Sunflower WMA is located in Sharkey County near Rolling Fork. Take Hwy 16 east from Rolling Fork about 9 miles. Turn right onto Pipleline Road for approximately 1 mile; turn right, before check station. Headquarters .25 miles, on left. If you have any questions regarding Sunflower WMA call (601) 661-0294.
Long Bayou on Sunflower WMA
Sunflower Wildlife Management Area is approximately 60,000 acres
located in Delta National Forest, which is owned by the US Forest
Service (USFS). The WMA is located in Sharkey County, about
10 miles east of Rolling Fork, and was established in 1955.
Consisting entirely of bottomland hardwood forest, with stands
varying in age from regeneration areas to mature forests, the major
tree species on the area are water, willow, overcup, and Nuttall
oaks, ash, sugarberry, sweetgum, and cypress. Management of
timber stands is entirely handled by the USFS.
There are several water control structures managed by the USFS
that flood sloughs for winter waterfowl use. Two GTR levees
and more than 30 food plots are planted by the MDWFP and USFS
personnel to provide additional food for wildlife.
Recreational opportunities include fishing in the scattered
lakes or on the Big and Little Sunflower Rivers, which are
accessible by two boat ramps. Hunting deer, turkeys,
squirrels, and waterfowl are also popular activities.
Regulations allow deer hunting with archery, primitive weapon, and
modern gun. Bucks are not eligible for harvest unless they
have an inside spread of at least 15 inches, or one main beam
length of at least 18 inches. Antlerless harvest is allowed
on opening weekend, during primitive weapon season, and in the late
archery season during January. The deer herd health
evaluations on Sunflower show that the deer herd is in very good
condition. This, in conjunction with the 15 or 18 inch rule,
will allow for greater antler development as long as the deer herd
is maintained at a level that does not stress the habitat.
Squirrel hunting is very popular on Sunflower. The black
color phase of the fox squirrel is common on the area, and hunters
travel from all over the state for the opportunity to harvest a
black squirrel. Turkey hunting is also allowed in the spring;
however, a special permit is required to hunt during the first
part of the season. Hunting access can be made easier by
using the numerous primitive campsites scattered throughout the
forest that are managed by the USFS. Non-consumptive
activities such as hiking and bird watching are also
encouraged. There is a nature trail at Blue Lake that is
managed by the USFS with plaques in place along the trail to
provide information about plants and animals.