May 6, 2024

Pro-Sportsmen Legislation on the Move in Louisiana

Article Contact: Mark Lance,

Why It Matters:  Our four-legged canine companions can play a crucial role in many aspects of our sporting traditions, including in the tracking and recovery of wounded game. Exhausting all available resources when tracking and recovering game is one of the cornerstones of hunting that ethical sportsmen and women share, so the use of tracking dogs is an important tool for many sportsmen and women. Additionally, ensuring that hunters, anglers, and trappers are protected from harassment on all state-managed properties open to hunting and fishing will help ensure that Louisiana’s sportsmen and women can continue to pursue their pastimes.


  • HB 409, authored by Louisiana Legislative Caucus (Caucus) Member Gabe Firment, extends the prohibition on the harassment and disturbance of trappers, hunters, and fishermen to all lands and waters managed by the state.
  • HB 802, authored by Caucus Member Representative Jason Dewitt, authorizes the use of dogs to retrieve and dispatch mortally wounded deer with the use of lights except on wildlife management areas (WMAs).
  • Both pieces of legislation passed the House of House of Representatives unanimously and were reported favorably out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources.

For most sportsmen and women, they only have a couple of days out of the week to engage in their outdoor pursuits and many are limited to lands and waters open to the public. No one wants to be harassed while trying to enjoy their outdoor pastimes. Ensuring that hunters, anglers, and trappers are protected from harassment on all state lands and waters while engaged in their pursuits will help protect sporting traditions for future generations. This is important as sportsmen and women in Louisiana contribute over $40 million per year through the “user pays – public benefits” structure of the American System of Conservation Funding.

In Louisiana, hunters cannot currently utilize tracking dogs or possess a firearm while tracking wounded deer after legal shooting hours. Aside from WMAs, HB 802 allows for the use of tracking dogs after legal shooting hours, allows for the use of lights while tracking wounded deer, allows hunters to dispatch wounded deer even after legal shooting hours, and allows licensed hunters and trackers to enter onto other private property so long as they have written permission from the landowner. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife Resources testified in support of the bill before the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Allowing these practices to take place assists hunters in making every effort to retrieve their game so that they not only do right by the animal but also increase their chances of putting food on the table for their families.

HB 409 and HB 802 now await debate on the Senate floor. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) will continue to coordinate with the Caucus to support these important pieces of legislation for sportsmen and women in the “Sportsman’s Paradise.”

States Involved:

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