October 23, 2023

Louisiana Black Bear Season Could Be on the Horizon

black bear, bear, nature-937037.jpg
Article Contact: Mark Lance,

Why It Matters: The Louisiana black bear is one of the greatest wildlife conservation success stories in Louisiana in recent memory. Louisiana has not held a black bear hunt in the state since the late 1980s. However, there are now harvestable surpluses of black bears in specific Bear Management Areas (BMAs). With the increase in populations over the past several years, reports of human-bear conflict have risen, prompting the state to consider options to help curtail the problem while continuing the success of their black bear recovery efforts.


  • On October 12, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Commission (Commission) instructed staff to move forward with developing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to establish a highly regulated and targeted black bear season.
  • Louisiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Stewart Cathey attended the October Commission meeting where he spoke favorably of the Commission’s intent to establish a black bear season and highlighted the fact that hunters are the greatest conservationists.
  • The NOI is set to be presented before the Commission at their November 2 meeting.

The establishment of a black bear season in Louisiana would provide sportsmen and women with an opportunity to pursue a species that has not been available for hunting in many years. There is currently a federal lawsuit related to the delisting of the Louisiana black bear under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), where it had been listed since 1992 due to human-related mortality and the loss of approximately 80% of bottomland hardwood forest habitat since 1980. However, during the more than two decades since the bear has been protected under the ESA, more than 840,000 acres of suitable bear habitat were acquired, conserved, and restored. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has the science that supports a limited harvest in certain BMAs because of the robust, genetically diverse subpopulations as a result of these recovery efforts.

The success of wildlife conservation in Louisiana, as well as across the country, depends on dollars generated by hunters and anglers. Sportsmen and women in Louisiana contribute millions of dollars per year for conservation efforts through the “user pays – public benefits” structure of the American System of Conservation Funding. Therefore, hunters in “Sportsman’s Paradise” should be afforded the opportunity to pursue a species in which their conservations dollars played a part in the species’ recovery effort.

If the NOI is approved by the Commission at their November meeting, there will then be a 90-day comment period before the Commission will vote on a final action of establishing a season. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) will continue to be in communication with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries as well as our in-state and national partners as the NOI moves forward.

States Involved:

View All news

Back TO All

In Season


Stay current with the latest news, policy activity and how to get involved.

Sign up for Newsletters


Donate today so we can keep fighting for tomorrow!

Donate Now