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Louisiana Deer Hunting Season

  • May 23, 2013 /

Louisiana’s nickname is the “Sportsman’s Paradise” and for good reason. From the outstanding saltwater fishing on the coast to the large catfish of the Mississippi River, Louisiana lives up to its name for the fishing, but fishing is only one side of Louisiana’s storied outdoor tradition. The hunting, particularly the whitetail deer, is some of the finest in the world. If you are new to deer and hunting, here is a brief overview of everything you will need to know about Louisiana’s upcoming deer season.


Whitetail deer are most active early in the morning and before dark. They do not normally like open spaces but will occasionally venture into open fields. Whitetail deer are grazers. This means they walk and feed indiscriminately on any green vegetation. Whitetail drink water frequently and hunting over water sources is a good idea, particularly in the early season.


Deer must be hunted and harvested only in certain times of the year in Louisiana. The state is divided into several different areas, and the opening days vary depending on the area. Most areas open early October or mid-September for primitive weapons, and the deer season ends at the end of January. A large portion of the state is either-sex, meaning you may take a doe or buck throughout the hunting season.


Louisiana Deer Hunting Season mandates different weapons for particular parts of the hunting season. From the beginning of the season until a designated date, archery is the only legal method of harvesting a deer. Archery means bow and arrow or crossbow only. Archery hunting is legal all season. After the archery opening season and before the regular gun, shotgun and rifle, season is primitive weapon season. Primitive weapon refers to black powder firearms. These, like archery, are legal from the opening day of primitive weapon season to the end of the regular deer season.

The day many hunters wait for is the regular gun, shotgun or rifle, season. In Louisiana, this is called the still hunt. This is the most popular method to hunt deer in Louisiana and deer hunting in general. The other popular method, coming very late in the deer season, is using dogs. Hunters release dogs in a particular area to drive deer towards another group of hunters. This is an extremely effective method of deer hunting.


A valid hunting license with a big game license is required to hunt deer in the state of Louisiana. There are three types of licenses: resident, non-resident and non-resident military. The resident and non-resident military licenses are $29.00 for hunting and big game combined and $300.00 for non-resident hunters. Hunters born after September 1st 1969 must have proof of taking and passing a hunter’s education safety course. Military and law enforcement POST- certified officers are exempt from this rule.


Legal shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. The daily bag limit, the number of deer you may harvest per day is two: one buck and one doe. You may have in possession no more than six, three with antlers and three without antlers.

Louisiana has an outstanding and storied deer hunting history. Rich in culture, activities and of course, the outdoors, Louisiana has something for everyone to enjoy. Visit Louisiana Department of Wildlife for additional information on deer hunting in Louisiana.