Have you ever considered hunting in Mississippi? Picture this: you, knee-deep in the tranquil wilderness, calling in a massive gobbler or sighting in on a trophy buck. Sounds pretty good, right?
Well, pull up a chair and buckle up because you’re about to embark on a whirlwind tour of hunting in the Magnolia State. From the abundant game camaraderie among Mississippi hunters, there’s a lot to love here.
So, if you’re ready to explore the ins and outs of Mississippi hunting, you’re in the right place. Stick around, and we’ll dive deep into what makes hunting in Mississippi a wild ride worth taking!
Table of Contents
Mississippi Hunting Seasons
Before diving into the hunting opportunities Mississippi has on its plate, we must take a quick peek at its hunting seasons first.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is the crew that keeps things in check. They set up the hunting seasons to ensure wildlife populations are managed sustainably and to give everyone a fair chance to enjoy hunting.
Here’s the rundown of the general hunting seasons in the state:
|Archery: Mid-October to mid-November
Primitive Weapon: Early to mid-November; Mid-January to mid-February
Firearms: Mid- to late November; Mid-December to mid-January
|Spring-General: Mid-March to early May
Spring-Nonresident: Mid- to late March
Fall-General: Mid-October to mid-November
|Late November to late January
|Wild Hog Hunting
|Public Waters: Late August to early September
Private Lands: Late August to late September
|Small Game Hunting
|Bobwhite Quail: Late November to early March
Rabbit: Mid-October to late February
Raccoon: Early July to late September
Squirrel: Early October to late February; Mid-May to early June
Mississippi Popular Hunts
Did you know Mississippi is one of the South’s premier hunting destinations? Its deep woods, vast fields, murky swamps, and abundance of popular game species can attest to that.
Let’s dive into what makes hunting in Mississippi as addictive as grandma’s pecan pie.
Whitetail Deer Hunting
I reckon you could call this the crown jewel of hunting in Mississippi. The state is home to some of the biggest white-tailed deer in the South, and there’s plenty of ’em.
Actually, the deer population here is strong – I mean, there are around 1.75 million of these critters in the state.
But before heading afield and hunting down your deer, it’s important to note the state’s deer hunting regulations.
Deer Hunting Regulation
Hunters are allowed a bag limit of up to five deer per license year, including no more than three bucks. That’s right; you can bag more than one trophy in a season if you’re lucky!
For the bucks, there’s an antler restriction that requires at least one of your bucks to have at least four points on one antler. This helps to protect younger bucks and maintain a healthy population. As for does, they can be hunted throughout the season.
Ever heard of the Mississippi Flyway? Well, that’s the largest migration route for almost millions of waterfowl species, including ducks, geese, and tons more ducks!
Mississippi’s fertile wetlands, rivers, and reservoirs make it an attractive rest stop for these birds during their long migration, and that’s a golden opportunity for hunters.
Mississippi sees a variety of waterfowl species. You’ll find mallards, gadwalls, pintails, teal, and wood ducks, to name a few. If you’re into goose hunting, you can find Canada geese, snow geese, and white-fronted geese.
A quick tip – invest in a good duck call and learn how to use it. It can be a game-changer. And don’t forget your retriever! Nothing beats a loyal four-legged friend to help you fetch those ducks from the cold waters.
Turkey hunting in Mississippi is kinda like the Super Bowl of bird hunting. It’s all about the thrill of the chase and the skill of calling.
Mississippi has a robust population of Eastern wild turkeys, and that’s a big draw for hunters. Plus, turkey hunting is steeped in skill and strategy. It ain’t just sitting in a blind; you’re actively calling, tracking, and outsmarting these birds, which makes it a fun and engaging hunt.
But going onto the legal stuff: Turkey hunters in Mississippi can bag up to three gobblers during the spring season, but for the fall season, there’s no limit. But remember, hunters are required to carry a hunting license, and if you’re hunting on a WMA, you might need a WMA user permit.
Note: it’s gobblers only – no hens – so be sure you’re shooting the right bird!
Alligator hunting in Mississippi isn’t just popular; it’s the stuff of legends. There’s just something about these prehistoric beasts that makes the hunt all the more thrilling.
But remember, alligator hunting is not for everyone. Interested hunters must go through the lottery-based permit distribution and wish to be lucky enough to draw an alligator hunting permit.
But if chosen, I’m telling you: you’re in for a wild ride! Exciting, right?
Now, let’s talk rules: to participate in the public waters hunt, you must enter a lottery system for a permit. If chosen, you and your hunting pals can hunt alligators over a set period on designated public waterways.
Meanwhile, private land hunting is only allowed for landowners whose properties are in specified open zones.
Note: hunters must complete an Alligator Hunting Training Course before purchasing a permit.
Top Hunting Locations in Mississippi
Delta National Forest
Nestled in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the Delta National Forest is a dream come true for hunters. Covering over 60,000 acres, it’s the only bottomland hardwood forest in the National Forest System, which means it’s basically a big ‘ole buffet for wildlife.
It’s particularly famous for its white-tailed deer and waterfowl hunting. With flooded timber and swampy lowlands, it’s a waterfowler’s paradise. And with some of the best soil for growing big bucks, deer hunters tend to get a bit giddy here too.
Bienville National Forest
Located in central Mississippi, this national forest is a 178,000-acre woodland that offers a diverse habitat that supports various game species. White-tailed deer? Check. Wild turkey? You bet. Small game like squirrels and rabbits? Absolutely.
It’s also a great place for bobwhite quail hunting. The forest’s diverse ecosystem, dotted with pine and hardwood forests, as well as grasslands, makes it a perfect habitat for these game species.
Remember, respect the land. It’s not just a great hunting ground; it’s a home for all kinds of wildlife.
Panola Country Public Hunting Ground
Covering over 9,000 acres, Panola Country Public Hunting Ground offers excellent deer and turkey hunting opportunities. What sets Panola County apart is the quality of its deer. The management practices here have resulted in a healthy, robust deer population. And where there’s deer, there’s usually turkey – and Panola County is no exception.
As for regulations, these three hunting locations follow the state’s regulations, with a valid Mississippi hunting license and WMA permit required if you’re hunting within a WMA. Again, always verify any area-specific rules before your hunting trip.
Hunting License and Permit
Of course, like any US state, Mississippi’s DWFP requires all state hunters to obtain the necessary papers before heading afield. These include the state’s valid license and hunting permits.
|All Game Hunting
|Small Game Hunting
|WMA User Permit
|Federal Duck Stamp
Mississippi Private Land Program
The MDWFP runs a Private Lands Program that works closely with private landowners to improve wildlife habitats on their lands.
Through technical assistance and management planning, the program helps to enhance game populations and hunting opportunities. It’s a great example of how public agencies and private landowners can work together to promote conservation and support the hunting community.
Mississippi’s Super Hunt
The Mississippi Super Hunt is a special hunting event for children and young adults with disabilities.
It’s a unique event that brings together volunteers and sponsors to provide a memorable hunting experience for these young hunters. The Super Hunt embodies the spirit of the hunting community – one of inclusion, support, and shared experiences.
From its vast selection of thriving game species to its hunting grounds, hunting in Mississippi is something that boasts ample opportunities for hunters. It’s not just about bagging your hunt, but the laughs, the stories, and making those ‘remember when’ moments that bring the magic to hunting in good ol’ Mississippi.
Just remember, always keep the facts and fiction of hunting for a more fun and responsible venture with our nature’s wildlife.