The Importance of the WMA Visitor Use Permit
By Brad Holder, Northwest WMA Biologist
Be legal and help the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks help our natural resources and you, the outdoor enthusiast. If you've visited a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in the past, you may be familiar with the Daily Visitor Use Permit Card. You can find Daily Visitor Use Permit Cards at permit stations located at, or near, entrances to all of Mississippi's WMAs. This daily permit is an important tool in the management of these areas. Managers are able to gather harvest and use data for all species and activities on a particular WMA. This supports management recommendations on all aspects of that area. From a wildlife management standpoint, the information you and your fellow WMA users provide on the cards gives wildlife biologists valuable data on which to base management decisions regarding season structure, bag limits, and habitat management.
This past hunting season we began compiling harvest and use data obtained from permit cards on a daily basis and posting these numbers on our website each week. Now, during hunting seasons, you can monitor current harvest and use numbers for each WMA.
The Daily Visitor Use Permit Card also supports your personal safety. If an emergency arises while you're in the woods, or you get lost in the pursuit of your prey, area managers and conservation officers will be better able to quickly determine your location on an area if you have complied with permit card requirements. This may not seem like such a big deal on some of the smaller areas, but if you are on a 60,000 acre area with multiple entrances, it could make a critical difference.
Our staff needs quality and quantity when it comes to Daily Visitor Use Permit Card data. The more information we receive, the better we can manage the resource and the user public. The daily permit cards must be completed properly to provide the most accurate data. Please fill out all of the information requested and print legibly. Each year we gather a large number of cards that are incomplete and unusable.
The correct procedure is simple:
Here are some more tips to remember when completing Daily Visitor Use Permit cards:
With your help, MDWFP wildlife managers will continue to be good stewards of natural resources on WMAs. Introduce someone to hunting and fishing. Maybe we'll bump into you at a visitor permit station.