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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 2020-21 Hunting Season

The MDWFP has made procedural changes to waterfowl draw hunts on Wildlife Management Areas for the 2020-21 hunting season. Due to ongoing health concerns from Covid-19, drawing procedures have been altered to limit close interactions between individuals who are visiting or working on these areas.

New procedures for the upcoming hunting season are outlined below:

  • All waterfowl draw hunt applications (5 draw periods per WMA) will be open concurrently from Oct 1 to Oct 15 and all drawings and notifications will be completed by Nov 1.
  • Drawn hunters will have 48 hours to confirm their reservation online before it goes back into a second re-fill drawing.
  • Applicants who are not initially drawn will be entered into the re-fill drawing for a chance to fill any hunting positions that were not confirmed.
  • Hunting units will be assigned when draw winners are notified by email.
  • Drawn hunters and their guests will sign in by 5:00 am, and then proceed to their hunting unit the morning of the hunt.
  • There will be “stand-by” opportunity on Howard Miller, Mahannah, Mahannah/Phil Bryant Timber, and Muscadine Farms WMAs for non-drawn hunters to show up the day of a hunt for a chance to fill a vacant spot.
  • If drawn hunters fail to sign in by 5:00 am, their hunt unit will become available in the stand-by draw.
  • For stand-by hunters, one designated person from each hunt group will sign in all members of their hunting party on a numbered sign-in sheet by 5:00 am.
  • The first numbered available hunt unit will be drawn for first and assigned to a randomly drawn hunting party.
  • This will continue until all available hunt units are assigned. 

Draw Procedures for Individual WMAs:

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.

2020-21 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 endured extensive flooding throughout last winter and early spring. This did not allow the farmers to get in the fields early enough to plant rice, however, they were able to plant soybeans. The normal moist soil units were able to produce quality vegetation, and is comprised of mostly sprangletop and duck salad. MDWFP staff were able to plant strips of Sudan grass in the moist soil to provide cover. Hunt units that are located in the AG portion of the WMA will have some standing soybeans but there will be very little to no cover. Some units will have duck blinds as an option for hunters to use. 
  • Mahannah WMA –Mahannah WMA held water for most of the spring and early parts of the summer. This resulted in a semi-permanent wetland response for vegetation production.  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 duck blinds located on select units as an option for hunters to use.
  • Muscadine Farms WMA – Muscadine Farms WMA is primarily managed for moist soil habitat. Located in the agricultural epicenter, often times moist soil is the limiting habitat type. Many duck species are attracted to moist soil because it provides almost all of the dietary needs for winter survival. Muscadine Farms consistently produces some of the best moist soil habitat in the Delta. MDWFP staff have spent numerous hours managing and manipulating the waterfowl units to provide for the highest quality moist soil possible.  Some areas were disked or mowed to clear dense natural vegetation before flooding, and some were managed for semi-permanent wetlands. This diverse habitat management technique provides year round habitat for waterfowl. Many impoundments have strips of Sudan grass for cover and the sides of the levees in each impoundment were left un-manipulated to provide additional hunter cover.
  • Twin Oaks WMA – Twin Oaks WMA waterfowl units were managed for moist soil and had some corn strips planted throughout each unit. The moist soil response was good and there should be a high amount of food for wintering waterfowl. There will be some flooding of the GTRs but will likely be limited due to the extensive flooding for the past few years.
  • 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- Charlie Capps WMA is similar to Muscadine Farms WMA in that it is managed almost exclusively for moist soil. This year at Charlie Capps WMA, MDWFP staff used an early draw down to allow them to access and manipulate the units. This allowed for a late smartweed and millet response, therefore food availably is very high this year. Charlie Capps WMA is dotted with stands of Willow Trees and has a significant amount of hunter cover. 
  • Trim Cane WMA – various millet plantings are scattered across each impoundment. MDWFP staff have created some new openings in select impoundments where the willow trees had taken over. A combination of disking and clipping were used in each impoundment to reduce woody encroachment and to promote more quality moist soil. The water control structures have all the boards in and beginning to collect rain water.
  • Tuscumbia WMA –Moist soil habitat on the area is in great condition. Impoundments are holding water at approximately half-capacity and should be near full by the first hunt date. Impoundments are planted in millet and milo, and unplanted portions are managed for native vegetation. Updated water level and hunting information may be obtained by calling (662) 284-0740.
  • William (Billy) C. Deviney WMA – Early draw downs allowed for the farmers to access the WMA early in the year, this in turn also allowed for the WMA to be planted almost exclusively in rice. Rice harvest was finished in Mid-October and MDWFP staff immediately began flooding. Some strips of rice were left standing, however, hunter cover is limited. 
  • 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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