Wildlife & Hunting
Deer and Early Teal Hunting Applications Available August 3
JACKSON – Beginning August 3, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will accept draw permit applications for deer and early season teal hunts on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Applicants must apply online at www.mdwfp.com/draws and have a valid Mississippi hunting license before applying for a WMA draw hunt.
Special Dove Hunting Opportunities for Youth on WMAs
JACKSON – In Mississippi, fall officially begins with fast-action dove hunts on warm September afternoons. Dove hunting is an excellent opportunity to introduce youth to hunting and shooting sports. The social atmosphere of dove hunting also introduces youth to the experience of the hunting camp tradition and creates special memories with family and friends. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is providing unique hunting opportunities for youth on our Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). This year there will be two youth dove hunts held on Black Prairie and Mahannah WMAs.
Lt. Governor Reeves Visits Howard Miller WMA
Lt. Governor Reeves Visits Howard Miller WMA
JACKSON—Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves visited Howard Miller Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Issaquena County today to view progress on habitat and access improvements. Since the WMA was acquired by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) in 2007, it has provided public hunting opportunities for migratory birds and served to demonstrate successful techniques in restoring and managing waterfowl habitat through agriculture and wetland management. "The unique partnership between MDWFP and local agriculture provides excellent waterfowl habitat, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities for our sportsmen and women," said Lt. Gov. Reeves. "Hunting and outdoor recreation provides a big boost to the Delta's economy, and I encourage Mississippians to support conservation by passing on this important heritage to the next generation."
Mississippi Alligator Hunting Permits Sold Out
JACKSON – For the first time since alligator hunting began in Mississippi, public water alligator hunting permits went on sale on a first come, first served basis July 14 at 9 a.m.; all permits sold within 45 minutes.
Mississippi Black Bears on the Move
JACKSON – In recent weeks, several areas across Mississippi have experienced higher than normal black bear activity. During spring and summer, after a few months of inactivity, these bears resume their normal life cycle and begin roaming in search of food. This seasonal nomadic activity is what is responsible for bear sightings that have been documented recently across Mississippi.
MS Alligator Hunting Permits Go on Sale July 14
JACKSON – The 2015 Mississippi public waters alligator hunting season begins August 28 and runs through September 7. A total of 920 permits will be available within seven public water hunting zones across the state. The process for obtaining these permits has changed significantly for 2015. Permits will be available on a first come, first served basis and will only be available for electronic purchase through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' website (www.mdwfp.com) beginning July 14 at 9 a.m. Permits will remain on sale until all available permits have been purchased. Each permit will cost $150 and will require the additional purchase of a $25 Alligator Hunting License. Permits will be non-refundable and non-transferable. Each person will be limited to only one permit in a zone of their choice.
Mississippi’s Early Waterfowl Seasons Announced
JACKSON–The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2015 – 2016 early teal and Canada goose hunting seasons during their monthly meeting on June 10, 2015. The early teal season is September 12 – 27. The bag limit for September teal is 6 per day with no more than 18 in possession. The hunting season for resident Canada geese is September 1 – 15. The daily bag limit is 5 Canada geese with a possession limit of 15.
Duck Breeding Pop. Remain High in 2015
JACKSON - The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service recently completed their annual waterfowl population surveys on the breeding grounds in the northern United States and Canadian provinces. These surveys monitor waterfowl populations and critical wetland habitat conditions, which are used to help set hunting season frameworks. Overall, North American breeding duck population estimates increased one percent from 2014 estimates and remained just over 49 million birds.
Mississippi’s Early Migratory Game Bird Seasons Announced
JACKSON–The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2015-2016 early hunting seasons for migratory game birds during its monthly meeting on June 10, 2015. These early seasons include resident Canada geese, early teal, snipe, woodcock, dove, and rails.
Nuisance Animal Control Conserves Habitat on Canal Section, Divide Section, and John Bell Williams WMAs
JACKSON – Annually, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) actively remove beavers and feral hogs from Canal Section, Divide Section, and John Bell Williams Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) located in northeast Mississippi. Approximately 260 beavers and 70 feral hogs have been removed, primarily through trapping, since July 2014. The result is the conservation of hundreds of acres of habitat on these WMAs.
Prescribed Burning Program Accepting Applications
Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is continuing its partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Wildlife Mississippi, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Mississippi Forestry Commission and others to provide cost-share for prescribed burning on private lands. Since its inception in 2011, the “Fire on the Forty” program has provided cost-share funding for prescribed burning on more than 35,000 acres in North and South Mississippi.
Leave Fawns Alone
JACKSON – With the official start of summer, white-tailed deer fawns begin to appear in Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) wants to remind people to LEAVE FAWNS ALONE. Many Mississippians will come across a newborn fawn this summer. However, well-meaning people think the fawn has been abandoned or is sick, and want to take the fawn home to care for it. “We tell people the same thing every year – please LEAVE FAWNS ALONE,” said MDWFP Deer Program Leader Lann Wilf.
Infrastructure and Habitat Improvements on Pascagoula River WMA
JACKSON – This summer, major infrastructure improvements are scheduled for the 37,000 acre Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in George and Jackson counties. Improvements will include re-graveling and widening of roads, repairs to water crossings, and boat ramp maintenance. Infrastructure maintenance is a year-round job for WMA personnel as the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) strives to provide adequate access for both public activities and management tasks.
Timber Harvests Scheduled for Copiah County and Canemount WMAs
JACKSON – Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Canemount WMA are heavily forested WMAs owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). As part of the overall management plan for these WMAs, MDWFP personnel conduct timber inventory cruises and prioritize areas that need to be managed. Once a timber management area is determined, MDWFP personnel enter the timber stands and individually mark trees to be harvested. Timber marking criteria are based on several variables such as tree density, health, tree species, and wildlife management objectives.
2015 Alligator Hunting Seasons Announced
JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks finalized regulations for the 2015 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi at its April meeting. The statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. A total of 920 permits will be available within seven hunting zones across the state for the ten day season which begins August 28 and runs through September 7.
Spring Squirrel Season Opens May 15
JACKSON – Mississippi has a new spring squirrel hunting season that will be open statewide May 15 – June 1. Hunters should note that the bag limit is only four squirrels per day during the spring season.
MWFP Foundation Super Hunt Fishing Rodeo
Jackson–The Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Foundation (MWFP) is sponsoring the Super Hunt Fishing Rodeo for youth with disabilities at Turcotte Education Center on Saturday, May 9. This event is open to disabled youth ages 6-17, and will begin at noon.
New Pascagoula River Blueway on Pascagoula River WMA
JACKSON – The Pascagoula River is recognized as the largest unimpeded river system in the contiguous United States. The river spans the length of the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), a 37,000-acre tract of predominately bottomland hardwood forest located within George and Jackson counties. Recently, a 22-mile portion of the river in George County was designated as a national blueway thanks to help from numerous collaborators and a grant through the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. Project partners include the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, Pascagoula River Basin Alliance, George County Economic Development Foundation, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The goal of the Pascagoula River Blueway is to promote public use and enjoyment of the Pascagoula River and its natural resources.
Infrastructure Improvements on Charles Ray Nix WMA
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is planning to repair and improve access on Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Panola County. Work will include stabilizing creek crossings, replacing culverts, and repairing sections of WMA roads. When completed, the improvements will restore management access to remote parts of the WMA, reduce erosion, and provide better access for WMA visitors. Work is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2015. Similar infrastructure improvements are also planned for Canal Section, John Bell Williams, and Sardis Waterfowl WMAs. Work on Sardis Waterfowl WMA will be performed by the Sardis Lake Corps of Engineers.
Upcoming Habitat Management Activities on WMAs
JACKSON – As the days get longer and winter draws to a close, months of habitat management planning are about to be put into action across Mississippi. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' (MDWFP) biologists and Wildlife Management Area (WMA) managers across the state have been preparing to take habitat management plans from paper to the field. When habitat management is mentioned, most hunters often think of food plots and wonder what they should plant. However, food plots make up a very small percentage of the overall landscape. Due to past implementation of habitat management techniques across Mississippi’s WMAs, food resources, nesting cover, brood-rearing cover, and escape cover are plentiful throughout the state.
Birding Opportunities on Wildlife Management Areas
JACKSON - The waterfowl hunting season may be over, but great birding opportunities are still available on many Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Muscadine Farms, Howard Miller, Mahannah and Tuscumbia WMAs are some of the WMAs that have wetland habitat for birders to explore.
Prescribed Burning Continues on Southwest MS WMAs
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) personnel have been conducting prescribed burns on state-owned wildlife management areas (WMAs) in southwest Mississippi since late January. The seasonal, controlled use of fire is essential to enhancing and maintaining habitat for numerous game and non-game wildlife species. Prescribed burning reduces competition from undesirable woody plant species, reduces the potential of wildfire, reduces disease risk for longleaf pine seedlings, and promotes growth of desirable herbaceous vegetation favorable to many wildlife species.
Late Season Birding Opportunities at Trim Cane WMA
JACKSON – The waterfowl hunting season may be over, but great birding opportunities are still available on Trim Cane Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Trim Cane WMA is located approximately three miles north of Starkville off Hwy 389 and has approximately 300 acres of wetland habitat for birders to explore.
Spring Turkey Season Opens March 14
JACKSON – For Mississippi’s nearly 50,000 turkey hunters, the day they have been anticipating is almost at hand. The spring turkey season opens on March 14 and ends May 1. For hunters age 15 and under, the youth season begins a week earlier on March 7. The bag limit for the spring season is one adult gobbler with at least a 6 inch beard per day, not to exceed three per spring season. Youth hunters 15 years of age and younger may harvest one gobbler of choice per day, not to exceed three per spring season. The spring turkey season is closed in the following counties or parts thereof: Coahoma, Quitman, and Sunflower.
Timber Harvests Improve Wildlife Habitat at Copiah County WMA
JACKSON – Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located west of Hazlehurst. The heavily forested WMA is owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). As part of the overall management plan for Copiah County WMA, MDWFP personnel conduct timber inventory cruises and prioritize areas that need timber stand improvements. Once a timber sale area is determined, MDWFP personnel enter the timber sale area and individually mark trees to be harvested. Timber marking criteria are based on several variables such as timber density, health, and species.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Funding Keeps WMAs Open
JACKSON— Mississippi's system of wildlife management areas (WMAs) includes mitigation lands owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and managed by MDWFP. This unique partnership between state and federal agencies allows USACE to continue their flood protection and navigation activities in the state. This arrangement also provides habitat for a variety of species, including waterfowl, deer, and small game, and offers important public recreational opportunities, and supplies economic benefits to local communities.
Live Webcam Offers Glimpse of Waterfowl in the Mississippi Delta
JACKSON – Waterfowl are continually arriving on many Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in the Delta to make Mississippi their winter home. A special video camera was installed on one of these WMAs to give the public a live look at the lives of waterfowl and other waterbirds in the Delta. This is the first time that this technology has been used to give the public the opportunity to view live footage of wintering ducks on public lands that are open to hunting.