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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.

2018 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 and soybean fields have strips of tall vegetation planted in them for hunter cover and supplemental waterfowl foods. Some cover strips in soybean fields are sparse due to wet conditions during the late spring. Hunters may wish to bring their own cover. 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 had a fair late season response after a very wet spring and summer. Overall, the area's waterfowl food abundance is very high and a fair amount of  cover is present in most of the units. Hunters may wish to bring their own cover. The wetland enhancement project has been completed and these impoundments have a large amount of millet and sprangletop present.
  • 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 - Moist soil plant abundance is excellent in waterfowl impoundments and GTR openings. Moist-soil areas are dominated by wild millet, panic grass, and sprangletop. Sudan grass was planted to supplement natural foods and provide additional hunter cover but did not have a very good response. 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. Waterfowl foraging and resting habitat should be fair in the GTR. The McIntyre Scatters produced an abundance of natural waterfowl foods such as duck potato, sedges, and sprangletop. Fall water levels are fair, but 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. Some manipulations were completed to clear dense areas of undesirable vegetation before flooding. Some herbicide injection was done in the GTR area to open holes for duck and hunter access.
  • Charlie Capps WMA- Moist-soil plants responded very well this summer. Impoundments have a diversity of waterfowl foods and abundant cover. Managers have mowed, sprayed, and strip disked areas for waterfowl access in many impoundments, but the wet summer prevented equipment access to some areas for creating more openings. 
  • 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 - The majority of the impoundments were planted in rice and then rolled. This should provide for a high quality food source for overwintering waterfowl.  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 excellent 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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