Deer Forecast-South

Concordia Parish

In Louisiana, most big deer are regularly taken along the Mississippi and Red river basins, where bottomland hardwoods and floodplains contrast with the state's primary habitat of piney woods and coastal marshes. Concordia Parish is one of the hottest areas, with public hunting allowed on some 62,500 acres in the Three Rivers and Red River WMAs, while the Grassy Lake WMA in Avoyelles Parish offers another 13,700 acres of floodplain along the Red River. According to biologist David Moreland, close to half of the state's landholders are managing tracts for better health and size. This makes state officials happy as they look to increase the overall age of harvested deer. The state is looking to implement some restrictions on WMAs, but too many hunters are interested in just shooting deer, despite the size of the animal. Of the 250,000 taken annually, the average age is 1.6 years on public land and 2.2 on private land. The statewide population of about 1 million deer is stable. Deer range from the northwestern piney woods to the coastal marshes. Moreland says the highest population is in the northwest and along the Mississippi River basin, where hardwood bottoms and farmland provide good habitat and food.