PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE

The interactive map allows users to select layers of data, which can be overlaid with one another, to customize the map for each user’s needs. With this much information in one spot, the possibilities are endless. The image to the left shows the “Get Outside” tab selected, with the “Wildlife Management Areas” and “Natural & Scenic Rivers” layers turned on.
You can use the Louisiana Outdoor Explorer map to find waterbodies that are designated as Scenic Rivers. We are currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the system. We encourage you to visit these beautiful sites!

LDWF’s Interactive Map An Invaluable Tool For Hunters, Anglers, Outdoor Enthusiasts

story by Sherry Morton, LDWF Public Information

 

Have you ever discovered something existed, only to wonder, “Where has this been all my life?” Get ready for it - because if you didn’t already know about the interactive map available on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) website, you should!

 

The map, officially known as the “Louisiana Outdoor Explorer,” is an innovative tool that offers something for almost everyone - hunters, anglers and even those who just love the outdoors. This interactive map allows users to select “layers” that show the geographic locations of various outdoor-related resources.

 

Originally launched in the summer of 2017, the Outdoor Explorer map was developed to help seasoned outdoor enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The tool makes it easier for the public to enjoy the outdoors, as well as helping them make hunting and fishing trips more successful.

 

Research shows that barriers to hunting and fishing include “lack of information” or “lack of access.” Specifically, people don’t know where to hunt and fish or how close fishing/hunting access is to them. But in many cases, it isn’t a lack of access, but a lack of knowledge about where to fish or hunt. This map is a way the public can learn where to find the abundant opportunities our state has to offer.

 

The map features four categories of information that can be “layered” onto the map of Louisiana: “Go Hunting,” “Get on the Water,” “Get Outside” and “Get in Touch with Us.”

 

Go Hunting

Under the “Go Hunting” tab, hunters can find information that will help to prepare for a hunting trip, such as where to purchase a hunting license. They can also turn on layers that show the locations of LDWF-managed areas that allow hunting as well as federally managed lands where they could hunt.

 

But perhaps the most exciting feature for a hunter is the ability to view biologist-estimated deer breeding periods by geographic location. This feature can be overlaid with locations of hunting-accessible areas, so a user can use this to pinpoint the best hunting spot to find rutting deer within a specific time frame. Not a bad way to plan a hunt!

 

This section also allows users to view the statewide zones for hunting deer, doves, waterfowl, geese, turkey and alligators. There’s also a tool to help hunters find locations of deer processors who participate in the “Hunters for the Hungry” program, in the event a hunter wants to donate some of his harvest.

 

Get on The Water

The map’s “Get on the Water” tab includes a wealth of information to help anglers plan their fishing trips. Here, users can find the exact locations of fishing license vendors, boat launches, publicly accessible banks and piers, stocked lakes, artificial reefs, fishing piers and oil and gas platforms.

 

Another layer allows users to view all the basins within the state. What’s more, users can layer multiple filters together on the map, so that one or more filters is active at one time. This wealth of data makes the tool a remarkably useful (and entertaining) resource for anglers.

 

Get Outside

The “Get Outside” tab is for outdoor adventurers! On this tab, users can view locations of outdoor education centers, wildlife management areas, refuges, conservation areas, and federally managed lands.

 

Another helpful way to plan an outdoor adventure is to toggle on the layer that shows the locations of all the waterbodies within the state that are designated as part of the state’s Natural and Scenic Rivers System - a program that exists to preserve and enhance Louisiana’s rivers, streams and bayous.

 

Get In Touch With Us

As an added bonus, the map also offers a way for the public to easily identify contacts in LDWF field offices - the offices close to where they live. When users click on the “Get in Touch with Us” tab, they can use layers that identify, by topic, who to contact in their region.

 

This tab shows the location of wildlife field offices, fisheries area offices and regional enforcement offices.

 

Bonus Features

In addition to all the features listed above, the map has a few other features that can be customized to further enhance your experience of the Louisiana Outdoor Explorer.

 

First, users can adjust the look of their base map. Options allow the user to show streets, topographic data, terrain information, satellite imagery, etc.

 

The map also features a measurement tool. This allows users to define the parameters of a certain geographic location, and the map automatically calculates the size of it - in acres, hectares, miles, kilometers, feet, etc. It also allows users to view the distance between points on the map, as selected by the user. And, finally, it displays the latitude and longitude of any selected location on the map.

 

Finally, the map allows the users to view their current location, zoom in or out on the map, and to print the map view they’ve selected.

 

One more important point is that the map is mobile friendly. This allows users to operate the interactive tool even while on the go.

 

Begin Your Adventure

The Outdoor Explorer is a fun, interactive way to visualize boundaries related to LDWF rules and regulations, but also a good way to discover new places to explore in Sportsman’s Paradise.

 

To Access the Map...

To access the map, simply go to LDWF’s home page at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, scroll to the bottom and select “Begin Your Adventure.” Enjoy exploring!

WINTER 2020