Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
October 2017
In This Issue

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Purchase a License
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Supplemental Feeding Regulations
October Hunting Seasons

Archery Season for Deer

Bag Limits:

Antlered Buck Deer
The bag limit on antlered buck deer is one (1) buck per day, not to exceed  three (3) per annual season. Legal bucks must meet the antler criteria within the appropriate deer management zone. For youth hunters fifteen (15) years of age and younger, hunting on private land and authorized state  and federal lands, all three (3) of the three (3) buck bag limit may be any antlered deer.

Antlerless Deer
Private Lands: The bag limit on Northeast, Delta, East Central, and Southwest Zones antlerless deer is three (3) per annual season. The bag limit on Southeast Zone antlerless deer is one (1) per day, two (2) per annual season.
U.S. Forest Service National Forests: The bag limit is one (1) per day, not to exceed three (3)  per annual season except in the Southeast Zone which is two (2) per annual season.

Small Game Seasons

Migratory Bird Seasons

More info here
Draw Hunt Opportunities 

Throughout the state, ideal habitats for game animals are being prepared on MDWFP's Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) for upcoming hunting seasons. While many WMAs offer great hunting opportunities that are open to the public, several of these areas offer hunting through draw permit only. 


You will be able to submit applications for waterfowl draw hunts October 30 - November 12. Participating WMAs include Charlie Capps, Howard Miller, William C. "Billy" Deviney, Mahannah, Muscadine Farms, Trim Cane, and Tuscumbia. There will also be a youth only waterfowl draw hunt at Pearl River WMA.


Applications for rabbit draw hunts at Trim Cane WMA will be accepted through October 15. 

MDWFP Releases Wild Turkey Management Plan

To address the ever-changing needs of the state's wild turkey flock, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently completed development of a Comprehensive Wild Turkey Management Plan. This 42-page document is the first all-inclusive roadmap for the statewide management of the Mississippi's premier game bird. The plan reviews past major conservation actions, evaluates the current status of turkeys and turkey hunting, uses scientific studies and expert opinions to gauge the bird's primary limiting factors, and outlines strategies and actions necessary to better manage the state's flock.
All hunters are encouraged to review the plan. A digital copy is available for download HERE or by visiting the MDWFP Wild Turkey Program webpage at www.mdwfp.com/turkey
Comments on the plan are welcome and can be sent to Adam Butler, the MDWFP Wild Turkey Program Coordinator, at adamb@mdwfp.state.ms.us.   
MDWFP Black Bear Camera Survey

The MDWFP is currently conducting a camera survey on a 6,000-acre tract of land in the south delta.  This survey is designed to estimate the number of black bears on the tract, which is known to have a high concentration of bears. 

In the past, bait station camera surveys have proved to be ineffective in gathering accurate information for bears.  With various wildlife species visiting the sites, the bait is only effective while it remains. Once all the bait is gone, there is no reason for a bear to visit the site.  We are using a scented lure that will remain in place for a longer period and remains effective throughout each interval of when the cameras are checked, roughly every 10 days. 

These camera stations will be run for 6-8 weeks and at the conclusion of the survey, the results will be used in a mathematical model to give us an estimate of the number of bears in the survey area. If successful this method will be implemented in other areas of the state known to have bears as we move forward in determining a scientifically based estimate of the black bear population in Mississippi.
MDWFP Search and Rescue Team Assists in Hurricane Irma Relief 

In September, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) sent 25 Search and Rescue Team (SRT) personnel, 15 ATVs, 10 boats and logistical/communication resources to Florida to aid in rescue and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Officers were staged in Pensacola, Florida, until Hurricane Irma passed through the state. After she passed, they departed to assigned areas to begin assisting Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers.
SRT members concentrated most of their efforts around Jacksonville, Florida, assisting those affected by localized heavy flooding. Irma left a path of destruction throughout Florida, including historic flooding of the St. Johns River that flows through Jacksonville. The river exceeded its banks as Irma brought large amounts of rain and increased storm surges.
Youth Fishing Rodeos

Anglers 15 years old and younger are invited to youth fishing rodeos across the state this October . These events are free and provide a good opportunity for young anglers to fish a lake that is well stocked with catfish, which are typically easy to catch. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear, catfish bait, and stringers. Families are invited to come enjoy quality time together in a safe environment.

October 14
Hiller Park, Biloxi
8:00 a.m. (228) 388-7170
October 28
Paul B. Johnson State Park
11:00 a.m. (601) 582-7721
November 4
Turcotte Education Center
8:00 a.m. (601) 432-2200
Fishing Streams in the Fall

Fall is a great time to fish in Mississippi's streams. Low rainfall leads to excellent wading conditions, and the scenery is beautiful as the trees begin to change color.

Largemouth and spotted bass feed aggressively on shad, bream, and crayfish. Bream, such as longear sunfish and bluegill, are common in streams. Catfish provide excellent table fare and can also be found in most streams across the state.

Tackle choices vary, but it is hard to beat an ultra light rod with a four to six pound test line for catching bass and bream. Popular lures include small in-line spinner baits and buzz baits, along with various sized beetle spins. Heavier line and rod action is appropriate when fishing for larger catfish. Live bait is recommended for catching flathead catfish, but blues and channels will eat almost anything. Fly fishing can also be an exciting way to catch fish in Mississippi's streams. Popping bugs and various insect imitating flies are good for bass, bream, and even crappie.
Locating features throughout the stream may help improve success. Runs, riffles, and pools are good places to target bass and bream. Fishing around fallen trees, bridge pilings, or other structure can be productive. If you are looking for catfish then it is best to target the deeper areas in the stream which are often found along outside bends of the channel.

Anglers should know that not all streams are public water. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality provides a map of public waterways on their website at www.deq.state.ms.us. Anglers can fish, wade, and float public waterways as long as they remain in the water. Access to public waterways can be found at public boat ramps, public roads, water parks, or by getting permission from an adjacent land owner.
Treestand Safety
Safety harnesses save lives
Tree Stand Safety

Treestand  accidents are the leading cause of injury to hunters.  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 treestand that uses climbing aids, or while hunting from a treestand 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 anywhere from an elevated position. 

Please consider these safety precautions:
  • Wear a safety harness, also known as a fall-arrest system, when you are in a treestand, as well as when climbing into or out of a treestand.
  • Use a haul line to pull up your gear, and unloaded firearm, or bow to your treestand. Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Before descending, lower your equipment on the opposite side of the tree.
  • Select the proper tree for use with your treestand. Select a live, straight tree that fits within the size limits recommended in your tree stand's instructions.
  • Hunt with a plan and if possible with a buddy. Let others know your exact hunting location, when you plan to return, and with whom you are hunting.
  • Carry an emergency signal device such as a cell phone or whistle on your person at all times and within reach.
  • Know your physical limitations. Do not take chances. If you start thinking about how high you are, do not go any higher.
  • Make slow, even movements while climbing with a treestand of no more than 10-12 inches at a time.
  • Always have three points of contact to the steps or ladder before moving. This could be two arms and one leg holding and stepping on the ladder or one arm and two legs in contact with the ladder before moving. 
  • Check the security of the step before placing your weight on it.
Sight in Your Rifle at a State Range

Successful hunters know that hunting season does not begin on opening day; it starts in the weeks and months prior to the season. One of the most important and responsible things a hunter can do to prepare for deer gun season is to sight in their firearm. 
MDWFP's public shooting ranges provide hunters with safe, affordable opportunities to practice year-round.
Turcotte Shooting Range

The rifle range at Turcotte, located near Canton off of Highway 43, has 14 shooting positions on seven tables. The range has movable target stands, and shooters are able to engage targets out to 300 yards.
McHenry Shooting Range

Located near Perkinston, McHenry offers two rifle ranges with ten shooting tables per range. Shooters are able to engage targets out to 170 yards.
2017-2018 "Hunter's Special" Lodging
At select Mississippi State Parks

Select Mississippi State Parks offer discounted lodging rates to sportsmen during the hunting season. Many of our parks are conveniently located near Wildlife Management Areas and National Wildlife Refuges providing an affordable hunting camp experience.  Discounted lodging rates will be offered to hunters October 2017 through February 2018.

Special Rates:
  • Cabin that sleeps 4 or less - $50.00 / night
  • Standard RV sites - $14.00 / night
Participating State Parks:
  • Clarkco
  • George P. Cossar
  • Hugh White
  • J. P. Coleman
  • John W. Kyle
  • Lake Lincoln
  • Lake Lowndes
  • Legion
  • Leroy Percy
  • Roosevelt
  • Tombigbee
  • Trace
  • Wall Doxey
Discounted rates will be applied for reservations made at qualifying Mississippi State Parks. Hunters must show a valid Mississippi hunting license to qualify for the discounted rate. For reservations made via 1-800-GO-PARKS or MDWFP.com, a refund for the discounted amount will be issued upon arrival (with proof of a valid Mississippi hunting license).  

Fall Activities at State Parks 

October 21

Barter Day at Roosevelt State Park

Activities: vendors, entertainment, space jump, concessions 
Time: 10 a.m.
Entrance Fee: $4
For more info call: 601-732-6316

Halloween Festival at Wall Doxey State Park

Activities: hayrides, cake walk, concessions
Time: 6 p.m.
Entrance Fee: $4
For more info call:  662-252-4231 

October 28

Halloween in the Park at J.P. Coleman 

Activities: costume contest, games, trick or treating
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Entrance Fee: $4
For more info call:  662-423-6515

Fall Festival at Paul B. Johnson

Activities: hayrides, campsite trick or treating, costume contest for youth 15 years and younger
Time: 3 p.m.
Entrance Fee: $4
For more info call: 601-582-7721

More info here 
Celebrate National Fossil Day at MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science 
October 13

Explore Mississippi's fossil past through activities, investigations, and games at MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science!  Meet a Mississippi paleontologist, discover the state's fossil history with a museum scavenger hunt, dig in the "Red Hot" for  real  fossils, and see some of the exciting, interactive stations around the museum.

Although National Fossil Day is officially October 11, we are celebrating on  Fossil Friday the 13th!
In addition to the special activities, experience the " BE THE DINOSAUR: Life in the Cretaceous"  exhibit. This groundbreaking fusion of video technology and traditional exhibits features full-size dinosaur bones and scientifically accurate computer modeled dinosaurs. A world-class advisory panel of paleontologists and interactivity experts collaborated in the exhibit's production, allowing you to experience this lost world -- singularly or as a group -- with easy to use controls.

Park After Dark
October 27

Enjoy fun games and science at two award-winning museums at the 5th Annual "Park After Dark"!  MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Children's Museum (MCM) will host Park After Dark on Friday, October 27 from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The museums are adjacent to one another at I-55 and Lakeland Drive within LeFleur's Bluff State Park. 
Create creepy crawly crafts, go trick-or-treating through both museums, and enjoy the evening's activities while wearing your costumes at this spook-tacular event. 

VEC To Host Tree Identification Program
October 7

Brady Self, the Northwest Mississippi Extension Forestry Specialist with the Department of Forestry at Mississippi State University will present a Tree Identification program at the Visitor Education Center (VEC) on Saturday, October 7th at 2 p.m. 

The tree identification course is for anyone interested in learning how to identify trees during the fall. The program will consist of a short presentation and a hands-on field tour of the trees located around the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and Visitor Education Center.
The program is free with the price of admission. Admission is $2.50 for adults ages 18-59, and $2.00 for youth ages 3-17 and adults over the age of 60. For additional information or to pre-register for the event, call the VEC at (662) 563-8068.
The VEC is part of the MDWFP North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and is located at Exit 233 east off I-55.

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 27-29. 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.
Prescribed Burning Program Accepting Applications
"Fire on the Forty" cost share program

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is now accepting applications for our "Fire on the Forty" prescribed burning program. "Fire on the Forty" has provided cost-share funding for prescribed burning on more than 55,000 acres of private lands in North and South Mississippi.

Landowners must submit an application for entry into the program before October 6, 2017, to be considered for this year's funding. All applications will be competitively ranked based on potential habitat benefits for wildlife. Funding for the "Fire on the Forty" initiative is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Mississippi Forestry Commission, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

September Overview
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