The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday a ban on dog-deer hunting in Kisatchie National Forest.
In December, the service released a proposal to amend the Revised Forest Plan by adding a new standard on the entire KNF.
Congressman John Fleming said he believes the action to be unnecessary and "another example of the federal government encroaching on an area that should be managed by the state," he said.
"I proposed a bill (H.R. 2793) to stop the Forest Service from interfering with a traditional activity that has been successfully regulated for decades by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries," Fleming said. "I will continue to work for passage of that bill even as I call on the Forest Service to stop overstepping its bounds in the state of Louisiana."
The ban states the following:
"Prohibit use of dogs to hunt deer on the Forest. Other kinds of hunting with dogs are allowed throughout the Forest (in accordance with state hunting regulations) unless site-specific management direction prohibits the use (such as on administrative sites and the National Wildlife Preserves)."
The prohibition does not apply to still-hunting for deer or to other kinds of hunting with dogs, such as for squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, or game birds.
U.S. Forest Service officials say dog-deer hunting will be prohibited in Kisatchie starting with the 2012-13 season.
The Forest Service's previous attempts to ban dog-deer hunting cited safety concerns and confrontations between hunters and their dogs and local landowners.
Hunters who use dogs to hunt deer in Kisatchie National Forest again are on the defensive.