February 12, 2024

CSF Submits Letter in Support of Opening a Black Bear Season in Louisiana

north american black bear, black bear, bear-4363632.jpg
Article Contact: Mark Lance,

Why It Matters: Maintaining genetically diverse populations and minimizing human-wildlife conflict are key components to the success of wildlife conservation efforts. Hunting has proven time and time again that it is one of the best management tools to support these efforts. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and its Commission, recognize that hunting would be beneficial to the continued success of the Louisiana black bear’s rebound while also providing new opportunities for Louisiana’s sportsmen and women.  


  • On November 2, 2023, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Commission (Commission) voted unanimously (6-0) to approve and advance a Notice of Intent(NOI) to establish a Louisiana black bear season in 2024. 
  • Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s(CSF) Senior Coordinator, Southeastern States Mark Lance spoke in favor of the NOI at the Commission’s November 2023 meeting before the vote. 
  • On February 2, CSF submitted a letter in support of the NOI. 

Thanks to the efforts of the  Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), through funding for conservation generated in large part by hunters through the “user pays – public benefits” structure of the American System of Conservation Funding, the Louisiana black bear was delisted from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2016. Despite repeated attempts by environmentalists to keep the Louisiana black bear on the ESA, with the most recent lawsuit being dismissed in January 2024, data generated by the LDWF has shown that black bear numbers, especially in Bear Area 4, have rebounded to the point where a science-based and highly regulated harvest can be considered.  

CSF’s letter stated, “The American alligator, whitetail deer, and eastern wild turkey are some of America’s greatest conservation success stories and all are pursued by sportsmen and women in Louisiana. The millions of dollars generated annually by their pursuits support the continued management of these species. We would submit that hunters in the Sportsman’s Paradise should be afforded the opportunity to pursue black bears through regulated hunting supported by science-based wildlife management decision making. Sportsmen generated conservation dollars played a critical part in its recovery and would further support black bear conservation in the state.” 

The comment period on the NOI closed on February 5. If approved as currently drafted, December 2024 would be the first time since the 1980’s that a black bear hunt has been held in the state.  

CSF looks forward to continuing to work alongside the LDWF, the Louisiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, and our partners to bring a black bear season back to “Sportsman’s Paradise.” 

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