Last Updated on February 15, 2023 by Brian Grossman
There’s nothing better than watching a young hunter take their first deer, turkey, or other game animal. And fortunately, Louisiana is a great state when it comes to youth hunting opportunities and minimal requirements to get started.
This article quickly breaks down what licenses Louisiana youth hunters need, as well as some of the excellent youth hunting opportunties the state offers. If by the end of the article, you still have questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to get them answered.
Louisiana Youth Hunting License Requirements
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) makes it relatively easy to get youth hunters in the field. Resident and nonresident youth 17 years of age and younger need a $5 youth hunting license to hunt deer and turkey, to trap, or to participate in a WMA lottery hunt. The youth license includes deer and turkey tags. No license is needed to hunt small game.
Louisiana Hunter Education Requirements
Anyone born on or after September 1, 1969 must complete an approved hunter education program before being eligible to hunt in Louisiana, with one exception:
A youth hunter without hunter education certification can still hunt, but they must be under direct supervision of a licensed adult who has completed hunter education or was born prior to September 1, 1969.
Louisiana Youth Hunting Seasons
NOTE: For the purpose of all the youth hunting seasons and special opportunities discussed below, Louisiana considers a youth as someone who has NOT reached their 18th birthday.
Youth Deer Season
The LDWF offers a long youth deer season across the state. You can see the dates and harvest requirements below by deer area
Areas 1, 4, 5, 6 and 9
October 29 – November 4, 2022 | Either sex, private lands.
October 8-14, 2022 | Either sex, private lands
Areas 3, 7, 8 and 10
September 24-30, 2022 | Either sex, private lands
Louisiana Youth Turkey Season
In a similar fashion as deer season, Louisiana gives youth turkey hunters a jump on the spring turkey season. The youth turkey season takes place the weekend prior to the statewide spring turkey season. For 2023, those dates are listed below.
Youth Turkey Season Dates: March 25-26, 2023
Youth Waterfowl Season
East Zone Youth Waterfowl Days: November 12, 2022 and February 4, 2023
West Zone Youth Waterfowl Days: November 5-6, 2022
Youths may take ducks, geese, mergansers, coots and gallinules on these days. The daily bag limit and possession limit are the same as the regular waterfowl season.
The future of Louisiana’s hunting heritage lies in the hands of our youth. It is our responsibility to introduce them to hunting, get them in the field as much as possible, and to teach them woodsmanship and proper hunting ethics.
Make it a goal to find a local youth this fall who wants to try hunting, and be a mentor to them. That may be your own child, grandchild, or nephew, or it may be a neighbor or coworker’s child.
Regardless of who it is, taken them hunting and give them the same opportunity to develop that passion that you were given. When they pull the trigger on their first deer, turkey, or other game animal, and you see that excitement in their eyes, you’ll be glad you made the effort!