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

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Purchase a License
Boat Registration
Find a Park Near You
Report a Violation
Spend Your Labor Day at a State Park!
Last chance to enjoy water features before the summer ends

The last days of summer are upon us. Make the most out of your three-day Labor Day weekend by spending some quality time outdoors!

Monday, September 4 is your last chance to enjoy pools, water slides, wave pools, and splash pads at Mississippi State Parks.

State Parks with Water Features:
MDWFP Welcomes New Commissioner

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is excited to welcome its newest commissioner, William M "Billy" Mounger II. Mounger is a Jackson native, an entrepreneur in wireless communications, and an outdoor enthusiast. 

Mounger is the CEO of Trinstar Technologies, LLC and previously served on the boards of Delta Waterfowl Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, Mississippi chapter.
"I'm excited about taking on this position. I look forward to contributing to the enhancement and protection of our state's natural resources so that we are able to make them more valuable for Mississippians. I also hope to help create access to more opportunities for Mississippians to enjoy the great natural resources that we have."
Dove Season Opens
September 2

Opening day of dove season in Mississippi begins September 2 in the North and South zones. Dove season brings some of the first fall hunting opportunities and is one of the most anticipated and popular hunting days of the year for many Mississippians.

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 2017-2018 hunting seasons, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification. HIP certification is required for hunting all migratory game birds and is required by all states. HIP certification is completed when, upon purchasing a license, hunters are asked questions about their migratory game bird harvest from the previous hunting season. 

Bag Limits:

The bag limit for mourning and white-winged doves is 15, singly or in aggregate, with a possession limit of 45 singly or in aggregate. 

Other Migratory Bird Seasons:

Watch for Banded Doves in Your Harvest

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. 
Archery Season for Deer Opens
September 30

Archery season for deer will open September 30 in the Delta, Northeast, East Central, and Southwest Zones and October 14 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.

Treestand Safety
Safety harnesses save lives
Tree Stand Safety

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.
Squirrel Season Opens
September 30

Fall squirrel season opens statewide on September 30. A special youth squirrel season opens September 23 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. 

Hunter Education Courses
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 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, 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.

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

Anglers 15 years old and younger are invited to youth fishing rodeos across the state this September. These events are free, and provide a good opportunity for young anglers to fish a lake that is well stocked with catfish, which are typically easy to catch. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear, catfish bait, and stringers. Families are invited to come enjoy quality time together in a safe environment.

September 2
Mississippi Valley State University
7 a.m.   (662) 704-0457
September 9
LeFleur's Bluff State Park
8:30 a.m.   (601) 540-1398
September 16
Forrest County Lake
9 a.m.   (601) 583-7500
September 23
Outdoorama on the Rez
8 a.m.   (601) 605-1790
September 30
Recon Lake at Mound Bayou
6:30 a.m.   (662) 741-2879
Whitehead Lake at I.G. Levy Memorial Park
9 a.m.   (228) 6938-2356
Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day
 September 23

Join in the nationwide celebration of hunting, fishing, shooting, and wildlife conservation on September 23. 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. That 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, Gallinules, and Youth Squirrel.

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 23, 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.

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 - $50.00 / night
  • Standard RV sites - $14.00 / 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).  

Participate in "Bike Your Park" Day

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 be entered for a chance to win a Seldom Seen bike from Advocate Cycles and a trip for two, with bikes, to Glacier National Park on the Amtrak Empire Builder.

Participating State Parks:
  • Wall Doxey 
  • Lake Lowndes
  • Clarkco
  • George P. Cossar
  • Lincoln State Park
  • Trace State Park
Register Now for the Super Hunt!
A deer hunt for youth with disabilities

The 4th annual Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' Super Hunt will take place October 27-29. The weekend includes a variety of fun field activities as well as two days of deer hunting for youth ages 6-17 with disabilities.
Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Serve as a hunting guide
  • Offer your property as a hunting site
  • Assist with field-day activities
To register as a participant, volunteer, or sponsor visit foundationmwfp.com/superhunt.
Need Guidance Managing Habitat on Private Lands?
Our biologists are here to help

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) offers a variety of services to help private landowners achieve their wildlife management objectives. Whether it is cultivating food plots for deer, managing woodland density, or determining the amount of coverage you need for proper habitat, our biologists will provide you with technical guidance.
For more information about MDWFP's Private Lands Program or to schedule a site visit, contact your regional Private Lands Biologist.
Prescribed Burning Program Accepting Applications
"Fire on the Forty" cost share program

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is now accepting applications for our "Fire on the Forty" prescribed burning program. "Fire on the Forty" has provided cost-share funding for prescribed burning on more than 55,000 acres of private lands in North and South Mississippi.

Landowners must submit an application for entry into the program before October 6, 2017, to be considered for this year's funding. All applications will be competitively ranked based on potential habitat benefits for wildlife. Funding for the "Fire on the Forty" initiative is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Mississippi Forestry Commission, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Science Fest
At MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science

The LeFleur Museum District (LMD) invites you to attend a special science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) themed festival! On Saturday, September 23, all four museums will host a day dedicated to promoting STEM subjects and increasing science literacy. Children and families will have the opportunity to interact with nationally renowned STEM professionals, engage in hands-on activities, and explore exciting experiments and exhibits. By bringing these experts together, Mississippi Science Fest is able to show the range of career opportunities that exist while also sparking participants' curiosity, excitement, and interest. 
LeFleur Museum District Partners:
MDWFP's Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum
Mississippi Children's Museum
Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum
At the MDWFP's Museum of Natural Science: 
Explore the wonders of water in this fun-filled and interactive event where we will learn about, play with, and discover how to conserve one of our most precious resources: Water. Learn about water on Mars with NASA educators, meet live aquatic animals with museum biologists, and make your own water cycle in the "Incredible Journey" game with museum conservation educators, and other exciting activities.
One ticket ($10), four museums, and lots of science fun!
August Overview
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