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

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

Archery Season

Archery season for deer opens October 1 in the Delta, Northeast, East Central, and Southwest Zones and October 15 in the Southeast Zone. Longbows, recurves, compound bows, and crossbows are all considered legal archery equipment and can be used during all hunting seasons for deer. There is no minimum or maximum draw weight, no minimum arrow length, and fixed or mechanical broadheads may be used. 

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 (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.

Squirrel Season

Fall squirrel season opens statewide October 1, and is a great opportunity to introduce someone to hunting. 
For those in search of a place to hunt, most of Mississippi's open public lands, including Wildlife Management Areas, offer squirrel hunting opportunities. Squirrel hunters should generally look for areas with mature, hardwood forest cover for the best squirrel hunting. 
Anyone planning to hunt public land should read the regulations before hunting. Some areas may have season dates and rules that differ from general statewide regulations.

Bag limits:
The bag limit for squirrels is eight (8) per day. 

Second Dove Season

Take this time to hone your skills before duck season. 

North Zone: October 27 - November 7
South Zone: October 6 - November 7

When heading to a dove field, hunters should examine how the field was prepared before hunting. Hunting migratory birds with the aid of bait is illegal, and it is the hunter's responsibility to know if the field is baited or not. Information on dove field preparation and hunting regulations can be found online at  www.mdwfp.com/dove.  
Before hunting migratory game birds, hunters need to be sure their hunting license is current for the 2018-2019 hunting seasons, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification.  

Bag limits:

15 Singly or in aggregate

Possession Limit:

45 Singly or in aggregate

Opossum, Raccoon, and Bobcat Season

Opossum, raccoon, and bobcat season opens statewide for food and sport October. 1. The season will be open for pelts November 1. 

Bag limits: 

5 per day; 8 per party; no limit. 

Find a WMA near you
2018-2019 CWD Regulations
Be Familiar with New Regulations

The Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks adopted regulations for the revised Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Zone for the 2018-2019 hunting season during the August 16, 2018, meeting held at J.P. Coleman State Park. Regulations were approved after the 30 day comment period and take effect immediately. The new zone includes portions of Issaquena, Sharkey, and Warren counties and is identified as all areas south of Highways 14 and 16, areas west of the Yazoo River, all portions of Warren County, and all areas east of the Mississippi River.

The supplemental feeding ban and permitted hog trapping are lifted in Claiborne, Hinds, and Yazoo counties. Within the revised zone, supplemental feeding is banned and hog trapping must be permitted through Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). Also, no portions of cervid carcasses may be transported outside of the zone. 

Visit www.mdwfp.com/cwd to learn more about best management practices recommended for minimizing  potential environmental and human exposure to CWD and sample collecting efforts including check stations and drop-off locations. 

If you have questions, please contact the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at 601-432-2400. 

Updates for Hunting in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) announced several proposed changes for deer and turkey seasons approved during the September 19, 2018 Commission held at MDWFP's Headquarters in Jackson. 
Deer Season
  • Importation of cervid carcasses from ANY state, regardless of CWD status is now prohibited.  Other states are adopting similar regulations in an effort to minimize potential importation of CWD-positive animals into uninfected areas.
  • Beginning, July 1, 2019, it is unlawful to use natural scents or lures that contain natural cervid, biofluids, or other biological material.  Scientific research shows that infectious prions are carried in all bodily fluids.  This rule is an effort to minimize potential introduction of CWD through untested natural urine scents dispersed through the environment.  Synthetic scents will be allowed.
  • It is lawful to hunt less than 100 yards from feed or a feeder.
Turkey Season
  • Supplemental feeding from March 1 to the last day of turkey season is prohibited.  This rule is in response to requests from turkey hunters to minimize unnatural concentration and movements of wild turkeys during the spring hunting season.  MDWFP is assessing requests for the continuation of pelletized protein feed only during this period for white-tailed deer management.
  • Mandatory harvest reporting for wild turkeys will begin during the 2019 spring turkey season.  Harvest reporting is an important tool to gather useful information for management of wild turkey populations in Mississippi.

A full list of proposed and final regulations can be found at  www.mdwfp.com/administration/rules
Draw Hunt 
Apply Now

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. 
Hunters 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 Wildlife Management Areas 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 4 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).
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 Wildlife Management Area (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.
5 Tips for Managing Food Plots

Annuals and Perennials

If the objective is improving available forage for white-tailed deer, plantings should address the nutritional stress periods for whitetails, which in Mississippi is late winter and late summer. In short, no one planting will meet all nutritional needs of deer, turkeys, or other game animals. Several different plots including warm- and cool-season annuals and cool-season perennials are often necessary.

Selecting Perennial Forages

In Mississippi, clover is most often selected for a perennial planting. Clover varieties should be selected based on the moisture-holding capacity and fertility of the planting site.

Manage Soil Fertility

After selecting a good planting site, the next step is applying the soil amendments of lime and fertilizer. In order to properly apply lime and fertilizer, collect a soil sample and have it analyzed by the Cooperative Extension office.

Control the Weeds

The best strategy for weed control, aside from fall planting, is to "burn down" areas thoroughly with one or two applications of a glyphosate herbicide before planting, then minimize soil disturbance by using a no-till drill.

Keep It Trim

Most perennial forages should be mowed two to three times during the summer to keep the sward healthy and to aid in weed control by preventing weeds from going to seed. It is recommended to clip perennials early in the spring. Also, if using a bushhog, make sure the setting is high enough to avoid clipping flowering heads of clovers and other perennials.
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 ten hours of instruction. To obtain hunter education certification, students must be at least ten years old and must attend all classroom hours and pass a written exam. 

All persons born after Janurary 1, 1972, are required to complete a Hunter Education course before purchasing a Mississippi hunting license. Also effective July 1, 2000, anyone 12 years old and under 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 are not intended to replace the traditional classroom course, but are designed to work within the established course curriculum and allow the Hunter Education certification to be obtained whenever most convenient. Online courses allow students to complete part of the course from a desktop or mobile device. Upon completing a pre-certification exam, the student then goes to a scheduled classroom setting to complete the final three hours. This allows students time for interaction with an instructor and completion of final testing. 
Youth Fishing Rodeos
For October
We have several Youth Fishing Rodeos scheduled at lakes and ponds across Mississippi. MDWFP Youth Fishing Rodeos are held Saturday mornings and are great opportunities for families to spend quality time together in the great outdoors.

Each of these rodeos will have MDWFP fisheries biologists and technical staff present to provide fishing education, guidance, and technical information.

October 13
  • Woodville, Woodville City Park, 9 a.m. 
October 27
  • Leland, Deer Creek - 9 a.m. 
  • Hattiesburg, Geiger Lake, 11 a.m.
Fall Fishing Tips for Largemouth Bass

Fall is a time of transition, not only for the weather and foliage, but also for largemouth bass. Bass constantly follow baitfish, which can make it difficult to identify one particular pattern or fishing spot. The best advice for catching largemouth bass in the fall is to be adaptable to the conditions and cover as much water as possible.
In early fall, the best starting point is at the mouths of major creeks. From there, begin fishing upstream in the creek until you get bites. Once you start catching fish, you can likely duplicate the pattern in similar spots throughout a lake. As fall progresses, the bass will move further upstream. If creeks are absent, try fishing shallow flats with scattered cover. As winter approaches, the bass move back to the same deep water areas they used in the summer. 
Fall fishing requires covering a lot of water until you find fish, making fast-moving lures the best choice. Buzzbaits, jerkbaits, square-bill crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits are all great choices. Try to mimic the size and color of the baitfish. Keep moving and changing baits until you connect with them. Once you find the bass, hang on for some great fishing!
Find out where fish are biting across the state with our weekly fishing reports.
Volunteer for the Super Hunt
October 26-28

The Super Hunt is a weekend event for youth ages 6-17 with a disability . The hunt will take place October 26-28 and will start Friday at 8:00am. It is a 3 day event full of fun activities and hunting.  Participants arrive at MDWFP Turcotte Education Center and enjoy a half day of fun outdoor activities before adjourning and  heading to camps for an evening hunt. 
To volunteer as a sponsor, guide, or landowner  visit  southernoutdoorsunlimited.org
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 before 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.

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.

Located near Perkinston, McHenry offers two rifle ranges with ten shooting tables per range. Shooters are able to engage targets out to 170 yards.
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 selected Wildlife Management Areas (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 very 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).

Subscribe to Mississippi Outdoors Magazine

Mississippi Outdoors magazine is MDWFP's bi-monthly publication featuring a range of informative articles, agency news, trends, topics, and photos.
Have Mississippi Outdoors magazine delivered to your door by calling 1-888-874-5785. If you have a hunting or fishing license, you can also subscribe online though our license and permit purchasing page.
Take the SCORP Survey
How far do you travel to enjoy outdoor recreation?

Mississippi is currently updating its Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), and we need your help! By taking the survey below, you will be providing us with suggestions on how to improve our existing facilities, as well as where to build new ones.

Take the Mississippi SCORP survey, now, and let your voice be heard:

Fall Activities at State Parks

Wall Doxey State Park

Saturday, October 20 at 7:00 PM
Camper decorating contest for the registered campers - Halloween
Activities: Games, concessions, haunted house, cake walk
$4.00 Entrance Fee
J P Coleman State Park

Saturday, October 27 at 6:30 PM
Activities: Carnival games, costume contest, and prizes
$4.00 Entrance fee
Hugh White State Park

Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Activities: Prizes for best decorated golf cart that participates in the parade and the  Kids Bike Parade, t rick or treating
$4.00 Entrance fee
VEC to Host Tree Identification Program
October 27

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 27th 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 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, call the VEC at (662) 563-8068.

The VEC is part of MDWFP North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and is located at Exit 233 east off I-55.
Fire on the Forty

We are accepting applications for our "Fire on the Forty" prescribed burning program. As part of the "Fire on the Forty" initiative, the partnership will reimburse burning projects in selected focal counties up to 50 percent of costs for implementing and performing a prescribed burn.

Focal counties include Monroe, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Prentiss in North Mississippi and Amite, Pike, Walthall, Jefferson Davis, Covington, Marion, Lamar, Pearl River, and Forest in South Mississi ppi.

Landowners must submit an application for entry into the program before October 19, 2018 to be considered for this year's funding. All applications will be competitively ranked based on potential habitat benefits for wildlife.
First Tuesday Lecture
The Paddlefish in Mississippi: Living Fossil, Natural Resource, and Engineering Marvel

Join us for First Tuesday Lectures at MDWFP's Mississippi Museum of Natural Science on the first Tuesday of every month at noon. Throughout the year, First Tuesday Lectures will feature a variety of outdoor-related research and discoveries presented you by some of the best educators in their respective fields.

Our speaker is Jan Hoover, Research Fisheries Biologist, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, (ERDC), Environmental Lab, Vicksburg

Hear about recent studies of Paddlefish by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg. This research documents how their ancient body plan has enabled Paddlefish to thrive in modern, frequently impacted rivers, how their distinctive biology provides high-value commodities to society and important information to ecologists, and how their unique rostrum (or "paddle") can be used by the military for the development of new defensive technologies. 

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 September 29, 2018, 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!

Park After Dark
October 26
Enjoy spooky science and family fun at the Park after Dark event Friday, October 26. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) has partnered with the Mississippi Children's Museum (MCM)) and LeFleur's Bluff State Park to host the Park after Dark event.

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. One night, one ticket, two museums! MCM, MMNS and LeFleur's Bluff State Park seek to provide families with a safe and fun environment to celebrate fall festivities. Additional information and ticket pre-sales are available at
September Overview
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