Wildlife & Hunting

Frequently Asked Questions

What is DMAP?

The Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) is a comprehensive deer management program consisting of data collection and cooperator education. Using this, the MDWFP tries to put the landowner/cooperator in a better position to manage their lands for a healthy deer herd, while maintaining habitat integrity. Read More ...

Can I hunt hogs in Mississippi?

Yes.  Please refer to the following link for additional information: http://www.mdwfp.com/media/75616/le-6_3779_nuisance_animals.pdf

Is it legal in Mississippi to transport live, wild hogs?

There are restrictions on transporting live feral hogs.  Read about them at: http://www.mdwfp.com/media/75616/le-6_3779_nuisance_animals.pdf.

Can I hog hunt at night?

Yes, hogs can be taken at night if you follow the regulations in the following public notice: http://www.mdwfp.com/media/75616/le-6_3779_nuisance_animals.pdf.

Can I hunt with a crossbow?

Yes, as of the 2013-2014 season, crossbows are considered archery equipment.  Archery equipment now encompasses longbows, recurves, compound bows, and crossbows. There is no minimum or maximum draw weight, no minimum arrow length, and fixed or mechanical broadheads may be used.

During the crossbow season, is it legal to use a scope on a crossbow?

Nothing in statute or regulations prohibits the use of a scope on a crossbow.

What is a primitive weapon?

Please see the following link for more information on primitive weapons:  http://www.mdwfp.com/media/7323/primativeweapons.pdf

Can I hunt with a scope on my muzzleloader?

Yes, scopes of any magnification are legal on primitive firearms.

Can I hunt deer over bait such a corn feeder?

The use of supplemental feed is allowed with certain restrictions.  Supplemental feeding regulations can be found at http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/deer-program/supplemental-feeding-regs.aspx and a supplemental feeding FAQ page is available at http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/deer-program/supplemental-feeding-faqs.aspx

Can I hunt over a food plot?

Yes, hunting food plots established through normal agricultural practices is legal. Supplemental feeding regulations can be found at http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/deer-program/supplemental-feeding-regs.aspx and a supplemental feeding FAQ page is available at http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/deer-program/supplemental-feeding-faqs.aspx

Is it legal for a person to own a cougar in Mississippi?

Legislation passed in 1997 regulates the importation, sale and possession of animals declared inherently dangerous to humans. The cougar is included in this new law along with lions, tigers, leopards, wolves, wolf hybrids, certain primates and various other species such as elephants and rhinoceroses. A person must apply for a permit to keep any of these animals and must comply with regulations on cage size, veterinary care, liability insurance and previous experience. Please call (601) 432-2199 for more information. 

Can I shoot a jake when turkey hunting?

Hunters 15 years old and younger may harvest gobblers of any age. Adults, on the other hand, must harvest an adult gobbler or a gobbler with at least a 6 inch beard.  

Aside from beard length, the tail feathers are a method of determining whether a turkey is an adult or jake. The outside feathers on both sides of the fan will be shorter than the feathers in the middle on a jake; an adult gobbler's tail feathers will all be the same length.

Can I hunt deer from a boat?

No, the only game that can be hunted from a boat are squirrels and waterfowl. Remember that the motor must be shut off and all forward progress must have ceased.

Can I turkey hunt with a rifle?

Only shotguns with shot no larger than #2 and bow and arrow. However, any quadriplegic may hunt turkey with a rifle.

What are the rifle and ammunition restrictions for deer hunting?

There are no firearm, caliber, or magazine capacity restrictions when deer hunting on private land in Mississippi. There are certain firearm and ammunition restrictions on some MDWFP Wildlife Management Areas and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges. Check the WMA regulations for specific restrictions. Information about MDWFP's WMA's can be found at:  www.mdwfp.com/wma

What are deer season dates and what is the deer bag limit?

Details on deer season dates and bag limits can be found at: http://www.mdwfp.com/deer

How can I get a brochure on a specific WMA?

Regulation brochures and area maps for WMA's are available at each WMA, at the regional and Jackson offices, and available online at www.mdwfp.com/wma

If I own land in the State of Mississippi but live in another state, do I have to purchase a non-resident hunting license?

Yes, all non-resident hunters, except minors under the age of 16 are required to obtain a hunting license while hunting in the State of Mississippi.

If I own land, why does my family have to have a license?

Each resident of Mississippi ages 16 - 64 must obtain a hunting license, except while hunting on lands titled in his/her name. Thus, only residents whose names appear on the land's title may hunt on that land without a license. 

What are the legal shooting hours?

Legal shooting hours for most game is ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, but is ½ hour before sunrise to sunset for migratory birds.  More on migratory bird regulations can be found at: http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/waterfowl-program/waterfowl-hunting-regulations.aspx

At what age do I no longer need a license? What if I am disabled?

Residents 16 years old and younger, 65 years old or older, 100% disabled, or on active duty for the Armed Forces outside of Mississippi, are exempt from purchasing a license. Except for minors, exempt hunters must carry exempting documentation defined on the License Page at: http://www.mdwfp.com/license/hunting-license.aspx.  

Although some residents are exempt from purchasing a license, MDWFP urges exempt hunters, including youth to consider supporting MDWFP by purchasing the $5 voluntary 'Exempt' license. These licenses support MDWFP's annual activities in Wildlife Management and Conservation, as well as allow MDWFP to count and get Federal credit for those exempt hunters. Each year, federal excise taxes paid on hunting/shooting related items are reallocated back to the states based on the number of licenses reported by each state. As MDWFP does not receive many dollars annually from the Mississippi's General Fund, this Federal Aid (generated by sportsmen/women) is the lifeblood of much of MDWFP's annual operating budget. 

When are hunting season dates set?

The season dates are usually set by July except for duck season which is set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in September. You can find the most up-to-date season dates and information at:  http://www.mdwfp.com/

How do I ask a question not found in this knowledge base?

You can call our Wildlife Help Desk at (601) 432-2199, fill out a Customer Service Comment Card at http://www.mdwfp.com/applications/ContactForm/default.aspx, or email us a question at biologist@mdwfp.state.ms.us.

I have a problem with beavers on my land. How can I get help?

Please contact the Beaver Control Program of the USDA Wildlife Services at (662) 325-3014. Information about Nuisance Animals in Mississippi can be found at: http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/nuisance-wildlife.aspx. Additionally, trapping information can be found at: http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/furbearer-trapping.aspx.

When is the deer rut in my area?

You can find a map of simulated deer breeding dates for Mississippi at: http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/deer-program/deer-breeding-date-map.aspx. More information about deer in Mississippi can be found at: www.mdwfp.com/deer.

Could you clarify the difference between the daily bag limit and possession limit?

The daily bag limit is the total number of an individual game that you can keep while hunting during a given day. The possession limit is the maximum number of any individual game that you can control or transport at any given time. For example, it's common that regulations state that the daily bag limit is (X), and the possession limit is twice the daily bag limit, or (2X). Thus, on the first day of the season, you could only harvest the daily bag limit of (X). After harvesting the limit from day one, you could hunt on day two and harvest another limit of (X). Combined, you would have reached the possession limit (2x). Properly tagged, you can have and/or transport no more than the possession limit at any given time. If you have a specific question about bag or possession limits, please call (601) 432-2199. 

I harvested a deer and noticed small white grub looking worms coming out of the nose when I was cleaning it – should I be concerned?

No, the parasites are common, pose no threat to humans, and are called nasal bots.  More information on nasal bots can be found at:  http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/deer-program/diseases-and-abnormalities.aspx.

How can I get an application for the drawings on WMA’s?

All applications and drawings will take place online. You can find open applications at www.mdwfp.com/draws. For more information about specific WMA's and the draw hunts they may offer, see the WMA page at: www.mdwfp.com/wma.

I’m having an issue with nuisance animals. Do you have a list of trappers that I could hire to remove nuisance animals?

Yes. Please call (601) 432-2199 for more information.

Do you have a list of wildlife rehabilitators?

You can find a list at: http://www.mswildliferehab.org/MWRrehabbers.htm. For more information on wildlife rehabilitators visit  http://museum.mdwfp.com/science/wildlife_rehabilitation.html or call (601) 432-2199.

Is it legal to raise an abandoned/orphan spotted fawn?

No, Mississippi law prohibits the capture, possession, or caging of any wild animal, including white-tailed fawns. Early in life, fawns are supposed to be alone for most of the day. The doe leaves them bedded and hidden. The doe will then return several times a day to nurse the fawn. As a natural defense, the fawn lays still in a fashion that makes people think it is sick or injured. At a few weeks of age the fawn will be on its feet, able to follow its mother, and can outrun most predators.

During the early teal season – can I harvest both blue-wing and green-wing teal?


On the different WMA pages, what is meant by a "wildlife opening"?

Wildlife openings are open areas on WMAs that are maintained in an early successional stage of habitat. Openings may be planted for wildlife as "food plots". Additionally, they may be burned, mowed, or disked to maintain the natural vegetation in an early successional stage.

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