If you deer hunt in northeast Louisiana, especially in the parishes of Union and Morehouse, you’re faced with a couple of serious problems. One is a growing and fairly long-standing problem; the other is one discovered recently.

First, let’s look briefly at the most recent one. Although no deer in Louisiana have yet tested positive for the dreaded Chronic Wasting Disease, last week the deadly disease was discovered just north of our borders. A deer tested positive in southern Arkansas just seven and a half miles north of the Louisiana state line. The result is that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has immediately curtailed the practice of feeding deer in the parishes of Union and Morehouse.

The other problem is one that has been ongoing and growing over the past few years in northeast Louisiana. Louisiana black bears are making not only a nuisance of themselves but creating real problems as well. Comments posted on social media are confirming some of problems bears are causing around the area. As far as we can determine, no hunters have been actually attacked by bears, it stands to reason that the potential for such incidents is real. Reading posts from the Louisiana Black Bear Report on Facebook, the sobering truth is documented about the problems bears are causing, not only in keeping deer away but in destruction of property used by hunters.

Here are a few of the comments I found that concerned hunters posted about encounters with bears.

“One climbed my 14 foot ladder stand to destroy my bow stand cushion.”

“My feeder has been down a few weeks. There is no point in putting it back up because that doesn’t stop them from coming around to check.”

“Bears haven’t learned to associate humans with danger yet. They will when a season opens up one day. Until then, everyone has to deal with it. All I see is destruction.”

I talked with a lady hunter who had a harrowing experience with a bear in Madison Parish. After shooting a buck with bow and arrow late one afternoon, she returned to transport her buck to camp when she found a bear had already eaten a goodly portion of a hind quarter of the deer and she had difficulty chasing the bear away.

Here is the report of another lady who had a real harrowing experience with a bear after shooting a deer.

“A bear came up five feet from my stand. It’s a mama bear with a cub behind her. She jumped on the stand and I was at eye level with her. The sound of her claws on the side of the stand a foot from my face was something else.”

When she finally called for help, she and a helper found the bear dragging her deer away. Several hunters in that area have expressed frustration as to why the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has yet to set a hunting season on bears. Growing demands for lottery season where a designated number of bears can be taken should hopefully help reduce the problem.

Bears in growing numbers are going about their business without being disturbed. Until
something is done to open at least a limited season on these creatures, you can look for problems
to not only continue but get worse.


CANEY LAKE – Some folks are not giving up on the bream and are catching a few off the banks using cold worms for bait. Crappie fishing has been best fishing down near the dam using shiners or jigs 20 feet deep in 30 foot water. Jigging spoons bounced off the bottom in deep water are fair for yellow bass. Bass are better on the deeper points on jigs and soft plastics. No report on catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
OUACHITA RIVER – Crappie fishing has been best fishing around the submerged tops in the river, fishing 12-15 feet deep in 18-20 foot water on shiners or jigs. Bass are fair in the cuts and along the slopes and drop-offs in the river on soft plastics, crank baits and jigs. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie fishing has been best in the channel fishing 10-18 feet deep in 20-25 foot water. Jigs and shiners are producing fair catches. Bass have been best fishing crank baits, jigs and plastics off the deep points as well as around the boat docks. Bream fishing is slow while catfish are still biting cold worms fished off the banks.. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie fishing has been best at night fishing shiners around the lighted docks. Some are also being caught in 12-15 foot water on shiners or jigs. Stripers are slow to fair trolling white bucktails. Bass are slow to fair with soft plastics and crank baits picking up a few around deep tops with some caught off the banks. No report on catfish or bream. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
BUSSEY BRAKE –Crappie have been fair on jigs. A few bass have been reported on crank baits and jigs. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Fishing overall is rather slow. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Bass are fair in the coves and cut-offs on the north side of the lake. Crappie are slow to fair around the boat slips. Catfishing has been fair to good with mostly smaller fish being caught. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – The lake is down two feet and fishing overall has been quite slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is slowly falling. Crappie have been fair with shiners working better than jigs. Bass fishing has been fair. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

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