MS Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks

September News & Happenings

Thursday, September 08, 2016
From MDWFP


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MDWFP, Foundation, and Winchester Break Ground on New Shooting Range in North Mississippi 

MDWFP, Winchester Ammunition, and the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (Foundation) recently held a ground breaking ceremony for McIvor Creek Shooting Facility.

Located on Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area, McIvor will be Mississippi's third public shooting range owned and operated by MDWFP.  "This is an excellent example of how public, private, and corporate entities can partner on meaningful projects to serve the public's interest," said Dr. Sam Polles, MDWFP Executive Director. "Not only will this facility provide tremendous recreational opportunities for Mississippi's sporting public, but it will also bring economic growth to this area of the State.  It is a win, win for all concerned." 

Funding for the range facility was secured through a Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration grant with a significant contribution from Winchester Ammunition. Construction is expected to begin in September of this year.

"Winchester is honored to be the major donor to what will be an extremely impressive shooting range facility," said Tom O'Keefe, president of Winchester Ammunition. "This is an opportunity to provide avid outdoorsmen, women and youth, a safe and friendly environment in a state that deeply respects shooting sports activities. Our contribution underscores Winchester Ammunition roots in Mississippi and strong commitment to the citizens of the State."

The preliminary layout of the shooting facility will include:

  • 15-station sporting clay range
  • Two skeet ranges, with a trap range overlaid in each
  • 5-stand range
  • Pistol range
  • 100 and 300-yard rifle ranges
  • 3D archery range

"This is a perfect example of how the Foundation can be a catalyst with industry, MDWFP, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop an outstanding venue for the state of Mississippi," said John E. Taylor, Foundation Chairman.    

Record Alligator Harvested During Season Opener 

The new public waters record length male alligator was taken during the opening weekend of the 2016 Alligator Hunting Season by the hunting party of Tiffany Wienke of Vicksburg. The record alligator measures 13 feet and 7 7/8 inches (just 1/8 inch longer than the previous record) and weighed 686 pounds with a belly girth of 59 inches and a tail girth of 43 inches. The alligator was taken from Bayou Pierre in the Southwest Zone.

Reserve Your Fall Camping Trip Now 

Cooler temperatures and changing colors make for a great time to be outdoors in nature. Mississippi State Parks are perfect for relaxing and affordable fall getaways and fall break trips for students. Be sure to reserve your cabin or campsite ahead of time to ensure availability.

Find your park at www.mdwfp.com.

Have Your Hunting Dog Featured in Mississippi Outdoors Magazine

Mississippians love their hunting dogs. We are looking for great photos of Mississippi hunting dogs doing what they do best to be featured in the November/December issue of Mississippi Outdoors magazine. If you think your dog has what it takes, please send your photo to magazine@mdwfp.state.ms.us. Include the name of the owner and their residence, where the photo was taken, the name of the dog, and the breed.

Submission Guidelines

New Largemouth Bass Record for Lake Jeff Davis

A new record largemouth bass was harvested at Lake Jeff Davis on August 14 by George Griffith of Prentiss. The fish weighed an impressive 11.5 pounds and was caught on a 6 inch black colored plastic worm. Lake Jeff Davis is located south of Prentiss in Jeff Davis County. The lake was drained and restocked with Florida largemouth bass in 2011.  According to Fisheries Biologist Trevor Knight, this lake should continue to produce large bass as the initial stock of bass continues to age and grow.  

Outdoorama on the Rez

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 24

Join in the nationwide celebration of hunting, fishing, shooting, and wildlife conservation on September 24. National Hunting and Fishing Day was created in 1971 to celebrate hunting and fishing and to recognize America's sportsman-based system of conservation funding. That system now generates more than $1.7 billion per year and benefits all who appreciate wildlife and wild places. 

Celebrate by getting outdoors:

Hunting

While many of Mississippi's most popular hunting seasons have not yet reached their peak, hunters can still enjoy a day in the field or woods with these open seasons: Dove, Teal, Canada Geese, Rails, Gallinules, and Youth Squirrel.

Fishing

Fishing opportunities are available statewide. How about trying a new fishing spot by visiting a state lake or state park lake?

Shooting Sports

Visit a shooting range near you or check out Turcotte and McHenry shooting facilities.

"Outdoorama on the Rez" Event

Outdoorama on the Rez is an outdoors event designed to introduce participants to the concepts of hunting and fishing through hands-on experience. The event is hosted annually by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation and MDWFP at Turcotte Education and Shooting Facility in Canton. Participants will learn how to reload shells, tie flies, fish for catfish, shoot skeet and sporting clays, shoot bows and arrows, go canoeing, and more.

Look for Banded Doves in Your Harvest 

With the opening of dove season, hunters should be on the lookout for banded birds in their harvest and report them via the phone number listed on the band.  Information from band returns is shared with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to aid in estimate trends in dove populations and harvest rates.   

Archery Season Opens October 1

Archery season for deer will open October 1 in the Hill and Delta Zones and October 15 in the Southeast Zone. Longbows, recurves, compound bows, and crossbows are all considered legal archery equipment and can be used during all hunting seasons for deer. There is no minimum or maximum draw weight, no minimum arrow length, and fixed or mechanical broadheads may be used. 

MDWFP reminds all Wildlife Management Area (WMA) hunters that they are required to wear a full-body harness (fall-arrest system) while climbing a tree, installing a tree stand that uses climbing aids, or while hunting from a tree stand on a WMA. While required on WMAs, MDWFP also urges ALL hunters to wear and know how to properly use a full-body harness while hunting from an elevated position.   

Lake Tangipahoa Re-Opens to Fishing on September 21

Lake Tangipahoa, located within Percy Quin State Park near McComb, will re-open to the general public for fishing on September 21. The lake was drained after its dam nearly breached during Hurricane Isaac in 2012. Since then, the lake has been stocked with Florida Bass, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, and White Crappie. 

Prior to the general public reopening, a youth fishing day is scheduled for September 17 from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Youth ages 15 and under, who are accompanied by an adult that is at least 21 years old and has a valid fishing license, will be allowed to fish. 

Fishing regulations include a slot length limit of 16-22 inches for largemouth bass, with a daily creel limit of seven bass per angler. The harvest of one bass over 22 inches will be allowed, and all bass within the slot limit must be immediately released. The daily creel limits for other fish are 20 crappie, 50 bream, and 10 catfish per angler.

Enjoy the Fall Woods with Small Game Hunting

The fall squirrel season opens statewide on October 1 with the special youth squirrel season opening beforehand September 24 - September 30 on private lands and authorized state and federal lands only. Rabbit season opens statewide on October 15.

For those in search of a place to hunt, most of Mississippi's open public lands including Wildlife Management Areas offer squirrel and rabbit hunting opportunities. Squirrel hunters should generally look for areas with mature, hardwood forest cover for the best squirrel hunting. For rabbit hunters, cottontails may be found in upland and lowland areas while swamp rabbits are typically found around wetlands, rivers, creeks, and other lowland areas. Both species require an abundant mix of upright grass cover, broadleaf plants, and brushy thickets. Public lands in the Delta region that have young hardwood restoration plantings often hold good rabbit numbers.

Anyone planning to hunt public land should read the regulations prior to hunting. Some areas may have season dates and rules that differ from general statewide regulations.

Participate in "Bike Your Park" Day

Explore Mississippi State Parks by bicycle on Bike Your Park Day, September 24. Bring friends, family, or join the organized rides celebrating our parks in conjunction with National Public Lands Day. You will be joining thousands of others who will explore parks and public lands by bicycle on the same day. 

Participating parks:

Prescribed Burning Program Accepting Applications

Do you want help conducting prescribed burns on your property or know someone who does? We are accepting applications through October 21 for the "Fire on the Forty" education and cost share program. Landowners may be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of the cost.  See if your county is eligible, www.mdwfp.com. 

Register Now for 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 foundationmwfp.com/superhunt, or for more information contact Bill Redd at (769) 243-7291.



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