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

Quick Links
Purchase a License
Boat Registration
Find a Park Near You
Report a Violation
Supplemental Feeding Regulations
2018-2019 CWD Regulations
September CWD Update

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. 

Dove Season Opens
September 1

Opening day of dove season in Mississippi begins September 1 in the North and South Zones.

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. 

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.

Find a WMA dove field near you
Watch for Banded Doves in Your Harvest
Dove Banding PSA
Hunters should be on the lookout for banded doves in their harvest and report them by calling the phone number listed on the band. Information from band returns is shared with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to estimate trends in dove populations and harvest rates that will aid conservation efforts. 
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.

Archery Season For Deer Opens
October 1

Archery season for deer will open 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.

Find a WMA near you
How to Safely Climb a Treestand
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.
Take a Hunter Education Class
Register Today

The fall hunting season is around the corner 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. 
Squirrel Season Opens
October 1 - Youth Season September 24

Fall squirrel season opens statewide October 1. A special youth squirrel season opens September 24 on private lands and authorized state and federal lands. 
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. 

Find a WMA near you
Youth Fishing Rodeos
For September
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.

September Fishing Rodeos

September 1
  • Itta Bena, University Pond, 7 a.m. 
September 15
  • Gulfport, Harrison County Sheriff's Office Pond, 9 a.m.
September 22
  • Canton, Turcotte Education Center 8 a.m.
September 29
  • Mound Bayou, Recon Lake, 7:30 a.m. 
  • Pascagoula, Whitehead Lake, 11 a.m. 
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.
2018 Turkey Hunter Survey

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey if you participated in Mississippi's 2018 Turkey Season. Mississippi's sportsmen and women provide valuable data that aids the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in managing our rich natural resources. The accuracy of this survey depends on the responses from as many people as possible. Your information is valuable to our conservation efforts and we look forward to hearing from you.

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day
September 22

Join in the nationwide celebration of hunting, fishing, shooting, and wildlife conservation on September 22. National Hunting and Fishing Day was created in 1971 to celebrate hunting and fishing and to recognize America's sportsman-based system of conservation funding. The system now generates more than $1.7 billion per year and benefits all who appreciate wildlife and the outdoors. 
Celebrate by getting outdoors:
While many of Mississippi's most popular hunting seasons have not yet reached their peak, hunters can still enjoy a day in the field or woods with these open seasons: Dove, Teal, Canada Geese, Rails, and Gallinules.
Fishing opportunities are available statewide. How about trying a new fishing spot by visiting a state lake or state park lake?
Shooting Sports
Visit a shooting range near you, or check out Turcotte and McHenry shooting facilities.

Outdoorama on the Rez 

Outdoorama on the Rez is hosted by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation and is scheduled Saturday, September 22, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Turcotte Education Center off Highway 43 at the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
The purpose of this event is to get kids and anyone interested in the outdoors to step outside for a hands-on experience with the tools and concepts of hunting and fishing in Mississippi. They will learn how to reload shells, shoot skeet and sporting clays, learn how to tie flies, fish for catfish, see elk horns, watch retrievers work, learn how knives are made, shoot bows and arrows, learn about recycling, try their hand at canoeing, learn how to use a treestand safely, learn the importance of clean water, see snakes and alligators, and so much more!
This is a free event so mark your calendars and make plans to attend. For more information, please call the Mississippi Wildlife Federation at 601-605-1790 or visit online at mswildlife.org.
Clarkco State Park Turns 80

Clarkco State Park turns 80 years old this month. L ocated just south of Meridian near the Mississippi-Alabama state line, Clarkco State Park has been a favorite Mississippi recreation spot since 1938.

The park is located on 815 acres of gently rolling woodlands and offers camping, cabin rentals, and water sports in a convenient yet unspoiled location, providing the perfect retreat for an afternoon or weekend getaway.

SCORP Survey

How far do you travel to enjoy outdoor recreation?

The State of Mississippi is currently updating its Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, 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:

Bike Your Park Day
September 29
Bike Your Park Day - 2018

Explore Mississippi State Parks by bicycle on Bike Your Park Day, September 30. Bring friends, family, or join the organized rides celebrating our parks in conjunction with National Public Lands Day. You will be joining thousands of others who will explore parks and public lands by bicycle on the same day. 
Also, if you register your ride on www.adventurecycling.org you  will receive a Bike Your Park Day sticker in the mail, and will be entered to win a Co-Motion Cycles Divide bike or two Amtrak tickets to Glacier National Park.
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).
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 Search for the Secretive Snapper: Status of the Alligator Snapping Turtle in Mississippi. 

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 for September is Luke S. Pearson, Ph.D. Student, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi. He has been systematically trapping alligator snapping turtles in all major river drainages (Pascagoula, Pearl, Big Black, Yazoo, and Tombigbee) in the state to determine distribution and population abundance to more accurately assess the state and federal conservation status of the alligator snapping turtle.

Spider Trail Hike Lecture
At MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science

Learn about arachnids while exploring habitat along the museum's nature trails with  Dr. Brent Hendrixson of Millsaps College. The Spider Trail Hike will begin at 11 a.m. on September  15. This special program is included with regular museum admission:  $6 for adults, $4 for youth ages 3-18, and $5 for senior citizens, ages 60 and up. Museum members are free with current membership.

Mississippi Science Fest
September 22

The Mississippi Science Fest (MSF), presented by C Spire, is a fun, hands-on event hosted by the four museums of the LeFleur Museum District (LMD) in Jackson on September 22 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. This will be the second year for the LMD to host the event. Each museum is hosting unique, interactive activities and exhibitors. Each of the four museum's will also host STEM-themed field trips on Friday, September 21.

Leaders from all four museums of the LMD organized the event to showcase the Magnolia State's innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) industries and organizations. The LeFleur Museum District is located in Jackson at I-55 and Lakeland Drive and brings together four uniquely amazing museums: 
  • MDWFP's Mississippi Museum of Natural Science 
  • Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum  
  • Mississippi Children's Museum
  • Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
Please note that  memberships will not be applicable on this date as the $10 admission grants entry to all four LeFleur Museum District Museums for the event. A FREE shuttle bus will be available between all four museums. Food vendors will be on-site, too.
August Overview
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