While it may seem ironic and a bit counter productive to the spirit of the season, Louisiana hunters may now carry any firearm they wish to carry when out in the woods during bow season. The change in the law was deemed necessary after many hunters argued that the small caliber hand gun that was once the only fire arm allowed did not provide enough protection against more aggressive animals in the woods.

The original law stated that a hunter may only carry a small .22 caliber handgun loaded with rat shot as a side arm during the bow hunting season. Senator Rick Ward or Port Allen told the Louisiana Radio Network that as a hunter quite often he felt this smaller caliber weapon was not enough for his own protection.

I personally have been caught out in the middle of the woods, kind of in the middle of maybe 15 or 20 hogs, and you're there with your bow only. It would just have made me a lot more comfortable had I been able to have some type of gun with me.

Those who disagree with the new law argue that allowing hunters to carry a weapon of their choosing will only increase illegal hunting. Ward and Wildlife and Fisheries Agents disagree.

When they actually confiscate the deer, it's very obvious that it's a gunshot and not a bow shot.

If it will keep more of our hunters safe in the woods then I am all for it. As always a law is only as good as the people who choose to follow it. Unfortunately, I feel there will be some that will try to skirt around the law and start telling tales of attack deer that had to be brought down with a gun.

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