Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
November 2018
In This Issue

Quick Links
Purchase a License
Boat Registration
Find a Park Near You
Report a Violation
Supplemental Feeding Regulations
Second CWD case confirmed in north Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) received confirmation from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory that a 1.5-year-old, free-range, male, white-tailed deer collected in Pontotoc County on October 8 tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  MDWFP has established a  CWD Management Zone that includes Pontotoc and Union counties and all portions of Lee County west of Highway 45.  For any MDWFP-defined CWD Management Zone it is unlawful to do the following:   
  • Supplemental feed; 
  • Establish new mineral sites or add supplements to existing sites; 
  • Remove certain portions of cervid carcasses from the zone (carcass regulations); or 
  • Trap wild hogs without a permit from MDWFP. 
To monitor CWD in the Pontotoc Zone, MDWFP will rely on hunter-harvested deer during the 2018-19 hunting season.  Hunters can submit deer for testing at established drop-off locations or MDWFP-staffed check stations.  

MDWFP will host a public meeting to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) at North Pontotoc Attendance Center on Thursday, November 8 at 6:00 p.m. Presentations by MDWFP staff will be on the status of CWD and planned monitoring activities.  Biologists and Law Enforcement officials will be available to answer questions.     

Learn more at www.mdwfp.com/cwd
How to submit your harvested deer for CWD testing
At 21 Locations Across Mississippi

This hunting season MDWFP encourages hunters to submit recently harvested deer for CWD testing. You can do so at 21 different drop-off locations across the state.  Hunters may submit deer heads with at least 6 inches of neck attached. Antlers should be removed before depositing the head. The test used to determine the presence of CWD requires a portion of the deer's brainstem or lymph nodes. Harvested animals should remain cool until testing to reduce decomposition and provide accurate results.

For information on drop-off locations or to check the results of your submitted CWD sample visit  www.mdwfp.com/cwd.
November hunting seasons

Gun Season for Deer

Gun season for youth hunters, 15 and under, opens November 3. Youth may use any firearm. Also, zone-specific spread and main beam antler regulations do not apply to youth hunters. As of November 3, 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 primitive weapon season for deer will open November 5 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 statewide November 17 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. 

Delta Zone: Areas west of I-55 and north of I-20 plus areas south of I-20 and west of U.S. Highway 61.
Northeast Zone: Areas east of I-55 and north of U.S. Highway 82. 
East Central Zone: Areas east of I-55, east of U.S. Highway 49, south of U.S. Highway 82, and north of U.S. Highway 84.
Southwest Zone: Areas east of U.S. Highway 61, south of I-20, west of U.S. Highway 49, and west of MS Highway 35.
Southeast Zone: Areas south of U.S. Highway 84 and east of MS Highway 35.

Bag limits:

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

Rabbit Season and Squirrel Season are both open throughout November.

Bobwhite Quail Season opens November 22.

Trapping Season opens November 1.

Migratory Game Bird Seasons

Snipe Season opens November 14.

Rail Season: Clapper and King opens November 23.

Rail Season: Sora and Virginia opens November 23.

Crow Season opens November 3.

Youth Waterfowl Season opens November 17.

Duck, Mergansers, and Coots Season will be open November 23 - 25 and November 30 - December 2. 

Waterfowl draw hunts at WMAs

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 beginning  October 30. 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.  
Hunter's Special cabin rates
Plan your hunting trip today

Select Mississippi State Parks offer discounted lodging rates to sportsmen during the hunting season. Many of our parks are conveniently located near WMAs and National Wildlife Refuges, providing an affordable "hunting camp" experience.

Discounted lodging rates will be offered to hunters October 2018 through February 2019.
Special Rates:
  • Cabin that sleep four or less - $50.00 / night
  • Standard RV sites - $18.00 / night
  • Full RV sites - $20.00 / night
Participating State Parks:
  • Clarkco State Park
  • George P. Cossar State Park
  • Hugh White State Park
  • J. P. Coleman State Park
  • John W. Kyle State Park
  • Lake Lincoln State Park
  • Lake Lowndes State Park
  • Legion State Park
  • Leroy Percy State Park
  • Natchez State Park
  • Roosevelt State Park
  • Tombigbee State Park
  • Trace State Park
  • Wall Doxey State Park
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 www.mdwfp.com/parks, a refund for the discounted amount will be issued upon arrival (with proof of a valid Mississippi hunting license).
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. 

Download the official MDWFP app

The official MDWFP app is a powerful tool for hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts in Mississippi, providing easy access to information and services provided by MDWFP. This application features a digital license display, rules and regulations, season dates, bag limits, feeding times, and much more.

How to safely climb a treestand
MDWFP urges all hunters to wear and know how to properly use a full-body harness (fall-arrest system) while climbing a tree, installing a treestand that uses climbing aids, or while hunting from a treestand. Wearing a full-body harness can be the difference between life and death. We cannot stress this enough. Treestand falls account for over 90 percent of all hunting accidents in Mississippi.
MDWFP reminds all WMA hunters that they are required by law to wear a full-body harness while climbing a tree, installing a treestand that uses climbing aids, or while hunting from a treestand on a WMA.

Most of these treestand-related incidents can be avoided by taking a little extra time to follow these guidelines:
  • Always wear a full-body safety harness.
  • Use a lifeline harness system when climbing to and from deer stands.
  • Check the straps attaching your hunting stand to the tree for signs of wear.
  • Check your hunting stand for signs of wear or broken parts.
MDWFP Officials want everyone to enjoy a safe and successful hunting season and pay attention while enjoying Mississippi's Great Outdoors.
Take a hunter education class
Register today

The fall hunting season here and MDWFP has hunter education courses scheduled across the state. There is no cost to attend a course, but pre-registration is required. Participants can find available courses in their area and pre-register at education.mdwfp.com  Hunter education courses include 10 hours of instruction. To obtain hunter education certification, students must be at least 10 years old and must attend all classroom hours and pass a written exam. 

All persons born after January 1, 1972, are required to complete a hunter education course before purchasing a Mississippi hunting license. Also effective July 1, 2000, individuals between 12 and 16 years old must have a certificate of satisfactory completion of a hunter education course approved by MDWFP before hunting alone in this state. A child at least 12 years old and under 16 years old may hunt without having the certificate of hunter education if the child is in the presence and under the direct supervision of a licensed or exempt hunter at least 21 years old when hunting.

An alternative to taking the standard hunter education class is taking a  Mississippi hunter education online course . Online courses allow students to complete part of the course from a desktop or mobile device. Upon completing a pre-certification exam, students must attend  a scheduled classroom setting for final testing. 
MDWFP's Tom Holman named Fisheries Biologist of the Year

MDWFP fisheries biologist Tom Holman has been named Fisheries Biologist of the Year by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA).  Holman was presented the award at the association's 72nd annual meeting in Mobile, AL.

Holman currently serves as the Fisheries Bureau's Sport Fish Restoration Program Coordinator overseeing grant application, compliance, and reporting processes for multiple bureau grants and university research grants.  He also coordinates MDWFP's fish hatcheries and aquatic education program, which focuses on youth fishing events.

"This award is a well-deserved tribute to the value and contribution of Tom's work with the fisheries resources in Mississippi," said Larry Pugh, Fisheries Bureau Director. "Tom's experience and knowledge are valuable assets to the Bureau."
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 and under and $1,000 for anyone 13 years 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. You can purchase these at a state park near you. 
Donate to MDWFP's "Stuff the Truck" toy drive
MDWFP Conservation Officers are asking all Mississippians to give back this holiday season by helping us "Stuff the Truck" to benefit the children of Batson Children's Hospital. The toy drive begins on November 15 and will run through December 7.

Learn more
Private wetland incentive program
From MDWFP and Delta Waterfowl

MDWFP and Delta Waterfowl are pleased to announce a pilot program to promote wetland habitat on private lands near select WMAs in the Mississippi Delta. This program will assist private landowners by offering incentive payments to flood wetland habitat for migrating waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. The goals of this program are to provide additional wetland acres in close proximity to WMAs with wetland management during times when this habitat is typically limited; to increase the overall attractiveness for waterfowl in the surrounding landscape around selected WMAs; and to raise awareness among private landowners about the importance of flooded habitats for priority wildlife species.  

Priority areas for this incentive program will be private lands within five miles of the following WMAs: Howard Miller, Lake George, Mahannah, Sunflower, and Twin Oaks. Eligible habitats will include existing agricultural fields that have not been tilled following harvest, as well as managed moist-soil wetlands with natural vegetation (non-cropland).

Mississippi Outdoors TV
New Episodes Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. or Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Season 29 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 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.
Wild About Gobblers
At MDWFP's Mississippi Museum of Natural  Science
MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science will host big feathery fun and special activities for all ages on November 20 from 10:00 a.m. until noon. At our "Wild About Gobblers" event you will be able to e xamine turkey feathers under a microscope, investigate "egg-cellent" anatomy, make your own turkey headband, learn about turkey conservation with MDWFP's turkey program coordinator Adam Butler, and meet LIVE turkeys from Freedom Ranch Outreach. 

Learn more
In the Dark
The latest exhibit at MDWFP's Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

"In the Dark", a national traveling exhibit created by the Cincinnati Museum Center, runs from through December 31, 2018, at MDWFP's Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Always intriguing, darkness beckons exploration.

What thrives beneath the soil, under the sea, in the shadows of night, and within other dark environments? How have people reacted to darkness throughout history? Visitors will discover the answers as they explore the fascinating, largely unseen, world of things that go bump in the night.

Visitors can crawl inside a giant bat head, experience life as a termite, explore the worlds of bobcats, skunks, and cicadas, plus learn how birds find their way flying at night and how bats use echo-location!

October Overview
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