LOUISIANA

Deer Forecast 2003

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Abundant mast crops the last couple of years have made for large, healthy deer throughout much of the state, and the outlook for top hunting is bright. Weather is important for hunter success, however, and sportsmen are hoping for cool, moist conditions to keep bucks on the move.

Last year 200,000 resident hunters collected about 240,000 deer from an estimated population of 1 million.

Dave Moreland, in charge of deer management for Louisiana, recommends a number of public areas. For bowhunters, the Tensas River NWR looks good. Muzzleloaders should try the Lake Ophelia NWR. For modern gun deer, some of the best WMAs are Jackson Bienville, Red River, Three Rivers, Sherburne and Union. Contact: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (225-765-2346; www.wlf.state.la.us).