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 Post subject: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 2nd, 2018, 8:41 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Posts: 2854
Location: Wittmann,AZ
Do I need a hunting license to herp Louisiana or any of the NWR's or National Forests in that state?


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 5:30 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 2249
Location: Unicoi, TN
Dave,
IMHO, LA has some of the most reasonable herping laws of all the states. They take a reasonable position for visiting herpers, resident herpers, private collectors, protected species, and even managing commercial folks.

"You must have a basic fishing license to collect and/or possess native reptiles & amphibians in Louisiana. Natural habitats such as stumps or logs may not be destroyed while searching for animals. Removal of nesting or nest-tending animals is prohibited. Cost is $9.50 annually for residents. For non-residents it is $5 for one day, $15 for 4 days or $60 annually. (Class 1 violation)"


A more detailed source:

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/defa ... tle_76.pdf

Scroll down to:

Title 76 WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES Part XV. Reptiles and Amphibians


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 7:08 am 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Posts: 2854
Location: Wittmann,AZ
Sounds reasonable. Amazing.


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 7:22 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1782
Not such a simple question, unfortunately. Dave, let's break your question down into its constituent parts. I'm writing this as much for other readers as for you. For you, my response may be a bit repetitive or tiresome. Some of this I expect you know already, but I think I may still offer you some value here. Other folks may learn quite a bit. Those are my hopes.

State hunting licenses give you certain permissions to "take" wildlife within state boundaries, on some but not all lands. Pretty much nationwide, a state hunting license is either not enough, or totally irrelevant and useless, for taking wildlife on Indian reservations, National Parks, State Parks, and National Wildlife Refuges. Those all require additional permits, or outright forbid the recreational take of some or all wildlife. In the particular case of Indian lands, if that's the only place in a state you wanted to hunt or fish, you wouldn't even need the state license - just buy the Tribe's. That's how it is everywhere I've lived, anyway. I reckon you know the deal in AZ.

NWRs are a special and peculiar case. Many are not open at all to hunting; it seems that most are open to fishing. An increasing number are open to certain forms of hunting - almost always lethal hunting, for waterfowl, small game, or big game. Virtually all NWRs are open to "wildlife viewing". A question arises however, once the herper starts taking active measures - flipping logs, dip-netting for turtles or aquatic amphibs, grabbing fleeing snakes, etc etc - to try and view some wildlife. At that point you're getting into "take" territory. The bottom line is, the best thing to do is to first look at your target Refuge's Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Definitely read the History and Purpose section. Here's a page with links to all NWR's in the FWS's Southeast Region: https://www.fws.gov/southeast/national-wildlife-refuges/planning/. Then, after getting oriented to the Refuge, talk with somebody who works there. I'd just lay it all out there, tell them what you want to see, what it typically takes to see them, and ask if they can help you out. Refuges have "species occurrence lists" that are almost always incomplete works in progress. You could offer to share your data with them, to help them fill out their list. Just a thought. Bottom line, you're talking with a live human being with feelings, baggage, drives, duties & responsibilities, etc. You're gonna have to feel your way through the encounter.

Most NWRs close their gates around dark. Definitely learn when they lock up where you're at!

Incidentally, many many NWRs are bordered by state-managed Wildlife Management Areas. Those are often more permissive than NWRs. You have to verify that in your specific instances of course - but there's an idea in the event you get shut down by the FWS Refuge that harbors the species you want to see.

National Forests almost always allow hunting, as they are explicitly, by the law that established the NF system, multiple-use lands. That's why there's logging, mining, grazing, hunting, etc etc etc on USFS lands. Small exceptions to hunting or fishing could include places like Research Natural Areas, which are typically small and hard to get to (that's normally why they are still "pristine" enough to qualify as RNAs). USFS wilderness areas are almost always open to hunting - in fact, they often offer some of the best hunting in the country (because every jackass and his cousin can't just drive right in).

Anyway, in most states it seems that USFS lands are simply subject to whatever the state's general fishing and hunting regs are - the stuff you can see in the state hunting guidebook for example. OTOH sometimes - like in Florida - the USFS system has a deal with the state, so that the federal lands are co-operatively managed with the state as a state Wildlife Management Area. If that's the case, there are - besides the basic USFS rules for their lands, such as "no digging up plants, camp at least 100 feet from water bodies, etc" - additional, WMA-specific hunting & fishing rules to be aware of and follow. In FL there were (when I lived there) no additional restrictions on herping on the NF's, but for lethal forms of hunting the rules often differed from the general ones on non-WMA lands.

A very cursory glance at the LDWF website suggests to me that USFS lands in LA are not like those in FL - that they aren't co-mananged as WMAs. That leads me to suspect there are no additional regulations, besides the basic state wildlife rules (seasons, bag limits, allowable methods of take, etc), concerning herping on USFS lands in LA. Best thing to do would be to call the local Ranger District you want to visit, and ask if there are any special requirements for hunting and fishing on the Forest. Alternatively, you could call the specific Forest's HQ - their term is the "SO" or "Supervisor's Office" because the head honcho of a whole National Forest is the Forest Supervisor - and ask to speak with the Forest Biologist. (It used to be that all Ranger Districts also had wildlife biologists, but with downsizing and cost-cutting a lot of those positions have been eliminated and combined into "Zone" positions where one person covers 2 or 3 Districts of a Forest. You could try getting a hold of the Zone biologist, but you may have a time of it.)

I hope this has been helpful - for a trip to LA, and in general - and not too much like "nails on a chalkboard".

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 11:38 am 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Posts: 2854
Location: Wittmann,AZ
Thanks for all that..........


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 12:40 pm 
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 5:01 am
Posts: 524
Location: Louisiana
A non-resident Basic Fishing License is $60. That will allow you to annoy, photograph, take, and possess most species in any numbers. Our Endangered (no touch) list follows the Federal Endangered list. The Forest Service requires their own permits if you are doing research (short version of what Jimi wrote). The Federal Wildlife Refuges can be tight - a friend of mine got hit with a $500 fine last year for having a swamp snake in his pack (the snake hook got the agent's attention).

What are you hoping to find?

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 4:14 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
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Location: Wittmann,AZ
Justvwant to photograph whatever so may come across. Not taking anything with me. (If I even get that far east.)


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 4:31 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Posts: 593
Location: Southern Cal.
Jimi...
Your brevity was refreshing.
Just the facts, and observations.

Thank you :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 7th, 2018, 1:03 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1782
Quote:
Jimi...
Your brevity


Proof that there's a first time for everything! Ha ha ha.

thanks Craig

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 7th, 2018, 8:42 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Posts: 593
Location: Southern Cal.
Well Jimi, it's a complicated issue. You provided facts and observations. Dave is an old timer, but new herpers read this forum also. I hope they can learn from it.


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 12:30 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Posts: 2854
Location: Wittmann,AZ
Hey! I'm not THAT old!!!!! Haha Haha....


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 2:07 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1782
So, you're being awfully coy. What's the deal man? You got a road trip coming up that might take you all the way to LA, or you might just stop in TX or OK - or what? What do you hope to see? Frogs? Mole sallies? Turtles? Lampro trifecta? Vipers?

There are a few guys on here, like Rman or Chrish, who live down that way and might be willing to entertain an out-of-state visitor. Especially one that might be in a position to return the favor some day.

Just thinking out loud. I really enjoyed my last herping trip to the South (Arkansas). You're lucky.


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 2:15 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Posts: 2854
Location: Wittmann,AZ
I'm looking for something to do between Snake Days in Sanderson and the IHS conference in Houston.

Not much for getting wet but pretty much everything is fair game. Everything I see will be a lifer for the most part.


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 4:06 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Man, at that time of year I might be inclined to stay in West Texas! Prime time there. But despite it being a tad late in the snakiest season (spring...), I think you have a good shot at seeing a high diversity of stuff. Kisatchie NF has a great diversity of habitats (including some hills with rocks - weird, right? ha ha ha) and some quiet paved roads. Plenty of dirt too, obviously. (Crusing dirt in the South can be productive before it gets "too cold" at night; pavement naturally is good except for when it's too hot.)

I expect you can find some decent roadside garbage for flipping too. And plenty of logs in the woods.

A couple tips that are true to my experience -
1) buy some permethrin bug repellent and apply it to all your clothes except your boxers (assuming...). Pants, shirts, and socks. You don't want chiggers or ticks biting you. Do this in AZ or in W TX so it dries completely before you put the clothes on. Don't worry about sweat or rain after that, it's fine.
2) When flipping logs be sure to work through all the sawdust and chips under there - skinks, copperheads, the little fossorial snakes etc all love to burrow in.
3) Walking along the edges of creeks and especially around the rip-rap under bridges, at night with a headlamp, is a fun way to find watersnakes and cottonmouths; you can also find sleeping turtles like that sometimes, underwater if it's clear.
4) Get yourself a fairly robust dipnet with fairly fine mesh, and a bucket. Scoop like hell! There's practically no other way to see sirens and amphiumas, and you'll see lots of tadpoles, crayfish, and small turtles. And stay fairly dry.
5) Start cruising pretty early in the afternoon, say 3:30 PM; cruising in the AM can be good too, until maybe 1030-11 AM. Sandy roads in June, around midmorning, just screams pine snakes and hoggies to me. At least further east where I've spent more time. Have hardly herped LA but I have spent time in MS, GA, FL and SC...not so different I reckon.
6) Cruising in the rain sucks for most snakes, but is worthwhile (esp after dark) or in some cases necessary, for the aquatic stuff like muds, rainbows, waters, cottonmouths etc; plus the frogs just go crazy, like in AZ.
7) Watch your step, the canebrake rattlesnakes down there get huge (bigger than most AZ atrox!) and they are cryptic and fairly abundant. Also they do not rattle, in my experience. Very calm. Nice animals, but...you know. Ha ha. "Nice doggie, please don't bite me."

Most excellent hunting to you. The diversity of everything but lizards will stoke you.


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 4:39 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
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Location: Wittmann,AZ
Thanks for the info! I will take it into consideration. High consideration.


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 6:33 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 2419
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
I'm bummed I have to miss both Snake Days (first one missed) and IHS this summer due to work requirements. :( In between, I have a trip to FL to see family friends. Maybe I'll get some incidental herping in.


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 7:42 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
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Location: Wittmann,AZ
How long does it take to get to the Everglades from Houston ???


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 Post subject: Re: Licensing Question
PostPosted: May 9th, 2018, 4:06 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
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Location: Unicoi, TN
Approximately 17 hours and change if you take the Florida Turnpike.


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