Manager: Bobby HodnettDirections
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.
- Rules & Regs for Sunflower WMA
- WMA Interactive Map
- WMA Draw Hunts
- Sunflower Area Map
- Sunflower WMA Wildlife Openings North
- Sunflower WMA Wildlife Openings South
- Sunflower WMA Greentree Pumping 2012
- Waterfowl Hunting opportunities
- Sunflower Deer Data
- Handicapped Hunter Access, USFS Owned Areas
- Local Weather
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.
The Sunflower greentree reservoir (GTR), which is managed by the MDWFP, was established in 1960. This area is managed by pumping in water approximately 10 to 20 inches deep in the fall, allowing waterfowl to forage on aquatic invertebrates and hard mast. Hunting in the GTRs is allowed only in the mornings to afford waterfowl a place to rest and loaf. The same areas are not flooded each year, but on a rotation. The USFS also has four GTRs that were completed in the early 1980s, and are managed similarly to the Sunflower GTR.
In addition to the GTRs, there are several water control structures managed by the USFS that flood sloughs for winter waterfowl use. There are three pipeline right-of-ways that cross the area, parts of which are maintained by area personnel to keep them from becoming too thick for turkeys to 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 12 inches, or one main beam length of at least 15 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.