August News & Happenings

Monday, August 15, 2016

Buccaneer State Park: the Perfect End-of-Summer Getaway

Need one last trip before the summer ends? Head to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and enjoy all Buccaneer State Park has to offer! Wake up to a beautiful ocean view, and take your pick of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, relaxing on the beach, or hitting the waves in Mississippi's largest wave pool at the Buccaneer Bay Waterpark.

VIDEO: Buccaneer State Park

Photo by Kyle Clearman

Deer and Early Teal WMA Hunting Applications Available Through August 31

MDWFP is accepting draw permit applications for deer and early season teal hunts on WMAs now through August 31. Applicants must apply online   at and have a valid Mississippi hunting license before applying for a WMA draw hunt. 

For more information regarding WMAs in Mississippi, visit

MDWFP Offers Dove Hunting on Private Lands in Selected Counties

As part of its Private Lands Dove Field Program, MDWFP has partnered with landowners to provide dove fields in Kemper, Pearl River, and Webster Counties to offer additional dove hunting opportunities in areas where access may be limited. Hunting permits for these fields are available for purchase at

"Dove hunting is very popular. However, MDWFP recognizes that access to local dove fields can be difficult for people to find," says Houston Havens, MDWFP Waterfowl Program Coordinator. "Our goal is to have a safe field that offers hunting opportunity for the entire family to enjoy."  

Public Water Alligator Season Set to Open August 26

Hunters participating in the 2016 Alligator Hunting Season or those interested in learning more about alligators in Mississippi and regulations regarding alligator hunting, may download the 2016 Alligator Hunting Guide. Information included in the guide ranges from the history and biology of alligators in Mississippi to harvesting techniques, equipment, and regulations, to processing and taxidermy resources.

MDWFP's Science Museum Discovers Rare Dinosaur Fossil 

Paleontologists with MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) have discovered Mississippi's first horned dinosaur fossil in New Albany.

VIDEO: Horned Dinosaur Fossil Discovered in Mississippi 

According to George Phillips, MMNS Paleontology Curator, paleontologists were searching for fossils of prehistoric crabs and mollusks in a creek bed, when they came across the tooth of a Ceratopsidae, or horned dinosaur. Phillips says the tooth is only the second of these fossils ever found east of the Mississippi River in North America. This is a significant find because until recently, only five groups of dinosaurs were known to the Mississippi region. The finding of this tooth confirms the discovery of a sixth group of dinosaur that lived in the area.

Take a Hunter Education Course This Fall

The fall hunting season is around the corner and MDWFP has Hunter Education courses scheduled across the state. There is no cost to attend a course; however, pre-registration is required. Participants can find available courses in their area and pre-register at  Hunter Education courses include ten hours of instruction. To obtain hunter education certification, students must be at least ten years of age and must attend all classroom hours and pass written exam. 

All persons born after January 1, 1972, are required to complete a Hunter Education course before purchasing a Mississippi hunting license. Also Effective July 1, 2000, anyone 12 years of age and under 16 years of age must have a certificate of satisfactory completion of a hunter education course approved by MDWFP before hunting alone in this state. A child at least 12 years of age and under 16 years of age may hunt without having the certificate of hunter education if the child is in the presence and under the direct supervision of a licensed or exempt hunter at least 21 years of age when hunting.

An alternative to taking the standard Hunter Education Class is the official Mississippi Hunter Education Internet Course. The online course is not intended to replace the traditional classroom course, but is designed to work within the established course curriculum and allow the Hunter Education certification to be obtained whenever most convenient. The online course allows the student to complete part of the course from a desktop or mobile device, and upon completing a pre-certification exam, the student then goes to a scheduled classroom setting to complete the final three hours. This allows the student time for interaction with the instructor and completion of final testing. 

Dove Season Opener Around the Corner: What You Need to Know and How to Prepare

Dove hunting seasons will open on September 3 in both the North and South Zones. The North Dove Zone is defined as areas north of U.S. Hwy. 84 plus areas south of U.S. Hwy. 84 and west of MS Hwy. 35. The South Dove Zone is defined as areas south of U.S. Hwy. 84 and east of MS Hwy. 35. 

Shooting Times

For private lands on opening day in both zones, shooting hours will start 30 minutes before sunrise. Dove fields on MDWFP Wildlife Management Areas will have various shooting times, depending on the specific area's regulations. Fields operated under the MDWFP Private Land Dove Field Program will have a shooting start time of 12 p.m. Shooting hours for all migratory game birds end at sunset.  


When heading to a dove field, hunters should take serious notice of how the field was prepared before hunting. Hunting migratory birds with the aid of bait is illegal, and it is the hunter's responsibility to know if the field is baited or not. A brochure on dove field preparation and hunting regulations can be found online at  

Before hunting migratory game birds, hunters need to be sure their hunting license is current for the 2016-17 hunting seasons, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification. HIP certification is required for hunting all migratory game birds and is required for each state hunted. HIP certification is completed when, upon purchasing a license, hunters are asked questions about their migratory game bird harvest from the previous hunting season. Hunters should also be sure shotguns are not capable of holding more than three shells and should be aware of how their hunting field was prepared

Bag Limit

The total bag limit for mourning and white-winged doves is 15 per day with no more than 45 in possession.  On opening day, the possession limit is the same as the daily bag limit.

Foundations to Host Sporting Clay Tournament to Benefit Batson Children's Hospital

As part of its "Stuff the Truck" Toy Drive initiative for Blair E. Baston Children's Hospital, the Mississippi Conservation Officers Foundation and the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is hosting a Sporting Clay Tournament  on August 27 at Turcotte Shooting Range in Canton.

The event is open to individual and team participants, and all proceeds from the tournament will go to Batson Children's Hospital. 

For event information, visit or contact Jad Touchton at (601) 859-5164 or

Support the Super Hunt: A Deer Hunt for Youth with Disabilities

The 4th annual Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' Super Hunt will take place October 28-30. The weekend includes a variety of fun field activities as well as two days of deer hunting for youth ages 6-17 with disabilities.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Serve as a hunting guide
  • Offer your property as a hunting site
  • Assist with field day activities

To register as a participant, volunteer, or sponsor visit, or for more information contact Bill Redd at (769) 243-7291.

Have Fun with Fear at MDWFP's Science Museum Exhibit

Why do our hearts race, knees shake, and bodies sweat when we are scared? "Goose Bumps: the Science of Fear" explores this universal emotion. "Through fun, interactive challenges, you can experience fear in a safe environment and discover the science behind your physical and emotional responses," explains Museum Director Charles Knight.

The exhibit includes immersive environments and full-body, interactive experiences that allow you to test your own fears (Fear of Animals, Fear of Electric Shock, Fear of Loud Noises, Fear of Falling) and rate your physiological responses.

Visitors may also meet Mr. Goose Bumps, a larger-than-life figure that illustrates, through animation, how the brain and body work together in response to danger.

VIDEO: "Goose Bumps: the Science of Fear"

New Hunting Season Guide Now Available

The 2016 - 2017 Mississippi Outdoor Digest is now available online and for download.  Hard copies are also available at hunting and fishing license retailers as well as MDWFP regional offices, lakes, and parks. The digest includes hunting season dates and regulations as well as information about hunter and boater education, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and State Parks, Lakes, and Wildlife Management Areas.

Youth Fishing Rodeo Schedule

August 20

Mississippi Valley State University

7 a.m.,   (662) 254-3583

August 27

Golden Memorial State Park

9  a.m.,   (601) 253-2237

September 3

LeFleur's Bluff State Park

8  a.m.,   (601) 364-1783





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