The U. S. Forest Service, in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), has opened a bird dog training area (BDTA) on the Vernon Unit of the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF), similar to those on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).
The approximately 80-acre site locally known as the "Dove Field" is east of LA 399 and about 1 mile north of the Fullerton community in Vernon Parish. Similar to bird dog training areas within Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Lake Ramsay Savannah, and Bodcau WMAs, the KNF Dove Field BDTA will provide quail hunters a place to train bird dogs during and outside of the regular upland bird hunting seasons.
The KNF BDTA is part of a long range plan to enhance wild bobwhite quail habitat on the Vernon Unit. In addition, the U. S. Forest Service, LDWF, the National Wild Turkey Federation, U. S. Army, and the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative are working together to improve quail habitat on thousands of acres surrounding the BDTA. Within the BDTA, the USFS and LDWF are intensively managing the 80 acres with prescribed burning, fallow disking, food plots and timber harvests to encourage wild quail to remain on the site year round.
Dog training can be conducted on the Dove Field BDTA year-round, except during turkey season, without any special permit. However, dog trainers using birds may release and harvest up to six leg-banded, pen-raised quail per day, but must have a special, no-charge permit. To obtain this permit, contact LDWF's Small Game and Wild Turkey Program Leader Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
KNF users are reminded to comply with all hunter orange, vehicle access, and other site requirements while training dogs. Other hunting and recreational uses within the KNF Dove Field BDTA will continue to be allowed as described in Forest Service regulations.For more information on KNF regulations for site use, go to http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/kisatchie/hunting/index.html.