April 15, 2024

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Approves 2024 Black Bear Hunting Season

Article Contact: Mark Lance,

Why It Matters:  Thanks to the conservation management efforts of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and their partners, utilizing funding generated in large part by hunters through the American System of Conservation Funding, data supports establishing a highly regulated hunting season for Louisiana black bears. This will provide sportsmen and women, who are lucky enough to draw a tag, the opportunity to pursue black bears in Louisiana for the first time since the 1980s.


  • In November of 2023, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Senior Coordinator, Southeastern States Mark Lance spoke in favor of the Notice of Intent (NOI) at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s (Commission) meeting.
  • On February 2, 2024, CSF submitted a letter in support of the final approval of the NOI in advance of the Commission’s April 2024 meeting.

On April 9, 2024, the Commission voted unanimously to give final approval to the NOI to establish a black bear season, beginning in December 2024, highlighting the state’s successful black bear recovery efforts.

Featuring one of the strongest black bear populations in the Deep South, the LDWF will offer 10 tags for prospective hunters to draw through a lottery system. These tags will only be valid for Bear Area 4, which is made up primarily of Tensas, Madison, East and West Carroll Parishes as well as parts of other neighboring parishes in the northeastern part of the state. Hunters that are successful in drawing a tag will be required to attend an LDWF bear hunter training course.

Throughout the open comment period, CSF, Louisiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Stewart Cathey, and key partners maintained that recreational hunting is essential to ensuring genetically diverse populations and minimizing human-wildlife conflict, such as bears destroying private property and damaging agricultural production. As black bear numbers continue to increase in Louisiana, hunting must be a tool for management purposes to ensure the balance and overall success of the species.

Formulating wildlife policy utilizing the best available science is also one of the key tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which is regarded as the most effective wildlife management model in the world.

CSF applauds the Commission for making a science-based decision to bring back a black bear hunting season to the Sportsman’s Paradise and will continue to work with the Louisiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and our partners to expand opportunities for hunters and anglers into the future.

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