Press Releases

Wildlife & Hunting


Proposed Changes to Nuisance Animal Regulations May Not Affect You!

JACKSON – The proposed nuisance animal rule change only affects the hunting of nuisance animals on open U.S. Forest Service lands. Nuisance animals are defined in MISS. CODE ANN. §49-7-1 as wild hogs, nutria, beaver, fox, skunks, and coyotes.This rule change does not apply to private lands.“The proposed changes does not change deer hunting with dogs, permitted field trials, the summer raccoon season, or any other hunting season,” explained Chad Dacus, of Wildlife Bureau Director for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

VEC to Host Alligator Program

JACKSON - Ricky Flynt, Wildlife Biologist and Alligator Program Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will present a program about alligators at the Visitor Education Center (VEC) on Saturday, July 16 at 2 p.m. Flynt will discuss the biology and population status of alligators. Participants will also learn about the nuisance alligator program and hunting opportunities in Mississippi.

Proposed Changes to Nuisance Animal Regulations

JACKSON –The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved proposed rule changes to the General Regulation for the Taking of Nuisance Animals on June 22. At the request of the U.S. Forest Service, to address safety, resource concerns, and reduce confusion by the public, proposed changes to regulations for hunting of nuisance animals on open national forest land are as follows: On U.S. Forest Service lands, nuisance animals may be killed during daylight hours only during any open hunting season with weapons and ammunition legal for that season. No bait or feed is allowed at any time. Trapping (including snaring) of hogs is prohibited. Transporting or releasing into the wild, or capture and removal of any live animal or plant is prohibited without Forest Service approval. Nuisance animal hunting with dogs is allowed during any deer hunting with dogs season during daylight hours only. Additionally, nuisance animal hunting with dogs is allowed following the close of the last primitive weapon deer season until last day of February with weapons and ammunition legal for small game during daylight hours only. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, will be enforced.

MDWFP Investigates Mysterious Turkey Deaths

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), in conjunction with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) recently released findings associated with the deaths of 15 wild turkey hens in Tallahatchie County. The birds were reported by a landowner to local Conservation Officer Dale Adams, who subsequently collected the specimens for testing.

Habitat Restoration Project Recently Completed at Indianola WMA

JACKSON – A habitat restoration project was recently completed at Indianola Wildlife Management Area (WMA). This project will not only restore areas to their native habitat, but will also provide visual cover for wintering waterfowl from public roads.

Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou WMAs Continue to be Impacted by Flooding

JACKSON – Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) encompass over 50,000 acres along the Pascagoula River in George and Jackson counties. The Pascagoula River basin is the largest drainage in the southeast region of the state. Over the past five months, the WMAs have experienced constant cycles of flooding which have lead to numerous road and hunting season closures. Roads and hunting seasons are closed during high water conditions to minimize road damage and keep visitors safe. Roads are highly susceptible to damage during periods of high water and often require costly repairs. Once flood waters recede, WMA personnel inspect roads and re-open when conditions are suitable. Visitors are encouraged to review Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou WMA regulations for more specific information regarding road and hunting season closures. These regulations can be found online at www.mdwfp.com/wma.

Treating Cogongrass on Wildlife Management Areas

JACKSON – With spring in full swing, trees are leafing out and flowers are blooming. This is a great time to identify different plant communities and locate any invasive plant species. Cogongrass is an aggressive, invasive species that will out-compete all native plant species and take over a landscape.

Spring Squirrel Season Opens May 14

JACKSON – Mississippi’s spring squirrel hunting season opens statewide May 14 – June 1. The bag limit is four squirrels per day during the spring season.

Alligator Hunting Seasons for 2016 Announced

JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, on April 20, approved the final rule changes for the 2016 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi. The statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. A total of 920 permits will be available within seven hunting zones across the state for the ten-day season, August 26 – September 5, 2016.

Mississippi’s 2016-17 Early Migratory Bird Seasons Announced

JACKSON –The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2016 – 2017 early hunting seasons for migratory game birds during its monthly meeting on April 20, 2016. These early seasons include doves, resident Canada geese, early teal, snipe, woodcock, and rails.

Mississippi’s 2016-17 Waterfowl Seasons Announced

JACKSON –The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2016-2017 waterfowl hunting seasons during the April 20, 2016 meeting. Under a new season selection process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases all migratory game bird frameworks in early spring each year providing a “window” of dates from which states may select specific season dates. “This new selection process uses the previous year’s breeding population and breeding habitat data to provide frameworks for hunting seasons. This allows states to select migratory bird seasons when other hunting seasons are set, and to publish those seasons earlier in the year. Waterfowl breeding populations in 2015 were high, which will again result in a liberal season framework of 60 days with a six-duck daily bag limit,” said Houston Havens, Waterfowl Program Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

South Delta Wildlife Management Areas Closed Due to Flooding

JACKSON – Heavy rainfall during the month of March and April has resulted in extraordinary high water levels and backwater flooding in the Mississippi south Delta. On April 12, 2016, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) signed an Executive Order closing turkey season, including any permit-only turkey hunts, on Lake George, Sunflower, and Twin Oaks Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for the remainder of the season.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Pike County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Pike County. The workshop will be held at Percy Quin State Park convention center on Tuesday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the MDWFP South Region office at (601) 783-2911.

Persistent Flooding Causes Closure of South Delta Wildlife Management Areas

JACKSON – Heavy rainfall during the month of March has resulted in extraordinary high water levels and backwater flooding in the Mississippi south Delta. On March 28, 2016, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) signed an Executive Order closing the turkey season, including any youth turkey hunts and permit-only turkey hunts, on Lake George, Sunflower, and Twin Oaks Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) until April 15, 2016.

Alligator Hunting Seasons for 2016 Proposed

JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved proposed rule changes for the 2016 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi on March 16. The statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. As proposed, a total of 920 permits will be available within 7 hunting zones across the state for the 10-day season, August 26 – September 5, 2016. All public water permits will be available for purchase on a first-come-first-serve basis. Permits will only be available for purchase electronically through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks website beginning July 19, 2016. To be eligible to purchase an alligator hunting permit you must be at least 16 years of age and possess one of the following valid resident licenses prior to July 19 to be eligible: Sportsman License, All-Game Hunting/Fishing License, Small Game Hunting/Fishing License, Apprentice Sportsman License, Apprentice All Game License, Apprentice Small Game License, Senior Exempt License, Disabled Exempt License, or a Lifetime License. An Alligator Hunting Training Course will be provided to permit holders, however the course is no longer mandatory.

Voluntary Survey Allows Hunters to Aid Wild Turkey Management

JACKSON – Turkey hunters with an interest in helping the conservation and management of their favorite game bird can aid the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) by acting as their on-the-ground eyes and ears. Participation in the MDWFP annual Spring Gobbler Hunting Survey (SGHS) gives turkey hunters a chance to collect data that is used to track populations and evaluate regulatory and management decisions.

Youth Turkey Season Offers Excitement for Young Hunters

JACKSON – The 2016 youth turkey season will begin on private lands and authorized state and federal lands on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. This special season, which is available to hunters ages 15 and under, coincides with spring break for many of Mississippi’s schools. This opportunity is an excellent chance to introduce young hunters to the thrill of pursuing springtime gobblers.

Spring Turkey Season Opens March 15

JACKSON – It’s time for Mississippi turkey hunters to break out their calls and dust off their shotguns, because the 2016 spring gobbler season is just around the corner! Turkey season opens on Tuesday, March 15 and ends May 1. For hunters age 15 and under, the youth season begins a week earlier on March 8. Bag limits for the spring season are one adult gobbler or one gobbler with at least a six inch beard per day, not to exceed three per spring season. Youth hunters 15 years of age and under may harvest one gobbler of choice per day, not to exceed three per spring season. Spring turkey season is closed in the following counties or parts thereof: Coahoma, Quitman, and Sunflower.

Supplemental Feeding for Deer After a Winter Flood

JACKSON -Recent winter flooding along the Mississippi River caused thousands of deer to relocate to drier land in Mississippi. As flood waters start to recede, deer will begin to return to their normal home range. Research has proven that deer displaced by high water events will return to their normal home ranges soon after waters recede. As these deer return, many people will want to provide supplemental feed to help them through the stressful period. The significance of the flood event will be short lived, and natural food will be available to deer depending on pre-flood abundance and quality. Existing feeding regulations will adequately meet any supplemental needs if feeding is implemented in flood affected areas. Extraordinary measures are not needed for the wellbeing of the deer herd.

Small Game Hunting Reopens in Areas Affected by Mississippi River Flooding

JACKSON - On January 20, 2016, during its regularly scheduled January meeting, the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks voted to keep hunting seasons along the Mississippi River closed until January 31, 2016. The order also declares all areas inundated by floodwaters to be "no wake" zones.

Hunting Seasons Close in the South Delta until January 31

JACKSON - This morning, the Steel Bayou Landside gauge went over ninety (90) feet triggering the closure of hunting season in the south Delta. Pursuant to the order of the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks earlier this month, once the Mississippi River reaches forty-three (43) feet on the Vicksburg gauge AND the Steele Bayou Landside gauge reaches ninety (90) feet in Zone 4.B, hunting season, except for waterfowl season, will close. Zone 4.B is defined as areas in Sharkey, Humphreys, Yazoo, Issaquena, Warren counties which lie south of Highway 14, west of Highway 149, south of Highway 16 / 149, west of Highway 3, and east of Highway 61. By action of the Commission on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, this area will be closed until January 31, 2016.

Hunting Seasons in Areas Affected by Mississippi River Flooding to Remain Closed Until January 31

JACKSON – On January 20, 2016, during its regularly scheduled January meeting, the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, voted to keep hunting seasons along the Mississippi River closed until January 31, 2016. The order also declares all areas inundated by floodwaters to be “no wake” zones.

Supplemental Feeding During and After a Flood Event

JACKSON – Recent flooding along the Mississippi River alluvial valley caused thousands of deer to relocate to drier land. Research has proven that deer displaced by high water events will return to their normal home ranges within weeks of the flood waters receding.

Wildlife Management Area Turkey Hunting Applications Available

JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is now accepting online applications for Wildlife Management Area (WMA) turkey draw hunts. Applications can be submitted at www.mdwfp.com/draws; the deadline to submit applications is February 15. All applicants must have a valid WMA user permit to apply. WMA user permits are available for purchase online at www.mdwfp.com or may be purchased anywhere hunting licenses are sold.

Commission Closes Additional Hunting Area During Emergency Session

JACKSON – On January 14, 2016, the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, (“the Commission”) met in an emergency session to address the issue of rising waters of the Mississippi River forcing deer and other animals out of their natural habitat. The Commission voted unanimously to expand its order closing all open hunting seasons (except waterfowl) for the duration of the current high water event, along the Mississippi River.

Youth Waterfowl Camp Application Period Extended

JACKSON – The application period for the Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp to be hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. has been extended to January 11. The camp’s mission is to recruit and retain waterfowl hunters and increase support for wetland conservation and waterfowl hunting in Mississippi. Classroom discussions and hands-on exercises will be led by biologists and other wildlife professionals to help students gain a better understanding of wetlands, waterfowl, and ethical hunting practices. In addition, local field trips to publicly and privately managed wetlands will expose youth to the diversity of habitats that waterfowl use in Mississippi. Activities will include shooting instructions and safety training, as well as an optional adult-supervised waterfowl hunt.

Apply Now for the Trim Cane WMA Youth Waterfowl Hunt

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is now accepting applications for the Special Youth Waterfowl Hunt on Trim Cane Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The special youth hunt will be held on February 6. The WMA is an 891-acre property located in Oktibbeha County, approximately four miles north of Starkville off of Highway 389. The area has been developed primarily for waterfowl hunting and offers an excellent opportunity for youth waterfowl hunters. Trim Cane is easily accessible and is a prime area to introduce youth to waterfowl hunting.

Additional Area Closed to Hunting Due to Rising Flood Waters

JACKSON – In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and private landowners, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) by order of the Executive Director added the following area to the hunting season closure order issued on December 30, 2015:

Wild Hogs in Flood Zone

The Mississippi River reached flood stages that resulted in the closing of hunting of all wild animals – except for waterfowl – in previously announced affected areas. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (“MDWFP”) is continuing to monitor the situation as animals are being forced from their natural habitat.

Mississippi River Flooding May Cause Closures

JACKSON - As a result of the recent severe weather and heavy rains that we have experienced in the past few days, the Mississippi River is beginning to rise at a rate in excess of that experienced during the floods of 2008-2009. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) would like to remind everyone of several important items.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp Announced

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has again joined with Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and other volunteers to host the Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp. The camp’s mission is to recruit and retain waterfowl hunters and increase support for wetland conservation and waterfowl hunting in Mississippi. This camp is much more than a youth waterfowl hunting trip. During the camp, youth ages 13 – 16 will increase their knowledge of waterfowl and wetland biology and management. Classroom discussions and hands-on exercises will be led by biologists and other wildlife professionals to help students gain a better understanding of wetlands, waterfowl, and ethical hunting practices. In addition, local field trips to publicly and privately managed wetlands will expose youth to the diversity of habitats that waterfowl use in Mississippi. Activities will include shooting instructions and safety training, as well as an optional adult-supervised waterfowl hunt.

Late-Season Opportunities for Youth Deer Hunters on Northeast WMAs

JACKSON – During January, youth 15 years old and younger are encouraged to take advantage of special deer hunting opportunities in the Northeast Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Region. Certain Northeast WMAs offer a combination of relaxed weapon restrictions and special access to improve hunt quality for youth deer hunters. Canal and Divide Section WMAs each provide a specially designated area for youth hunters.

Legal Weapons During the Primitive Weapon Deer Season

JACKSON - The primitive weapon season for deer, which opened December 2 and runs through December 15, is traditionally an excellent time to witness the pre-rut and harvest a quality buck. Antlerless deer and zone-legal bucks are eligible for harvest. On PRIVATE LANDS ONLY, deer hunters may use ANY firearm during this season. Regardless of weapon used, all hunters must possess a valid All Game License and a Primitive Weapon License, or a Sportsman’s License, or a Lifetime Sportsman’s License to take advantage of this opportunity.

Primitive Weapon Season for Deer Now Open

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) reminds hunters that the primitive weapon season for deer opened December 2 and runs through December 15 in all three Deer Management Zones. Antlerless deer and zone-legal bucks are eligible for harvest.

Flooding May Cause Temporary Road and Hunting Season Closures on Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou WMAs

JACKSON – Winter rains bring high waters to Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), which lie within the floodplain of the Pascagoula River in George and Jackson counties. WMA visitors should be aware that roads and hunting seasons may be temporarily closed during high water conditions to minimize road damage and keep visitors safe. Roads are highly susceptible to damage during periods of high water and often require costly repairs. Once flood waters recede, WMA personnel inspect roads and re-open when conditions are suitable. Road maintenance is a year-round job for personnel as the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks strives to provide adequate access for both public activities and management tasks. Visitors are encouraged to review the Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou WMA regulations for more specific information regarding road and hunting season closures. These regulations can be found online at www.mdwfp.com/wma.

MDWFP Partners with NWTF for Habitat Improvements on Copiah County WMA

JACKSON – Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located west of Hazlehurst, is a heavily forested WMA owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). The MDWFP recently partnered with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) to enhance wildlife habitat on the WMA. A new 10 acre area was cleared of stumps and logging debris and will serve as a managed wildlife opening. The project received funding support from the Mississippi NWTF Chapter’s Hunting Heritage Superfund Program and an additional generous donation from the Greater Jackson Chapter.

Mississippi’s Duck Hunting Seasons Starting Soon

JACKSON – Mississippi’s regular duck hunting season opens November 27. Many waterfowl hunters are anxiously awaiting the season opener due to record breeding duck population estimates last spring. However, hunters should remember that winter severity in the northern United States and Canada, combined with local habitat quality and availability, also play major roles in how many ducks make their way to and remain in Mississippi.

White-tailed Deer Gun Season Opens November 21

JACKSON – Mississippi’s 2015 – 2016 white-tailed deer gun season opens November 21 and closes December 1. Hunting with dogs is allowed where legal during this season. Legal deer include legal bucks and antlerless deer on private lands and only legal bucks only on open public lands. The antlered buck bag limit is one buck per day, not to exceed three per annual season. Legal bucks must meet the antler criteria within the appropriate deer management zone. For youth hunters 15 years of age and younger hunting on private land and authorized state and federal lands, all three of the three buck bag limit may be any antlered deer. The antlerless deer bag limit in the Delta and Hill Deer Management Zones is five per annual season. The bag limit for antlerless deer in the Southeast Deer Management Zone and all U.S. Forest Service Lands is one per day not to exceed three per annual season.

MDWFP Biologist John Gruchy Honored by Regional Peers, Named 2015 SEAFWA Wildlife Biologist of the Year

JACKSON – The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named John Gruchy the 2015 Wildlife Biologist of the Year at their annual meeting in Asheville, NC on November 3, 2015. Gruchy is the private lands habitat coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

WMA Waterfowl Draw Hunt Applications Now Open

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is now accepting online applications for Wildlife Management Area (WMA) waterfowl draw hunts. Applications can be submitted at www.mdwfp.com/draws. All applicants must have a valid WMA user permit to apply. WMA user permits are available for purchase online at www.mdwfp.com or may be purchased anywhere hunting licenses are sold.

Preparing for Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities on WMAs

JACKSON –Throughout Mississippi, wintering waterfowl habitat and hunting areas are being prepared for the upcoming waterfowl season. The recent and much needed rain has helped to jump start fall flooding of waterfowl hunting units. The rain also began the process of putting water in many areas on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) without pumping capability.

Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities in North Mississippi

JACKSON – Multiple Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in northeast Mississippi offer public hunting opportunity to pursue waterfowl during the 2015 – 2016 hunting season. Canal Section, Graham Lake, Upper Sardis, and Tuscumbia WMAs have a variety of managed and natural wetlands that attract wintering waterfowl.

Special Primitive Weapons Season for Deer Opens November 9

JACKSON – Mississippi’s special primitive weapons season for white-tailed deer will open November 9 in the Hill and Delta Deer Management Zones. The special primitive weapons season is for antlerless deer only on private lands and open public lands from November 9 – November 20. This special season is provided to help hunters in areas with higher deer densities earlier opportunities to achieve antlerless harvest objectives prior to the rut. Only archery equipment and primitive firearms may be used during this season.

Youth Gun Deer Season Opens November 7

JACKSON – The gun deer season for youth hunters age 15 and younger begins November 7. This season provides youth hunters with the first firearms deer hunting opportunity. Youth may use any firearm and zone-specific spread and main beam antler regulations do not apply to youth hunters. The bag limit on Delta and Hill Zone antlerless deer is five per annual season. The bag limit on Southeast Zone antlerless deer is one per day not to exceed three per annual season. Youth may harvest one buck with any hardened antler per day not to exceed three bucks for the entire hunting season.

Habitat Improvements Continue on Copiah County WMA

JACKSON – Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located west of Hazlehurst, is a heavily forested WMA, owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). Approximately 200 acres of timber were recently thinned, this timber harvest will improve forest health and wildlife habitat by opening the forest canopy which allows sunlight to reach the ground. Sunlight, along with soil disturbance, promotes the growth of desirable vegetation that provides food and cover for many wildlife species.

MS Rabbit Season Opens October 17

JACKSON – Mississippi’s 2015 – 2016 rabbit hunting season opens October 17, 2015 and closes February 28, 2016. The bag limit is eight per day. Rabbit hunting is a fun and exciting way to spend time with family and friends. Rabbit hunters are encouraged to take youth hunting, but be sure to provide supervision on safe firearms handling and shooting.

MDWFP Commission Adopts Change to Wildlife Supplemental Feeding Rule

JACKSON – A change to the wildlife supplemental feeding rule was adopted by the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at its recent meeting on September 16. The adopted change removes the “line of sight” prohibition from the rule, allowing hunters to place approved feeders in locations where they can be seen by the hunters. Unchanged in the rule is the requirement that hunters must be at least 100 yards from the feeder.

Wildlife Habitat Improved at John Bell Williams and Tuscumbia WMAs

JACKSON – Habitat improvements on John Bell Williams and Tuscumbia Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) are expected to help resident and migratory birds. Tuscumbia WMA has approximately 2,000 acres of wetland habitat and is located in Alcorn County. John Bell Williams WMA is a 2,930-acre tract of bottomland and upland hardwood forest located in Prentiss County.

Mississippi Deer Archery Seasons Open October 1 & 15

JACKSON – Many Mississippians are looking forward to the opening of deer archery season on October 1 for the Hill and Delta Zones and October 15 for the Southeast Zone. Longbows, recurves, compound bows, and crossbows are all considered legal archery equipment and can be used during all hunting seasons for deer. There is no minimum or maximum draw weight, no minimum arrow length, and fixed or mechanical broadheads may be used.

Squirrel Season Opens October 1

JACKSON – The Mississippi fall squirrel season opens statewide on October 1, 2015 and closes February 28, 2016. The special youth squirrel season is September 24 – September 30 on private lands and authorized state and federal lands only. The bag limit is eight squirrels per day.

Changes to Hunting Regulations at Great River Road Wildlife Management Area

JACKSON – At the September meeting of the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, hunting regulations for Great River Road Wildlife Management Area (WMA) were changed. Changes are as follows:

State and Federal Duck Stamps Now Available Online

JACKSON — Thanks to our abundance of waterfowl and habitat, hunting and viewing are very popular in Mississippi, and witnessing the teal migration and hunting season in September is a great start to the fall. One of the most important steps in preparing for the waterfowl season is purchasing state and federal duck stamps. But, even to the most experienced hunter, purchasing a state and federal waterfowl stamp may seem a bit confusing.

Alligator Hunting Season Yields Record Harvest

JACKSON – The 2015 Mississippi public water alligator hunting season closed on September 7; the private lands hunting season remains open until 6 a.m. on September 21. To increase participation among permitted hunters this year, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) changed the sale of public water alligator hunting permits to a first come, first served process. In 2013 and 2014, only 75 percent of eligible permit holders participated, with a harvest of 671 and 682 alligators, respectively. Preliminary harvest reports and surveys submitted for 2015 indicate a record harvest of over 960 alligators and over 90 percent participation among permitted hunters.

Fall Food Plot Planting May Be Delayed on Some WMAs

JACKSON – As the days get shorter and fall draws near, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) biologists and Wildlife Management Area (WMA) managers across the state begin preparing to plant fall food plots on WMAs. Hunters returning to visit their favorite WMA will see evidence of clipping, spraying, or disking as wildlife openings are prepared for planting. However, wildlife openings on some United States Forest Service (USFS) WMAs may remain unplanted until late fall or possibly for the entire hunting season.

MDWFP Offering Dove Hunting Opportunity in Webster County

JACKSON –As part of its Private Lands Dove Field Program, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has prepared a dove field in Webster County and is offering a limited number of hunting permits for purchase. The 65-acre browntop millet field is located northwest of Eupora.

MDWFP Offering Dove Hunting Opportunity in Kemper County

JACKSON –As part of its Private Lands Dove Field Program, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has prepared a dove field in Kemper County and is offering a limited number of hunting permits for purchase. The 57-acre browntop millet and goat weed field is located east of Scooba.

MDWFP Commission Proposes Change to Wildlife Supplemental Feeding Rule

JACKSON – A change to the wildlife supplemental feeding rule was proposed by the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at its recent meeting on August 19th.

New Hunting Opportunity at Great River Road State Park Wildlife Management Area

JACKSON – Great River Road facilities were decimated by the Mississippi River Flood of 2011. Since that time, the city of Rosedale has managed the new day-use section of the park, while the remaining property was closed to the public due to flood damage.

Mississippi’s Waterfowl Late Seasons Announced

Jackson –The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2015 – 2016 waterfowl hunting seasons. “Breeding populations were strong again in 2015, which will result in a liberal season framework of 60 days with a 6-duck daily bag limit,” said Houston Havens, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Waterfowl Program Leader.

MDWFP Offers Dove Hunting Opportunities on Private Lands

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) offers public dove hunting opportunities on leased private lands throughout the state. The Private Lands Dove Field Program began in 2004 in an effort to provide additional public dove hunting opportunities. For this hunting season, private land dove fields will be located in Kemper, Panola, Pearl River, Scott, and Webster counties. “Dove hunting is very popular; however, MDWFP has recognized that having access to properly prepared, family-friendly dove fields can be difficult for people to find,” says Houston Havens, MDWFP Waterfowl Program Leader. Havens says, “MDWFP has partnered with farmers to make their fields available for hunters. Our goal is to have a safe field that offers good hunting for the entire family to enjoy.”

Deer and Early Teal Hunting Applications Available August 3

JACKSON – Beginning August 3, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will accept draw permit applications for deer and early season teal hunts on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Applicants must apply online at www.mdwfp.com/draws and have a valid Mississippi hunting license before applying for a WMA draw hunt.

Special Dove Hunting Opportunities for Youth on WMAs

JACKSON – In Mississippi, fall officially begins with fast-action dove hunts on warm September afternoons. Dove hunting is an excellent opportunity to introduce youth to hunting and shooting sports. The social atmosphere of dove hunting also introduces youth to the experience of the hunting camp tradition and creates special memories with family and friends. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is providing unique hunting opportunities for youth on our Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). This year there will be two youth dove hunts held on Black Prairie and Mahannah WMAs.

Lt. Governor Reeves Visits Howard Miller WMA

Lt. Governor Reeves Visits Howard Miller WMA JACKSON—Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves visited Howard Miller Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Issaquena County today to view progress on habitat and access improvements. Since the WMA was acquired by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) in 2007, it has provided public hunting opportunities for migratory birds and served to demonstrate successful techniques in restoring and managing waterfowl habitat through agriculture and wetland management. "The unique partnership between MDWFP and local agriculture provides excellent waterfowl habitat, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities for our sportsmen and women," said Lt. Gov. Reeves. "Hunting and outdoor recreation provides a big boost to the Delta's economy, and I encourage Mississippians to support conservation by passing on this important heritage to the next generation."

Mississippi Alligator Hunting Permits Sold Out

JACKSON – For the first time since alligator hunting began in Mississippi, public water alligator hunting permits went on sale on a first come, first served basis July 14 at 9 a.m.; all permits sold within 45 minutes.

Mississippi Black Bears on the Move

JACKSON – In recent weeks, several areas across Mississippi have experienced higher than normal black bear activity. During spring and summer, after a few months of inactivity, these bears resume their normal life cycle and begin roaming in search of food. This seasonal nomadic activity is what is responsible for bear sightings that have been documented recently across Mississippi.

Mississippi’s Early Waterfowl Seasons Announced

JACKSON–The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2015 – 2016 early teal and Canada goose hunting seasons during their monthly meeting on June 10, 2015. The early teal season is September 12 – 27. The bag limit for September teal is 6 per day with no more than 18 in possession. The hunting season for resident Canada geese is September 1 – 15. The daily bag limit is 5 Canada geese with a possession limit of 15.

Duck Breeding Pop. Remain High in 2015

JACKSON - The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service recently completed their annual waterfowl population surveys on the breeding grounds in the northern United States and Canadian provinces. These surveys monitor waterfowl populations and critical wetland habitat conditions, which are used to help set hunting season frameworks. Overall, North American breeding duck population estimates increased one percent from 2014 estimates and remained just over 49 million birds.

Mississippi’s Early Migratory Game Bird Seasons Announced

JACKSON–The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2015-2016 early hunting seasons for migratory game birds during its monthly meeting on June 10, 2015. These early seasons include resident Canada geese, early teal, snipe, woodcock, dove, and rails.

Nuisance Animal Control Conserves Habitat on Canal Section, Divide Section, and John Bell Williams WMAs

JACKSON – Annually, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) actively remove beavers and feral hogs from Canal Section, Divide Section, and John Bell Williams Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) located in northeast Mississippi. Approximately 260 beavers and 70 feral hogs have been removed, primarily through trapping, since July 2014. The result is the conservation of hundreds of acres of habitat on these WMAs.

Prescribed Burning Program Accepting Applications

Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is continuing its partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Wildlife Mississippi, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Mississippi Forestry Commission and others to provide cost-share for prescribed burning on private lands. Since its inception in 2011, the “Fire on the Forty” program has provided cost-share funding for prescribed burning on more than 35,000 acres in North and South Mississippi.

Leave Fawns Alone

JACKSON – With the official start of summer, white-tailed deer fawns begin to appear in Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) wants to remind people to LEAVE FAWNS ALONE. Many Mississippians will come across a newborn fawn this summer. However, well-meaning people think the fawn has been abandoned or is sick, and want to take the fawn home to care for it. “We tell people the same thing every year – please LEAVE FAWNS ALONE,” said MDWFP Deer Program Leader Lann Wilf.

Infrastructure and Habitat Improvements on Pascagoula River WMA

JACKSON – This summer, major infrastructure improvements are scheduled for the 37,000 acre Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in George and Jackson counties. Improvements will include re-graveling and widening of roads, repairs to water crossings, and boat ramp maintenance. Infrastructure maintenance is a year-round job for WMA personnel as the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) strives to provide adequate access for both public activities and management tasks.

Timber Harvests Scheduled for Copiah County and Canemount WMAs

JACKSON – Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Canemount WMA are heavily forested WMAs owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). As part of the overall management plan for these WMAs, MDWFP personnel conduct timber inventory cruises and prioritize areas that need to be managed. Once a timber management area is determined, MDWFP personnel enter the timber stands and individually mark trees to be harvested. Timber marking criteria are based on several variables such as tree density, health, tree species, and wildlife management objectives.

2015 Alligator Hunting Seasons Announced

JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks finalized regulations for the 2015 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi at its April meeting. The statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. A total of 920 permits will be available within seven hunting zones across the state for the ten day season which begins August 28 and runs through September 7.

MWFP Foundation Super Hunt Fishing Rodeo

Jackson–The Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Foundation (MWFP) is sponsoring the Super Hunt Fishing Rodeo for youth with disabilities at Turcotte Education Center on Saturday, May 9. This event is open to disabled youth ages 6-17, and will begin at noon.

New Pascagoula River Blueway on Pascagoula River WMA

JACKSON – The Pascagoula River is recognized as the largest unimpeded river system in the contiguous United States. The river spans the length of the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), a 37,000-acre tract of predominately bottomland hardwood forest located within George and Jackson counties. Recently, a 22-mile portion of the river in George County was designated as a national blueway thanks to help from numerous collaborators and a grant through the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. Project partners include the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, Pascagoula River Basin Alliance, George County Economic Development Foundation, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The goal of the Pascagoula River Blueway is to promote public use and enjoyment of the Pascagoula River and its natural resources.

Infrastructure Improvements on Charles Ray Nix WMA

JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is planning to repair and improve access on Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Panola County. Work will include stabilizing creek crossings, replacing culverts, and repairing sections of WMA roads. When completed, the improvements will restore management access to remote parts of the WMA, reduce erosion, and provide better access for WMA visitors. Work is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2015. Similar infrastructure improvements are also planned for Canal Section, John Bell Williams, and Sardis Waterfowl WMAs. Work on Sardis Waterfowl WMA will be performed by the Sardis Lake Corps of Engineers.

Upcoming Habitat Management Activities on WMAs

JACKSON – As the days get longer and winter draws to a close, months of habitat management planning are about to be put into action across Mississippi. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' (MDWFP) biologists and Wildlife Management Area (WMA) managers across the state have been preparing to take habitat management plans from paper to the field. When habitat management is mentioned, most hunters often think of food plots and wonder what they should plant. However, food plots make up a very small percentage of the overall landscape. Due to past implementation of habitat management techniques across Mississippi’s WMAs, food resources, nesting cover, brood-rearing cover, and escape cover are plentiful throughout the state.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Funding Keeps WMAs Open

JACKSON— Mississippi's system of wildlife management areas (WMAs) includes mitigation lands owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and managed by MDWFP. This unique partnership between state and federal agencies allows USACE to continue their flood protection and navigation activities in the state. This arrangement also provides habitat for a variety of species, including waterfowl, deer, and small game, and offers important public recreational opportunities, and supplies economic benefits to local communities.

Live Webcam Offers Glimpse of Waterfowl in the Mississippi Delta

JACKSON – Waterfowl are continually arriving on many Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in the Delta to make Mississippi their winter home. A special video camera was installed on one of these WMAs to give the public a live look at the lives of waterfowl and other waterbirds in the Delta. This is the first time that this technology has been used to give the public the opportunity to view live footage of wintering ducks on public lands that are open to hunting.


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