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

Quick Links
Purchase a License
Boat Registration
Find a Park Near You
Report a Violation
Supplemental Feeding Regulations
December Hunting Seasons
Deer Seasons

Primitive weapon season for deer opens in all hunting zones December 2 and will conclude December 15. Weapons legal for use during the primitive weapon season are all archery equipment and primitive firearms. For further details on primitive firearm rules and regulations view the 2017-2018 Hunting Season Guide. Weapon of choice can be used on private land with appropriate license.
Gun season for deer (without dogs) opens in all hunting zones December 16 and will conclude December 23. During gun season there are no caliber or magazine capacity restrictions on firearms. Primitive weapons (as defined above) and archery equipment may be used during gun seasons.
The second gun season for deer (with dogs) will open in all hunting zones December 24 and will conclude January 17.

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

  • **(Dove North Zone) Areas north of U.S. Hwy. 84 plus areas south of U.S. Hwy. 84 and west of MS Hwy. 35.
  • ***(Dove South Zone) Areas south of U.S. Hwy. 84 and east of MS Hwy. 35.
  • ****The duck daily bag limit is a total of 6 ducks, including no more than 4 mallards (no more than 2 of which may be females), 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 3 scaup, 2 canvasbacks, 1 mottled duck, 2 black ducks, and 1 pintail.
  • The merganser daily bag limit is a total of 5 mergansers, only 2 of which may be hooded mergansers. The coot daily bag limit is a total of 15 coots. 
  • The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit for ducks, mergansers, and coots.
  • Shooting hours for all migratory game birds are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except for the Light Goose Conservation Order (see below).
  • *****The Light Goose Conservation Order is a special opportunity designed to reduce the population of overpopulated snow, blue, and Ross's geese when no other waterfowl seasons are open. This order allows for expanded methods of take that are not allowed during regular waterfowl seasons. 
  • To participate in the Light Goose Conservation Order, hunters need a valid Mississippi hunting license, state waterfowl stamp, and a free Light Goose Conservation Order permit number. Hunters can obtain the permit number by visiting www.mdwfp.com/waterfowl. 
  • Light Goose Conservation Order Methods: Shooting hours are from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. Only snow, blue, and Ross's geese are eligible for harvest. The use of electronic calls is allowed. The use of unplugged shotguns is allowed. There is no daily or possession limit for snow, blue, or Ross's geese. Hunters must use non-toxic shot. Hunters must possess a Mississippi hunting license and a Mississippi state waterfowl stamp. Hunters do not need a federal waterfowl stamp.
Rules to Prevent Chronic Wasting Disease Affect Deer Carcass Importation
Mississippians traveling out of state to hunt big game need to be aware of rules affecting the transport of their trophy. On May 2016, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks passed 40 Miss. Admin Code, Part 2, Rule 2.7 Prohibition on Cervid Carcass Importation, to Protect Mississippi from Chronic Wasting Disease. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that affects cervids and has been found in 24 states and 3 foreign countries. A cervid is a member of the deer family and includes white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, red deer, sika deer, and fallow deer. 

Rule 2.7 states that it is unlawful to import, transport, or possess any portion of a cervid carcass originating from any state, territory, or foreign country where the occurrence of CWD has been confirmed by either the state wildlife agency, state agriculture agency, state veterinarian, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
This rule shall not apply to the importation of:
  • Meat from cervids that has been completely deboned.
  • Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates, or cleaned skulls where no tissue is attached to the skull.
  • Cleaned teeth.
  • Finished taxidermy and antler products.
  • Hides and tanned products.
  • Any portions of white-tailed deer originating from the land between the Mississippi River levees in Arkansas
CWD has been confirmed in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Additionally, Canada (provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan), Norway, and South Korea are CWD positive. CWD has not been found in Mississippi.

Wild Hog Removal During Deer Season

As you sit in the deer stand this year, there is a chance you could have your quiet hunt interrupted by a sounder of wild hogs marching through the woods. For the average outdoorsman, deer season is probably a time you will encounter evidence of these nuisance animals on your property. Although trapping is the most effective method of wild hog removal, the incidental harvest of wild hogs while deer hunting is legal in Mississippi. Although it may be tempting to target a "trophy" boar, adult sows contribute more to explosive population growth than boars and should always be targeted first.
It is important to keep in mind that if you are hunting wild hogs during deer season, feeder restrictions while hunting are the same as for deer (100 yards away and from a covered or stationary spin-cast feeder). However, there is no distance restriction from the last day of turkey season until the start of deer archery season. Even so, shooting should only be used to target hogs that cannot be trapped. Trapping should always be the primary means of population control. As a matter of fact, late winter trapping efforts can prove to be particularly effective because of the diminished natural food availability at that time of year. 
Weekly Waterfowl Reports

MDWFP's Waterfowl Program provides Weekly Waterfowl Reports to keep waterfowl hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts updated on waterfowl happenings throughout the winter. Information on the previous week's waterfowl movements and distributions, migration weather, and hunting reports from public and private lands are a few of the main topics addressed in the reports. Weekly Waterfowl Reports are posted (usually Tuesdays or Wednesdays) online at  www.mdwfp.com/waterfowl , and can also be found via MDWFP's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Waterfowl Draw Hunt Opportunities 
Apply Now

Throughout the state, ideal habitats for game animals are 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. 

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.

Waterfowl Hunting Safety

If you are heading out to a large river or lake during waterfowl season you should always take the proper precautions. Keeping these 10 safety tips in mind could save you or your hunting partner's life. 
  1. Keep dry clothes in a dry storage container in the boat.  Falling in or flooding waders can lead to hypothermia quickly.  Hypothermia can set in before returning to the launch site and having dry clothes to change into will slow that process considerably. 
  2. Ensure your boat, motor, and trailer are in good running order and that batteries are always at full charge. 
  3. Always wear a certified personal flotation device (PFD) when running or paddling a boat, and ensure you have a PFD for every passenger in the boat as well as throwables which are required on boats 16 ft and longer.
  4. Never go hunting without telling somebody where you are going and when you expect to return. 
  5. Stock your boat or ATV box with safety gear, such as survival rations, rope, flare gun, space blanket, hand axe, whistle, etc. 
  6. Attach a small compass to your jacket or waders via pin or string. This way, it will always be there when you need it. 
  7. Never attempt to run an overloaded or undersized boat. If hunting on a large river or lake, use a boat that is big enough to handle rough water. 
  8.  Be mindful of wearing waders while boating to your location. Waders filled with water add extreme weight if an accident occurs and you go overboard.
  9. Treat every gun as if it is loaded, even when you are sure it is not. Before each hunt, open your gun's action and check the muzzle for obstructions. 
  10. Carry a cell phone in a waterproof plastic bag when hunting. Cell phone service is available in most places around the country. If an emergency arises, you can call for help.
Take the HIP Survey Before Hunting Migratory Birds

If you plan on hunting any migratory bird (e.g., coots, ducks, geese, brant, swans, doves, woodcock, rails, snipe, or gallinules) you are REQUIRED by federal law to participate in the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey, something most hunters already do during the purchase of a Mississippi hunting license.

If you need to take the HIP survey, you can do so by phone by contacting the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) License Bureau at (601) 432-2055 during normal business hours. After business hours call 1 (800) 5GO-HUNT. Upon completion of the survey, you will be provided with a HIP confirmation number to satisfy the requirement.

Lifetime License holders and Exempt License holders are still required to take the HIP Survey.

Information from HIP surveys is used by MDWFP and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to generate reliable estimates of hunting activity and the number of all migratory game birds harvested throughout the country. These estimates give biologists information they need to make sound decisions concerning hunting seasons, bag limits, and population management.

2018 Youth Squirrel Hunt

MDWFP is partnering with the Mississippi Wildlife Federation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to host youth squirrel hunts across Mississippi during the month of February. These free hunts are designed to introduce youth ages 10 - 15 to small game hunting and conservation. 

More info
Add Lime to Fertilizer
For winter pond management

Pond owners who want to improve their fishing, should consider fertilizing their pond. However, before fertilizing a pond, the addition of agricultural lime is usually necessary. Winter is the best time to lime your pond. Lime changes the pond's water and soil chemistry allowing the fertilizer to work more effectively. The amount of lime a pond needs can be determined with water or soil tests.  

More info about managing Mississippi ponds and small lakes
Cajun Christmas
At MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science

You are invited to Cajun Christmas at MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science. Experience an interactive storytelling of "The Cajun Night Before Christmas," encounter swamp animals, meet the Christmas Gator, make Cajun Christmas crafts, take your photo with Santa, listen to beautiful holiday music, and see Santa dive in to feed the fish at the aquariums!  

More info
First Day Hikes

What better way to kick off the New Year than by being active outdoors?
First Day Hikes are organized and led by knowledgeable state park staff and volunteers. The distance and rigor vary from park to park, but all hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family. Come enjoy the beauty of Mississippi's natural resources and discover the local treasure of a state park you and your family can return to throughout the year.

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 / night
  • Standard RV sites - $14 / 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).  
MDWFP's "Stuff the Truck" Toy Drive
For Blair E. Batson's Children's Hospital

MDWFP Conservation Officers are asking all Mississippians to give back this holiday season by helping us "Stuff the Truck" to benefit the children of Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital. The toy drive begins on November 15 and will run through December 11.

Support Conservation with these Holiday Gift Ideas 

Lifetime Hunting & Fishing License

Did you know Mississippi offers a Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License? Connect your child or grandchild to the outdoors early by making this one-time investment, and save on a lifetime of annual license fees.  Even if you leave the state, it's still valid upon your return. And for the youth hunter and angler, it's truly a gift that lasts a lifetime! 

A Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License is $500 for youth 12 and under and $1,000 for anyone 13 and over.

Subscription to Mississippi Outdoors Magazine

A subscription to Mississippi Outdoors is the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who loves the outdoors. Enjoy beautiful wildlife and nature photography, read how-to articles, and learn more about Mississippi's abundant recreational opportunities.

Annual Park Entrance Permit

For an annual fee of $42, you can have access to all of Mississippi's 25 state parks from the Tennessee line to the Gulf Coast. 

Purchase an annual park entrance permits at your local state park 
November Overview
 Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View on Instagram View our videos on YouTube