Closing dates vary but Area A, which includes the Atchafalaya Basin and most of the rest of the state, ends April 20 — a whole month of yelping, clucking, and crouching in the weeds with bated breath.
Area B, composed of turkey-rich pockets in the corners of the state and downriver from Baton Rouge, closes April 13.
And Area C, in the Tensas and Black river valleys, shuts down April 6.
State wildlife management areas have their own mini-seasons. Sherburne, Indian Bayou and the adjoining Atchafalaya National Refuge, for example, is only open to all-comers on March 27-30, for example.
For most of the Kisatchie National Forest, the dates are March 21 through April 13. The exception is the Caney Ranger District in the northernmost part of the state, where the season runs March 21 through April 6. If you have any questions about special regulations in Kisatchie, call one of these ranger districts: Caney, 318-927-2061 or 927-2062; Calcasieu, 318-793-9427; Catahoula, 318-765-3554 or 765-3555; Kisatchie, 318-472-1840; Winn, 318-628-4664.
There are also lottery hunts, mostly assigned by now, and special hunts for youths and the handicapped. Check with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Web site, www.wlf.louisiana.gov, for more information.
Hunters are allowed only one gobbler per day, two per season. The taking of hens, including bearded hens, is prohibited.
The use of electronic calling devices or live decoys is illegal, as are baiting, running turkeys with dogs or shooting from vehicles.
Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. (The U.S. Naval Observatory has an on-line calculator for official sunrise and sunset anywhere in the United States. Go to http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.php.)
Turkeys may only be hunted with shotguns, including muzzleloading shotguns, or bow and arrow. Shotguns must be loaded with shot not larger than #2 lead or BB steel shot and must be limited to three-shell capacity.
Hunters who received tags with their license are encouraged — but not required — to tag their kill, and record it on their harvest report card or use the kill validation link found at the LDWF Web site (address above) or by calling 866-484-4805.