Mississippi – From a Deer Hunter’s POV

Posted: 08/22/2012 in Archery, Hunting, Legal, News, Regulations
Tags: , , , ,

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Mississippi

Is the information easy to find?

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is at the top of the search results, which is only one click away from the hunting regulations, however the ‘Mississippi Wildlife and Hunting‘ page itself doesn’t appear in the first page of search results at all. The Iowa Hunting page is the second return. Whoever is responsible for Mississippi’s web infrastructure needs to do better, the search results should reflect the search terms.

Grade: C

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The Mississippi Wildlife and Hunting web site uses a very easy to navigate, user friendly format.  All of the information a hunter would need to plan a hunt, where, when, and how much, is easily found. The only change I would suggest is to add a link to the License Page to the left hand sidebar.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

The standard nonresident licenses are all over the counter, though there may be some quota hunts or special preserves that use a drawing to select hunters.

Grade: A

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident hunting licenses are $32.00, with an ‘all game’ permit available for $17.00, an archery permit available for $14.00, and a Wildlife Management Area permit for $15.00.  Nonresident hunting permits are $300.00, with a $125.00 seven day hunting permit, $125.00 three day archery permit, $75.00 archery and primitive weapon permit, $30.00 Wildlife Management Area, and $5.00 deer tag available. In addition to the cost of the licenses, almost every individual license requires an agent fee and a process fee. While these are only a few dollars each, the total adds to the cost for every hunter.  So, for a nonresident who wanted to hunt for one week, the total would be $248.16, which is the $125.00, 7 day license, $75.00 Archery and Primitive Weapons license, $30 WMA permit, $5.00 deer tag, two $3.00 agent fees, two $1.00 agent fees,  and four $1.29 process fees.  These licenses are for three antlered deer and five antlerless deer, with a daily bag limit of one antlered and one antlerless deer per day, however the Mississippi definition of  a legal, ‘antlered’ buck is different, which will be discussed below.

Overall, the cost of the license is not overwhelming based on the number of deer granted under this system, but as with many states, simply consolidating these fees into one, $250.00 seven-day-all-types license would be much more user friendly, and if the state leveraged the ‘8 deer’ aspect of the system, $275.00 would be reasonable.

Grade: C

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

The hunting seasons are split into three regions in Mississippi, and are quickly explained in the Hunting Seasons pdf. Be aware that the antler size requirement varies by region and is very specific.

Grade: A

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

The Mississippi Wildlife Management Area page is a nicely interactive page with a lot of information on it.  Clicking on a region, such as the North-Delta Region will bring the user to another page with more detailed information and another interactive map.  Choosing one of the WMA’s on the map will bring up a specific page for that area, which will have links to specific rules for that WMA, such as this PDF for Okeef.

The web site format is well done, but the seasons for the Wildlife Management Areas vary by property.

Grade: B

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Several issues stand out regarding Mississippi’s hunting regulations.  The first is hunter orange – mesh and hunter orange camoflage are NOT counted under the ‘500 square inches of hunter orange’ rule in Mississippi, however if you’re hunting in a box stand you don’t need orange at all.  That leads to the question of getting to and from the stand, in which case I believe the Mississippi rules would require the 500 square inches anyway, making the ‘not needed in a box stand’ useless.  Also, the requirements for antlered deer, while decent for quality deer management, are a bit specific for a hunter to guess at while hunting:

Every region of Mississippi has a different requirement – click the image to read the PDF.

Chronic Wasting Disease has NOT been found in Mississippi: for more information regarding herd health issues, check the Diseases and Abnormalities page.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade B

The website is pleasant, with some reliance on PDF files to convey information that could simply be loaded into the website directly.  Of more concern to an out of state hunter are the antler restrictions and hunter orange boondoggle.  Five hundred square inches of pure, non-mesh orange, period.  No Blaze Realtree or any other orange camouflage, only pure, unbroken orange meets the letter of this regulation.  Overall, not a bad system for a first time nonresident hunter to get used to, just make certain, as always, to read the regulations thoroughly before committing any money to a planned hunt.

States Completed: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisiana, Maine, Maryland

Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota

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