To properly manage wildlife in Mississippi, MDWFP Biologists recommend a complete wildlife management program which includes:
- Habitat management practices to improve overall habitat conditions;
- Supplemental plantings that provide year-round forage;
- Education of hunters and land managers;
- Deer herd management to balance sex ratio, age structure, and population numbers within available habitat; and
- Not allowing feeding to replace a complete wildlife management program.
- If a supplemental feeding program is used for deer, a complete pelletized ration is recommended. This is a feed mixture in the form of a pellet that is nutritionally adequate for deer and contains crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, vitamins, minerals, and does not contain any animal byproducts. The feeding of shelled corn, rice bran, soybeans, and cotton seed hulls alone does not meet the nutritional requirement of deer.
SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING OF WILD ANIMALS
It shall be lawful to feed wild animals, year round, on private lands subject to the following restrictions:
- Feed may only be provided from above ground covered feeders or stationary spin cast feeders.
- Any type of feed or food product may be used in feeders:
- Feeders may be placed no closer than 100 yards from the outermost boundary of an area of sole ownership or exclusive hunting rights.
- Feed may not be poured, piled, or placed directly on the ground.
- Salt/mineral stations, blocks, and/or licks may be established. These stations, blocks, and/or licks may not contain any corn or grain products.
- From February 15 – September 30, milo, grain sorghum, and/or wheat may be evenly broadcast at a rate not to exceed 50 pounds per acre.
- Feeding of migratory birds is regulated pursuant to Federal regulations set forth at 50 CFR 20.11 and 20.21(i).
SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING DURING ANY HUNTING SEASON:
- From the opening day of deer archery season to the close of the spring turkey season, hunters must be both 100 yards away from, and not within the line of sight of feed or a feeder which contains feed.
- For the purpose of this regulation, within the line of sight means being hidden from view by natural vegetation or naturally occurring terrain features.
- Feeding sites may not be hunted for 10 days following complete removal of all feed.
This regulation does not apply to food plots, standing crops, grain crops properly shucked on the field where grown, or grains found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural planting or harvesting, licensed trappers trapping furbearers or nuisance animals, or persons with an Animal Control Permit.
A violation of this regulation is a Class II violation, and punishable as with a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00) or imprisonment in the county jail for not less than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Nothing set forth in this regulation, shall be construed as authorizing or allowing the taking of deer or any other game animal or bird, with the aid of bait.