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

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

The deer gun season for youth hunters, 15 and under, opens November 4. Youth may use any firearm. Also, zone-specific spread and main beam antler regulations do not apply to youth hunters. As of November 4, all deer hunters, including archery hunters, must wear hunter orange unless they are inside a fully enclosed hunting stand or in a hunting stand that is at least 12 feet above the ground.

Mississippi's early primitive weapons season for deer will open November 6 in the Delta, Northeast, East Central, and Southwest zones. This special primitive weapons season is for antlerless deer only on private lands. Only archery equipment and primitive firearms may be used during this season.

The first deer gun season opens November 18 and closes December 1. Legal deer include legal bucks and antlerless deer on private lands and only legal bucks on open public lands. The bag limit on antlered buck deer is one buck per day not to exceed three per license year. Legal bucks must meet the antler criteria within the appropriate deer management zone. 

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.
Waterfowl Draw Hunt Opportunities 
Apply October 30 - November 12

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 on WMAs October 30 through 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.

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 may 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.

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, the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Norway, and South Korea are CWD positive. CWD has not been found in Mississippi.

Commemorate Their First Deer with a Certificate

Harvesting your first deer is a special moment in the life of a young hunter. Make that moment even more memorable for with a First Deer Certificate. You can receive your own certificate by going to the First Deer Certificate page on www.mdwfp.com, entering in your harvest  information, and submitting a photo. 

Consider Winter Drawdowns for Pond Management

One of the most useful and inexpensive pond management practices is called a "winter drawdown." Water levels are reduced in a pond to some predetermined level, generally exposing 35 to 50 percent of the pond-bottom area. Winter drawdowns can be useful in controlling aquatic weeds and can help manipulate fish populations. They are also useful when repairing piers and docks or, redesigning, and liming ponds.

In most farm ponds, lowering the water level 2 to 4 feet usually exposes the proper percentage of the pond bottom. You must consider the topography of the pond, amount of shallow water, and pond shape and design. Reach the maximum depth of drawdown by late November, and let the water remain down through February. In south Mississippi, the stand pipe can be raised a little earlier, perhaps mid-February, to let the pond refill and not hamper bass spawning activities that begin earlier in that part of the state.

To perform a winter drawdown, make sure the pond has a drain pipe that lets the water levels be lowered and kept down throughout the winter. Ponds without a drainpipe can be retrofitted; detailed information on how to do this is available through your county's Natural Resources Conservation Service office.

Paddlefish Egg Harvest Season
Opens November 20

The 2017-2018 Mississippi Paddlefish egg harvest season will open on November 20 and close April 10. Areas open for Paddlefish egg harvest are the Mississippi River (to include all public waters between the main line levees of the Mississippi River along the Mississippi-Arkansas border) and the Yazoo River Basin Harvest Zone.
The Yazoo River Basin Harvest Zone includes Bear Creek, the Sunflower, Coldwater, Tallahatchie, and Yazoo Rivers; however, some public waters within this zone are closed to paddlefish harvest. Fishermen are encouraged to call the MDWFP Fisheries Bureau office at (601) 432-2200 or visit our website at www.mdwfp.com to learn which areas are closed.
Special paddlefish permits are required to participate in this fishery, and people interested in harvesting paddlefish are required to attend a meeting to review the rules regarding seasons, harvest gear, processing, and reporting requirements. Paddlefish are commercially caught in gill or trammel nets and are valued for their eggs, which are processed into caviar. 
Mississippi Outdoors Radio
Thursdays at 6 p.m.

Tune in to the Mississippi Outdoors Radio Show every Thursday at 6 p.m. on your local SuperTalk station on Facebook LIVE at www.facebook.com/mdwfp. The show  features news and updates relating to all bureaus of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. 

Show Stations
  • Brookhaven/McComb WRQO 102.1 FM
  • Corinth WXRZ 94.3 FM
  • Greenwood WTCD 96.9 FM
  • Hattiesburg WFMM 97.3 FM
  • Jackson WFMN 97.3 FM
  • Laurel WLAU 99.3 FM
  • Meridian WZKR 103.3 FM
  • MS Gulf Coast WOSM 103.1 FM
  • Oxford WTNM 105.5 FM
  • Starkville/Golden Triangle WKBB 100.9 FM
  • Tupelo WWMR 102.9 FM
Mississippi Outdoors TV
New Episodes Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. or Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Season 28 of Mississippi Outdoors TV has begun. Catch the latest episodes Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. or Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, or you can watch episodes at your own leisure by visiting MDWFP's YouTube page.  
On Mississippi Outdoors we explore the wonder of our state's natural resources from hunting and fishing to just about anything outdoors. Let us show you where to go and what to do.

Eighty-Nine Gopher Tortoises Released
At Camp Shelby

Eighty-nine gopher tortoises were returned to the wild near Camp Shelby this September, thanks to the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center's environmental program and partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Mississippi with the support from the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the  Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks .

Currently, the gopher tortoise is state endangered and federally threatened. More than 360 different species depend on the gopher tortoise's burrows for survival. 
MDWFP Bat Surveys
The last week of October was Bat Week, an international celebration of the role bats play in nature. MDWFP biologists surveying for bat species throughout the year in Mississippi by using mist netting and harp netting to surveying caves, culverts, bridges, and buildings. A diverse bat population is a good sign of a healthy ecosystem.

The majority of bats eat night-flying insects, including many agricultural pests. As the primary predators of night-flying insects, bats play a significant role in controlling insect populations.
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).  
Wild About Gobblers Event
At MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science

MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science will host big feathery fun and special activities for all ages on November 21. Examine turkey feathers under a microscope, make your own turkey headband, investigate "egg-cellent" egg anatomy, and learn what these gobblers eat for lunch! This event is free with museum admission: $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 3 and up, and free admission for children under 3.

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.

A Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License is $500 for youth 12 years of age and under and $1,000 for anyone 13 years of age 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 
October Overview
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