What To Do When Approached By A Conservation Officer
Mississippi's Wildlife laws are intended to keep people safe, protect personal property, and conserve the state's natural resources so that everyone who lives in and visits Mississippi can have an enjoyable outdoor experience. It is Mississippi's Conservation Officers, working in the forests, fields, and waterways, who enforce compliance with these laws, ensuring a positive outdoor experience for all.
If you happen to be approached by a Conservation Officer for a compliance check, there are things that you can do to make your experience a good one for both you and the Officer. It is our hope that every encounter is a positive one that provides you with the opportunity to learn more about Mississippi's laws and to discover the rich heritage of what Mississippi has to offer in its great outdoors.
Conservation Officers are primarily concerned with firearm safety and compliance with hunting regulations when checking hunters. When approached by an Officer, you should do the following:
- Treat each firearm as if it were loaded.
- Always control the muzzle of your firearm by pointing it in a safe direction.
- Handle firearm with both hands while keeping your finger off the trigger and outside
the trigger guard.
- Listen and comply to all commands directed to you by the Officer.
Remember, in Conservation Law Enforcement, every person encountered during hunting season is carrying a weapon. While police Officers are taught to treat anyone they suspect of having a gun as a potential felon, Conservation Officers treat individuals as sportsmen and sportswomen.
While Fishing & Boating:
Conservation Officers are concerned with boating safety and compliance with fishing regulations when checking anglers. When approached by a Conservation Officer in a patrol boat you should:
- Maintain your vessels current direction.
- SLOW DOWN your vessel.
- Let the Officer approach you. DO NOT approach the Officer.
- Yield to all blue lights and sound devices.
- Secure all fishing equipment and gear.
Conservation Officers prefer to have a pleasant interaction with each outdoor enthusiast he or she meets. Every Officer appreciates a polite and courteous manner. By promptly complying with all requests made by the officer, you can help ensure a safe, pleasant, and productive experience. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask the Officer for advice or valuable tips.