengthen and protect the fundamental right to bear arms for all Louisianians,', but that’s misleading, because they’re only working to protect the rights of those that have enough money (influence) to hunt on private lands.

Jindal went on to say, 'This proposed legislation removes unnecessary restrictions on law abiding hunters and will allow them to continue to exercise their second amendment rights while bow hunting in Louisiana.', but that’s not accurate either. This law, which was specifically written for people that have enough money to hunt private lands, does nothing for those that hunt public lands in Louisiana (WMA’s).

In his testimony to the Senate, State Sen. Rick Ward R-Port Allen, said, 'You're out in the woods, whether it be hogs, bears, maybe poachers -- you never really know who you're going to run into.' Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen went on to say, 'Removing certain restrictions on bow hunters will allow our hunters to enjoy the same constitutional protections that we afford every other citizen,', but again, that is not accurate, as this does nothing for hunters of public lands (Louisiana Wildlife Management Areas).

This is merely one more obvious example of the disparity that exists between the rules for those that hunt private lands and those that hunt public lands in Louisiana. Although there are many more examples of the less privileged public hunter, for the sake of this comparative illustration, let’s stay with this “right to bear arms” Jindal spoke of.

Most hunters of private lands in Louisiana utilize box stands, or leaning stands, which typically are left in familiar woods all year long, and employ feeders to attract deer to an open place where they can be shot. Their typical days starts off early with a ride on some sort of ATV to the place where they hunt. After a short walk to the box stand, they settle into comfortable chairs, many with portable heaters warming the air, and wait for a hungry deer to approach looking for food. Therefore, as you can see, there’s usually not a great deal of scouting required to successfully harvest a deer by this group of hunters.

In comparison, hunters of public lands go into the woods months or weeks prior to deer season opening multiple times, walking many miles a day looking for signs of deer in the area. When deer signs are found, public hunters note the area, and hope no one else found it. When deer season opens, they get up many hours before sunrise, and in the dark of the cold night, carry climbing stands on their backs to the spot they found when scouting. If they’re real lucky, and no one else has beat them to “their” spot, they climb the tree with their stand and begin the hunt. At the end of the day, they’re required to climb down and take the stand off the tree. They walk out of the woods (because most are not allowed to use a 4 wheeler or ATV in WMA’s) carrying their “stand” and begin all over again the next morning.

With that brief comparison who would you say needs more protection when they’re '… out in the woods, (from) … hogs, bears, maybe poachers”, because “… you never really know who you're going to run into.'? That’s right, it doesn’t’ take a rocket scientist to quickly figure out the hunter of public lands has increased dangers, and therefore a greater need to carry a firearm with them than do those hunting on private lands.

Which begs the final question, if it’s so obvious that those hunting on public lands would benefit more from the increased protection afforded by the carrying of firearms than those on private lands, why would the Louisiana legislature, Bobby Jindal, and the LDWF all work together to respect only the Second Amendment rights of those hunting on private lands?

Public hunter’s lives matter, or at least they do to other hunters of public lands!

Here’s a solution that would appear to be a win-win for all involved with the application of this new law, that satisfies all concerns.

In the 2016 legislative session, amend the law to read as follows: “Bowhunters may carry any caliber of handgun without scope, with a barrel length not to exceed 7 inches, firearm on their person, while hunting with a bow. 14 R.S. 56:109.

In the meantime, the LDWF can alter the existing 2015-16 restrictions on WMA’s to allow pistols without a scope, of any caliber, with barrel length not to exceed 7 inches.

This solution addresses the concerns regarding discrimination, safety on WMA’s, while removing temptation for bow hunter to use a rifle out of season to shot a deer, all while expanding the 2nd Amendment rights of all hunters in Louisiana.
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Since when do any administrator gives a care for what public land hunters are able to do.they don't hunt WMA or nwr and majority of them don't even hunt the state they live in and represent.

It's a slap in the face to the people that pay the extra $15.00 per year to hunt WMA and we have now lost 2 WMA's bens creek and now union parish.the question there is where has the money gone that we sportsmen pay for these lands..

Guess the lives of public land hunters don't matter as much as private land hunters.
I know 4 people personally that got attacked by hogs.that could have been prevented had they been able to use a pistol or rifle to defend themselves.
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Send me your email, I'll let you join our club. We pay to lease the right to hunt, ride atvs on certain areas, and all of the private land perks that you speak of. Everyone else has to pay but apparently you have a $15 license and a nice personality so just come and take all you want.
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   slickhead
$15 to hunt hundreds of thousands of acres all across the state still seems pretty good
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Sorry bob I don't do clubs I have heard enough horror stories.don't understand your comment about come take all you want.who is asking to go take anything? Sure wasn't me.I want the same opportunities as the next guy is it that hard to understand that?

Why should private and leased land hunters have more rights to protect themselves as public land hunters.
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Slick its not about the price its about them passing a law that clearly states bow hunters not private land and leased land bow hunters. Has nothing to do with the money.except that we that pay more to the dept get the shaft again.
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That's correct... hunters of public lands in Louisiana pay more to support LDWF than to those that hunt on private lands, and yet those that hunt on public lands get shafted again.

Really didn't think it was too difficult a concept for people to understand that those hunting public lands (WMA) want the same rights to protect themselves as those hunting on private property.

Guess some just don't, or won't get it, and that is telling in itself.
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When you Enter a WMA you give up certain rights, such as Search based on Probable cause. No cause Needed. You Entered a Government WMA- You gave it up.

State v McHugh Terrebone Parish 1994

You won't carry in an Airport or a Military Base either.

You do not need a firearm if bowhunting. Go bow hunt. You cannot shoot a Black Bear even if it threatens you. That is a Federal Crime.

Private Lands and Leases Police themselves. Members tell on each other and the board kicks them out. WMA.s are a free-for-all. Good people and dirt bags all enter and are indistinguishable. People will surely use it to begin man driving hogs, carrying some cheap Whitetail II vintage bow to pose as a bowhunter.
No, just go bowhunt and enjoy.
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knockteetdwntrt

'When you Enter a WMA you give up certain rights, such as Search based on Probable cause. No cause Needed. You Entered a Government WMA- You gave it up. State v McHugh Terrebone Parish 1994You won't carry in an Airport or a Military Base either.

You do not need a firearm if bowhunting. Go bow hunt. You cannot shoot a Black Bear even if it threatens you. That is a Federal Crime.

Private Lands and Leases Police themselves. Members tell on each other and the board kicks them out.

WMA.s are a free-for-all. Good people and dirt bags all enter and are indistinguishable. People will surely use it to begin man driving hogs, carrying some cheap Whitetail II vintage bow to pose as a bowhunter. No, just go bowhunt and enjoy. -

LOL... thanks for the laugh, but I'm afraid that after being in a 'hunting club' I and testify that there are many 'dirt bags' as you refer to them, in the hunting clubs, and some are on the 'board'.

This is simply about having the same right to protect oneself as do those people (aka dirt bags as you put it) on private property. Oh, and I don't know how stupid you are, but if a bear is attacking me I'm going to shoot, so save your text book woodsman garbage for someone that doesn't go in the woods. Laws don't protect you from bears, hogs, and poachers... guns do.
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Wma is a free for all I didn't know that.damn I been following the regulations for nothing all these years.got 1 small doe last year.we have no rabbits where u hunt 1 because we can't hunt coyote and bobcat except 1 bobcat per season with big game license and coyote if we out there and there is a season open.they say we got hog problem but we can only hunt them during an open season with what's legal for that season.wonder how many hogs get shot only to go off and die because of that law.
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we are not asking for outrageous things but if private land or leased land can carry a gun for self defense then why not everyone including wma and nwr.why do private land and lease holders get more right to self defense and other stuff than wma or nwr.they dont.but obviously they do.

They Hollar scream and all about hogs then if they so much of a problem why not open wma to have better guns to kill them if not all year.I can understand not opening hog season all year on wma and nwr but why not let people use a centerfire to kill hogs during any open season.the game wardens are out there from Sept 1 till end of Feb anyway.and I have seen them some this summer checking people.
but as always we get the shaft.
they say they plant food plots but I been out there haven't seen anything they say was planted.guess it didn't come up.yeah.

Sad part is sportsmen can't agree on this subject and speak as 1 voice.so as usual nothing will change.
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Best4Last31, you are so correct when you said sportsman can't even agree so nothing gets done. Guess the question I'd like those sportsman that disagree, and do not believe that hunters on WMA's deserve the same legal means of protecting themselves as those on private lands is this.

If it is important enough to the LA legislature and the Governor to ensure that hunters (on private lands) be able to protect themselves, why would you not believe the hunters of public lands deserve the same right to be able to protect their lives?
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