MS Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks

November News & Happenings

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

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MDWFP Graduates New Conservation Officers

Fifteen newly sworn Conservation Officers will be patrolling areas of assignment across Mississippi this upcoming fall.  On October 27, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks held a graduation ceremony honoring its 15 new Conservation Officers at Roosevelt State Park near Morton.

These officers have been assigned to counties stretching from the Mississippi Delta to the Gulf Coast, protecting and serving Mississippi residents and ensuring Mississippi's hunting, fishing, and outdoor heritage is protected for generations to come. 

House Speaker Philip Gunn was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony and challenged the new officers to remember why they chose and were chosen to become a Conservation Officer, "That is to protect those who cannot protect themselves and be a servant, all the days of your career."

Photo by Michael A. Kelly

WMA Waterfowl Draw Hunt Applications Now Available

Throughout the state, habitat and hunting areas are being prepared for the upcoming waterfowl season. Many Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) offer great waterfowl hunting opportunities that are open to the public. Several of these areas offer waterfowl hunting through draw permit only. Applications for the first of five drawings are now being accepted through November 13 for the following WMAs: Charlie Capps, Howard Miller, Indianola, Mahannah, Muscadine, and Pearl River (Youth Only). Each consecutive round of application periods will begin the day after the previous round has closed.  

To learn about other opportunities such as "stand-by" hunting on draw only WMAs, please see individual area regulations. WMA rules and regulations can be found at

Purchase a State Waterfowl Stamp to Support Conservation

Purchasing state and federal duck stamps are one of the easiest ways for anyone to participate in wildlife and habitat conservation. Duck Stamps are required for waterfowl hunters 16 and older, but whether you are a hunter, birder, or if you simply want to help conserve our natural resources, you can contribute by purchasing a duck stamp.

Click here to purchase.

MDWFP Biologist Named Fisheries Biologist of the Year

MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Dennis Riecke was recently named Fisheries Biologist of the Year by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA). Riecke was presented the award at the Association's 69th annual meeting in Baton Rouge.

Riecke currently serves as the Fisheries Bureau's Environmental Coordinator, representing MDWFP on the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality permit board. Other Fisheries Bureau programs that he coordinates include technical guidance, commercial fisheries, and community fishing assistance.  He is also an expert in issues related to public water access, aquatic nuisance species, and instream flow. Additionally, he is also highly involved in drafting and revising fisheries regulations and laws.

"This award is a well-deserved tribute to the value and contribution of Dennis's work for the fisheries resources in Mississippi," said Larry Pugh, Fisheries Bureau Director. "Dennis' experience and knowledge are invaluable assets to MDWFP."

SEAFWA is comprised of fish and wildlife agencies from 15 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Photo by Steve Gulledge

Deer Hunting Opportunities in November

The gun deer season for youth hunters, 15 years and under, opened on November 5. Youth may use any firearm, and zone-specific spread and main beam antler regulations do not apply to youth hunters. As of November 5, all deer hunters, including archery hunters, must wear hunter orange unless they are inside a fully enclosed hunting stand or in a hunting stand that is at least twelve feet above the ground.

Mississippi's special primitive weapons season for deer will open November 7 in the Hill and Delta Deer Management Zones. This special primitive weapons season is for antlerless deer only on private lands and open public lands from November 7 -18. Only archery equipment and primitive firearms may be used during this season. The special primitive weapons season will not occur in the Southeast Deer Management Zone due to lower deer numbers.  Additionally, this season will not occur on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) because of great hunter numbers and unique management objectives for these areas.

The first deer gun season opens November 19 and closes December 1. Hunting with dogs is allowed during this season. Legal deer include legal bucks and antlerless deer on private lands and only legal bucks on open public lands. The bag limit on antlered buck deer is one buck per day not to exceed three per license year. Legal bucks must meet the antler criteria within the appropriate deer management zone. 

The antlerless deer bag limit in the Delta and Hill Deer Management Zones is five per license year. The bag limit for antlerless deer in the Southeast Deer Management Zone and all U.S. Forest Service Lands is one per day not to exceed three per license year.  

Commemorate Their First Deer with a Certificate

Harvesting your first deer is a special moment in the life of a hunter. Make that moment even more memorable for youth with a First Deer Certificate. Simply go online and complete the harvest information and submit a photo, and we will mail you a certificate at no cost.

Conservation Officers to Kick Off Annual Toy Drive for Children's Hospital 

MDWFP Conservation Officers are asking all Mississippians to give back this holiday season by helping us "Stuff the Truck" to benefit the children of Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital. The toy drive begins on November 7 and will run through December 10.

On December 15, Officers will deliver all toys to Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital. Please help us in make this Christmas unforgettable for these families. Click here for more information about drop-off locations throughout the state.


Catch a Tagged Fish and Win a Prize

MDWFP Fisheries Biologists recently tagged 100 fish at Lake Dockery, a 43 acre lake in Byram. The fish were tagged as part of a rewards program to increase fishing participation at Community Fishing Assistance Program lakes. Largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish were marked with a yellow, noodle-like tag on their back behind the dorsal fin. 

Anglers who catch a tagged fish should remove the tag and bring it to MDWFP's Headquarters in Jackson located at 1505 Eastover Drive to claim the prize associated with each tag. Prizes include MDWFP fishing towels, Plano tackle boxes, and Quantum rod and reel setups. "Lake Dockery provides excellent urban fishing opportunities, and we hope that this reward program will encourage more anglers to take advantage of the fishery," said Trevor Knight, MDWFP Fisheries Biologist.          

The lake is open each day from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes before sunset.  The lake features a boat ramp, but the operation of gasoline motors is not allowed. 

Science Museum Offers Fun Holiday Experiences

Whether you live in the Jackson area or will be traveling through during the holidays, make plans to make merry memories this season at MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science.

November 22 - Turkey Tuesday

Big feathery fun and special activities for all ages! Examine turkey feathers under a microscope, make your own turkey headband, investigate "egg-cellent" egg anatomy, and learn what these gobblers eat for lunch! 

November 26 - Gift Shop Open House 

Shop our open house at the Dragonfly Gift Shop on Small Business Saturday and enjoy refreshments, door prizes, and free gift wrapping!

December 2 & 16 - Snowflake Science

Experiment with "hot" snow, make your own paper snowflakes, explore the fascinating properties of dry ice, and hear the wonderful story of "Snowflake Bentley" - the naturalist and photographer that first successfully captured snowflakes on film.

December 9 - Cajun Christmas

Enjoy an interactive storytelling of Cajun Night Before Christmas, meet the Christmas Gator, make Cajun Christmas crafts, take a photo with Santa, listen to beautiful holiday music performed by the Mississippi Boychoir and Girlchoir, and see Santa dive in the aquariums! 

For details, visit

Unique Gift Ideas That Give Back to Mississippi's Outdoors

This season, consider gift options that they will be sure to love and that support Mississippi's outdoor heritage.

Lifetime Hunting & Fishing License

Did you know Mississippi offers a Lifetime Hunting and Fishing license? Connect your young sportsman to the outdoors early by making this one-time $500 investment, and save on a lifetime of annual license fees.

Subscription to Mississippi OutdoorsMagazine

A subscription to Mississippi Outdoors for only $9 is the perfect stocking stuffer outdoorsmen alike. Enjoy beautiful wildlife and nature photography, read how-to articles, and learn more about Mississippi's abundant recreational opportunities.

MS Museum of Natural Science Membership

Individual and Family Memberships include museum admission, invitations to members-only events, a 10% discount in the museum gift shop, and more! 

Learn more at


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