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Wildlife Management Areas

Hunting Regulations Icon Mississippi Hunting & Fishing

The Mississippi Wildlife Management Area (WMA) system is expansive and diverse. It includes 54 areas encompassing over a thousand square miles. WMAs are located from the upper edge of the coastal marshes in Jackson County to the lower reaches of the Appalachians in Tishomingo County. They range from the rolling hardwood hills of southwestern Mississippi to the deep, rich soils of the Delta. Some WMAs are owned by the MDWFP. Many are managed under memoranda of understanding with the U.S. Forest Service or private corporations. Others are operated through long-term license agreements with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

When most Mississippians think of our WMAs, they think of them primarily as public hunting areas. Public hunting does, indeed, constitute the largest single use of WMAs. While deer hunting is the leading use, at over half of the annual total, there are many other resident and migratory game species available to pursue. Wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, quail, raccoon, opossum, fox, and bobcat are among the resident species traditionally hunted on our WMAs. Ducks, geese, and doves are the most commonly hunted migratory species, but several other migratory game birds may be taken too. Wild hogs are classified as nuisance animals and hunters are encouraged to kill them at any lawful opportunity. Wild hogs may be killed during any open WMA hunting season with weapons and ammunition legal for that season.

Today’s WMAs serve many other roles in addition to public hunting – fishing, primitive camping, wildlife viewing, photography, wildlife research, and nature study, to name a few. The common link among all WMAs is that they provide habitat for wildlife, game and nongame species alike. In certain locations they even lend themselves to management for threatened and endangered species such as the gopher tortoise, yellow-blotched sawback turtle, and red-cockaded woodpecker. The ability to enhance habitats and regulate public use makes WMAs vitally important for maintaining species of special concern.

While our WMAs have something for almost everyone, they cannot be all things to all people. We are ultimately responsible for protecting the public’s wildlife resources, so there must be limits on recreational opportunities we can offer. The ability to formulate regulations for specific areas allows us to offer controlled public use within the limits of these resources. Individual WMA brochures are available from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at 1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS 39211-6374, or online at www.mdwfp.com/wma, or the WMA.

NOTE: The MDWFP will assist handicapped users in locating easily accessible areas for hunting on all WMAs.

Wildlife Management Area
Permitted Draw Hunts

Permitted draw hunts are used for a variety of species on WMAs to distribute hunting opportunity and pressure while providing higher quality, safer hunting experiences for the public.

To see a list of hunts that are currently open and to submit applications, please visit the WMA permitted draw hunt page at www.mdwfp.com/draws.

Annual application deadline targets are: Early Teal – August 15; Deer – August 31 and Turkey – February 15. Waterfowl applications for opening weekend hunt period will be available October 31. Typically, applications will be opened online approximately one month prior to the application deadlines. Quail permitted draw hunt procedures vary with individual WMAs.

Permitted hunt drawings are conducted within one week of the close of the application period. Selected hunters are notified by email or may check their status online at the WMA permitted draw hunt page link listed above.

2017-2018 Wildlife Management Area Youth and Handicapped Hunts

Wildlife Management Area

Youth Deer

Youth Squirrel

Youth Turkey

Youth Dove

Handicapped Deer

Bienville

11/4-11/17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Black Prairie

9/30-10/1, 12/29-1/1, 1/5-8***

9/4***

Calhoun County

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Canal Section

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

10/1-1/31*

Canemount

11/11-12***

3/10-11***

Caney Creek

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Caston Creek

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Charles Ray Nix

11/4-17

9/23-30

4/7-8; 4/14-15;
4/21-22; 4/28-29

10/1-1/31*

Chickasaw

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Chickasawhay

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Choctaw

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Copiah County

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Cossar State Park

12/15-17***; 12/22-24***

Divide Section

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

10/1-1/31*

Graham Lake

11/4-1/31

Hell Creek

11/20-11/30; 12/4-6; 12/11-12; 12/18-26; 1/1-31

9/2

John Bell Williams

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

John W. Starr

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Lake George

11/4-17

9/23-30

Leaf River

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Leroy Percy

11/4-17, 1/1-31

9/23-30

Little Biloxi

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Mahannah

11/4-5; 12/30-1/14

9/30

9/9***

Malmaison

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Marion County

11/4-17, 1/4-2/15

9/23-30

3/8-14

Mason Creek

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Nanih Waiya

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Natchez State Park

10/28-12/31***

2/3-2/25***

3/10-4/29***

10/19-22***

O’Keefe

11/4-17

9/23-30

Okatibbee

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

1/29-31***

Old River

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Pascagoula River

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Pearl River

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

10/1-1/31***

Red Creek

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Riverfront

Closed

Sandy Creek

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Sardis Waterfowl

11/4-5; 11/11-12; 11/18-19; 12/9-10***

4/7-8; 4/14-15; 4/21-22***

Shipland

11/4-17, 1/1-31

9/23-30

Sky Lake

11/2-4

10/1-4

Stoneville

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Sunflower

11/4-17

9/23-30

4/2-8***

Tallahala

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Theodore Mars

11/4-2/15

9/23-30

Trim Cane

12/1-1/31***

12/1-1/31***

Tuscumbia

Unit 1 – 11/4-17

Unit 2 – 11/4-1/31

9/23-30

3/8-14

Twin Oaks

11/4-5; 12/30-1/31

9/30

3/31-4/1

Upper Sardis

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Ward Bayou

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-5/1***

Wolf River

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

Yockanookany

11/4-17

9/23-30

3/8-14

* By permit only in areas designated as handicap and/or youth only.

** Unit 1 only.

*** By Permit Only

North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Through an innovative agreement between the MDWFP and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MDWFP is offering the annual user permit for the North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuges. This agreement is the result of an effort by both Agencies to make it more convenient for hunters and other users to get all permits and licenses in one place. The privilege, an annual user permit for the North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuges (privilege code 606), costs $15 and is available online and wherever licenses are sold.

North Mississippi Refuges Complex (Coldwater, Dahomey and Tallahatchie National Wildlife Refuges) is open from sunrise to sunset. During hunting season, hunters may enter the refuge two hours before sunrise and must exit the refuge no later than two hours after sunset.

Hunting and Fishing on the North Mississippi Refuges Complex requires a $15 Refuge permit.

All hunters and anglers should read and follow the current Hunting and Fishing Regulations. Hunters are required to fill out/display on dash of vehicle a Harvest Data Card. Harvest Data Cards are available at all refuge kiosks. The current NMRC 2017-2018 hunt brochure can be found online at http://www.gov/southeast/pubs/NMissHunt.pdf

All visitors must wear at least 500 square inches of visible fluorescent orange above the waistline during all hunting seasons. See the Hunting and Fishing Regulations for exceptions.

The following activities are prohibited. Please check the Hunting and Fishing brochure for a complete list:

  • Use or possession of alcoholic beverages
  • Use or possession of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) or Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs)
  • Fires, camping, littering
  • Collecting, removing, or damaging any animal or plant, except for those authorized in the Hunting and Fishing Regulations
  • All commercial activities including guiding hunts or participating in guided hunts on the Refuge.