Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Louisiana [No]

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People tend to view pigeons as innocent birds chirping on their windows. Contrary to the thought, they are one of the most annoying birds in Louisiana. Pigeons damage infrastructure and transmit disease. So, it is essential to get rid of them. Is it illegal to kill pigeons in Louisiana?  

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in Louisiana. The pigeons are an exotic species. The state does not protect pigeons due to their rapid increase. You can kill all pigeon species except Homing doves and Band-tailed pigeons in the face of homes and present in the air.

Legally state does not protect pigeons. Therefore, you can kill and hunt as many pigeons as you want. Read the article to learn about pigeon hunting. 

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In Louisiana? 

In Louisiana, it is illegal to hunt Homing doves and Band-tailed pigeons. Homing pigeons are domestic pigeons and are similar to Rock pigeons. However, the state protects homing pigeons. They are slim and have slender bodies.  

Band-tailed pigeons are soft blue-grey. Their wings are purplish grey with a crescent on the back. Band-tailed pigeons’ wing tips are pale grey and are noticeable on the flight. But, it is unlawful to harm either of these pigeon species.  

The state does not allow the hunting of Migratory pigeons off-season as well. Therefore, you cannot hunt them till the small game begins. Migratory pigeons in the state are Mourning doves and white-winged collar doves. Hunters can keep and eat both of these pigeon species. However, it is better to avoid Feral pigeon meat. 

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In Louisiana? 

In Louisiana, it is unlawful to hunt Homing doves and Band-tailed pigeons. Homing doves are selectively bred from Rock pigeons. They are domestic pigeons but can travel miles. Therefore, in the past, they were used for sending mail. Homing pigeons are still part of the services. They are also used in the bird race. 

Band-tailed pigeons are fancy pigeons. It is legal to hunt and eat them in some US states. They are kept as pets by people and are also part of sports. Agencies and the Navy also use them for searches.  

The state wildlife doesn’t allow the hunting of Migratory pigeons off-season. These pigeons are under the protection of US law. According to the Migratory bird treaty act, it is illegal to harm, kill, capture, or trade them. Hunters can hunt them in small games. But, there is a possession limit for the doves.  

Hunters can eat the harvest from small games. Dove meat is also available in the state. 

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In Louisiana state 

The pigeon shooting rules are to guide hunters on the safe removal of the nuisance bird. These laws are for the people who plan to hunt pigeons in Louisiana. Following are the detail on a few necessary shooting and hunting rules in the state. 

Read Laws To Kill Pigeons in Indiana

Hunting Education Course 

All hunters born on and after September 1st, 1969, must complete a Hunter education course. The course is a ten-hour program usually held over two or three days. People ten and above can also take the classes. However, there is an online class option for people sixteen and above.  

After completing five-hour lectures, hunters have hands-on practice for the next five hours. The classes teach the use of weapons, hunting ethics, and laws. In the end, participants will have to take the test. So, hunters must pass the test to get the certificate. 

Hunting License 

People can purchase hunting licenses online or from the state wildlife agent. It is essential for residents or non-residents must possess a hunting license to take down pigeons. The hunting license differs for people. It depends on age, residence, and background.  

There is a separate hunting license for youth. Youth hunters from ages 10 to 17 can shoot pigeons. They can also participate in small games. They must be under the direct guidance of an adult 21 years or older. 

Migratory Birds 

In Louisiana, Migratory pigeon hunting is divided into zones. The hunting dates for doves in each zone are different. In the North zone, the first hunting dates are September 3 to 25. Then October 8 to November 13 and December 24 to January 22.  In the south zone, the first hunting dates are September 3 to 18. Then October 15 to November 27 and December 17 to January 15. 

The daily bag count of all the doves in aggregate is 15. The possession count is 45 aggregates. So, It is unlawful to shoot more doves than the limits. These limits include all pigeon/dove species. 

Hunting Weapon 

You can use shotguns and air rifles to shoot pigeons in Louisiana. However, the LDWF doesn’t allow air rifles in small games. Hunters can only use shotguns to shoot doves. Shotguns must not be more than ten gauges. It cannot hold more than three shells. The shotgun with more pellet space is illegal. Additionally, hunters can use bows and arrows to hunt pigeons. 

Private property 

Louisiana wildlife control doesn’t remove the nuisance pigeon. However, it allows individuals to take care of themselves on their own. It is legal to shoot pigeons on your property without a permit. But it must be 150 yards far from the dwellings.  

Much of the land in Louisiana is under private owners. So, seasonal hunters will need a permit. The permit is permission from the landowner for hunting on their land. So, hunters must respect the rights and property of the landowner. 

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In Louisiana State? 

Shooting and hunting pigeons are not difficult as long as you know all the laws. Pigeon hunting is not a new idea. For centuries people have enjoyed hunting pigeons as a sport. Follow the pointers below to shoot and hunt pigeons in the state.  

  • For a hunting license, you must complete the course.  
  • You can purchase a hunting license online or via a wildlife agent.  
  • Hunters must carry hunting licenses and permits on the field. 
  • The schedule for small games changes every year. So, check the dates on the website and register on the website.  
  • Youth hunters 17 and below must be with an adult.  
  • Carry a legal weapon with the license. You can use shotguns, air rifles, bows, and arrows.  
  • Hunters must wear blaze orange vests, caps, and backpacks.  
  • Carry safety gloves, goggles, and a first aid kit on the field. 
  • Don’t use decoys and food items to lure doves onto the field.  
  • Submit the daily bag and possession count online. There is a forum given on the official wildlife website. 
  • Put the harvest in separate bags according to the species. 


The wildlife doesn’t remove nuisance pigeons but allows individuals to do it. You can kill, shoot and hunt pigeons except for Homing doves and Band-tailed pigeons. It is also illegal to cause harm to Migratory pigeons or doves.  

Shooting and hunting pigeons are easy if you know the rules. The necessary step is purchasing the hunting license. The hunting license is only for people who have completed the Hunting education course.  

The law also teaches the people all the necessary shooting laws. Just to be on the safe side, it is better to go through all the rules before going on pigeon hunting.