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Waterfowl Hunting Information

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 Indianola all have limited access waterfowl hunts.  If you are interested in applying for reservations for a waterfowl draw hunt, Apply during any of the five draw application periods held mid-October through December 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 hunt days for an opportunity to fill vacancies as a result of reservation holders not showing up for their 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.  For standby procedures on 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.

2013 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- The conventional rice that was planted produced very well.  Most moist-soil areas have strips of corn and Sudan grass planted in them for hunter cover and supplemental waterfowl foods.  However, dry and hot conditions in late summer caused many of these plantings to suffer.  Cover in moist-soil areas and soybean fields may be limited. Food availability in moist-soil areas is excellent, dominated by wild millet and sprangletop with little competition from non-desirable vegetation.
  • Mahannah WMA- Moist-soil plants have responded very well after prolonged spring flooding.   Sudan grass was planted in strips to provide hunter cover.  Overall, the area's waterfowl food abundance is excellent.
  • Muscadine Farms WMA- Moist-soil plants are growing well.  Some areas were disked or mowed to clear dense areas of natural vegetation before flooding.  Many impoundments have strips of Sudan grass and millet for hunter cover and supplemental waterfowl foods.  Overall, waterfowl foraging and roosting habitat on Muscadine will be excellent, and some impoundments have been flooded since September.
  • Twin Oaks WMA- Moist soil plant abundance is excellent in waterfowl impoundments and GTR openings.  Millet and Sudan grass has also been planted to supplement natural foods and provide additional hunter cover. 
  • Malmaison WMA- The Malmaison green tree reservoir (GTR) had a good moist soil growing season.  A lot of natural waterfowl foods were produced after a late wet spring.  Waterfowl food plots were planted to millet in the GTR and produced well.  Waterfowl foraging and resting habitat should be good in the GTR.
  • 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 very good in most impoundments and some areas were supplemented with millet and corn plantings.  Some manipulations were completed to clear dense areas of undesirable vegetation before flooding. 
  • Charlie Capps WMA- Moist-soil plants responded very well to a late wet spring.  Impoundments have a diversity of waterfowl foods and abundant cover.  Managers have done their best to mow/disc areas for waterfowl access in most impoundments.  Large-scale removal of old stumps and clearing of thick brush has opened up many areas within impoundments for waterfowl access.
  • Trim Cane WMA- Trim Cane WMA had an excellent moist-soil response in summer 2013. The grain sorghum, Egyptian wheat, and millet plantings also did well in most impoundments.  Some additional nuisance vegetation control efforts were conducted within several of the impoundments, which improved the wetland habitat diversity.  With adequate rainfall this fall and winter, Trim Cane promises to provide quality wintering waterfowl habitat. Updated water level and hunting information may be obtained by calling (662) 272-8303.
  • Tuscumbia WMA- Due to a late wet spring, moist-soil habitat looks great.  Also, several impoundments were planted in Japanese millet, browntop millet, sorghum sudan, grain sorghum, and Egyptian wheat.  Also, managers have continued to create additional openings within impoundments.  Access to waterfowl impoundments has been improved through extensive road improvements on this area. Updated water level and hunting information may be obtained by calling 662-284-0740.
  • Indianola WMA - Habitat enhancements are ongoing at Indianola WMA.  A limited number of waterfowl impoundments will be open to hunting during the 2013-14 waterfowl hunting season.  Three of these units are planted in millet and the remaining seven consist of harvested rice fields.

Waterfowl Draw Hunt Statistics
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.