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Wildlife & Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting Information

Where to Hunt
Mississippi offers numerous waterfowl hunting opportunities. From state, federal, and privately owned lands managed intensively for waterfowl to the various public waterways throughout the state, there is surely a waterfowl hunting opportunity located within a reasonable drive of most Mississippians. Each of these areas are subject to their own rules and regulations. The links below should help you learn the rules and regulations for public waterfowl hunting on an area near you.

Waterfowl Draw Hunt Information
The MDWFP has numerous waterfowl hunting opportunities on its Wildlife Management Areas. Hunters can freelance waterfowl hunt on many areas like Sunflower, Malmaison, O'Keefe, Sky Lake, Pascagoula, Nanih Waiya, or Canal Section WMAs. Or if you are after a more structured experience with defined hunting units and on-site personnel available for questions, perhaps one of our areas offering a limited access hunting opportunity is of more interest to you. Wildlife Management Areas like Howard Miller, Charlie Capps, Mahannah, Trim Cane, Tuscumbia (Unit 2), Muscadine, and William (Billy) C. Deviney all have limited access waterfowl hunts. If you are interested in applying for reservations for a waterfowl draw hunt, Apply during any of the draw application periods held during fall and winter for regular season duck hunts or early August for early teal season hunts.

Draw Hunt Procedures for Standby Hunting Areas
Standby hunting is where hunters can arrive at the WMA the morning of waterfowl draw hunt days for an opportunity to fill vacancies as a result of reservation holders not showing up for their draw hunt. Standby procedures may be different from one area to the next based on hunter input for that area or what we have found works best for that area. The links below will provide additional information for standby hunting procedures for each area.

Waterfowl Hunt Unit Maps
The MDWFP offers a variety of mapping tools to help hunters get a feel of an area before they get a chance to visit it. Our Geographic Information System Program offers an interactive mapping application with updated aerial photography, topographical maps, and GPS locations. They also have maps of waterfowl hunting units for our Wildlife Management Areas that delineate hunting areas. Our Wildlife Management Area Program has maps and area regulations for all WMAs.

2019 Habitat Status on Selected Waterfowl Hunting Areas
Waterfowl habitat status on selected WMAs is updated annually prior to the regular duck season.

  • Howard Miller WMA - Howard Miller WMA will look a little different this year compared to previous years. The extensive flooding that took place during the spring and most of the summer did not allow for the usual rice and soybean crops to be planted. Approximately half of the WMA had to be worked up to fix ruts and damage left after the flooding. The other half of the WMA was able to produce a remarkable amount of moist soil, dominated by sprangletop and duck salad with little competition from non-desirable vegetation. Areas of coffeebean were left for hunter cover. In addition, Howard Miller WMA will have duck blinds located on select units as an option for hunters to use. 
  • Mahannah WMA - The water levels did not recede in time for most moist-soil plants, such as millet or sprangletop, to have time to develop. The majority of the units will have primarily duck potato, which is an excellent waterfowl food.  Overall, the area's waterfowl food abundance is very high and a fair amount of  cover is present in most of the units. In addition, Mahannah WMA will have newly installed duck blinds located on select units as an option for hunters to use.
  • Muscadine Farms WMA - Moist-soil plants are growing well. Some areas were disked or mowed to clear dense natural vegetation before flooding, and some were too wet to access over the summer. Many impoundments have strips of millet for supplemental waterfowl foods. Overall, waterfowl foraging and resting habitat on Muscadine will be excellent, and some impoundments have been flooded year-round to provide more waterfowl food diversity.
  • Twin Oaks WMA - The water did not recede off of Twin Oaks WMA in time to allow for any decent moist soil plants to develop. All of the units were disked under to set back to succession stage. In addition, due to the extent of the flooding, the GTRs will not be flooded this year.  Hunters may wish to bring their own cover. 
  • Malmaison WMA - The Malmaison green tree reservoir (GTR) had a fair moist soil growing season, and staff have mowed some holes in the natural vegetation for waterfowl and hunter access. The oak trees within the GTR are showing signs of a decent acorn crop. Waterfowl foraging and resting habitat should be fair in the GTR. The McIntyre Scatters produced an abundance of water lily. Fall water levels are low and winter rainfall will still be needed to flood this area.
  • O'Keefe WMA - The waterfowl impoundments on O'Keefe WMA contain a wide variety of waterfowl foods. The contract farmer grew soybeans with alternating strips of corn. The strips of corn were left standing for waterfowl food and hunter cover. Moist-soil production was excellent across all impoundments and some areas were supplemented with Japanese millet and milo. Some manipulations were completed to clear dense areas of undesirable vegetation before flooding. 
  • Charlie Capps WMA- Managers at Capps WMA used a late drawdown on the moist soil impoundments this year and were able to get a good response of millet and sprangletop.  Capps WMA is dotted with stands of Willow Trees and has a substantial amount of cover. 
  • Trim Cane WMA - Habitat manipulation occurred within all 7 of the impoundments on Trim Cane WMA. Several disturbance techniques including disking, burning, clipping, and spraying were used to create a diverse habitat complex. Milo and Millet were planted in several of the impoundments as well. Significant amounts of rainfall will still be needed for adequate waterfowl habitat. Updated water level and hunting information may be obtained by calling (662) 272-8303.
  • Tuscumbia WMA - Due to a wet spring, moist-soil habitat is excellent. Also, portions of several impoundments were planted in millet. Managers have continued to create additional openings within impoundments. Updated water level and hunting information may be obtained by calling (662) 284-0740.
  • William (Billy) C. Deviney WMA - Due to the excessive amount of rainfall during the planting season, the contract farmer was not able to plant rice in any of the units. However, the units were able to grow a decent amount of moist soil plants, including sprangletop and millet.  A few of the impoundments were managed in natural moist-soil vegetation with strips of Milo planted throughout them. The abundance of Waterfowl foraging habitat is fair on the entire area. The sides of the levees around each impoundment were left to grow up in grasses for cover; still, hunters may wish to bring their own cover.
  • Pearl River WMA - There is an abundance of native vegetation with portions of the impoundments planted in Brown-top millet.There are flooded timber areas and flooded areas with dense brush adjacent to the impoundments to provide for suitable cover.

Waterfowl Draw Hunt Chances
The chance of getting a pre-season reservation waterfowl hunt varies from one WMA to the next. Harvest success, word-of-mouth, location, and waterfowl use all play an important role in dictating how many people apply for a certain WMA. Also, how many dates hunters choose and how they prioritize those dates can influence their chances of being drawn. For example, prioritizing for all available hunt dates within a draw period increases your likelihood of being drawn.

 

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