Small Game hunting resumes in Mississippi

 Archery and primitive weapons seasons for deer in the Southeast Zone ends Feb. 15.
SUN HERALD FILE Archery and primitive weapons seasons for deer in the Southeast Zone ends Feb. 15.

Small game hunting, wild hogs and deer hunting in the Southeast zone have resumed in Mississippi. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Park officials temporarily suspended those seasons because of the Mississippi River flooding last month.

Here's an update on the seasons:

-Archery and primitive weapons seasons for deer in the Southeast Zone will remain open through Feb. 15. Only legal bucks may be harvested on private and open public land. Weapon of choice may be used on private land with the appropriate license. The bag limit on Southeast Zone antlerless deer is one per day not to exceed three per annual season. -Crow and Snipe will both end Feb. 28. Crow has no daily bag limit nor a possession limit. Snipe has a bag limit of 8 and possession limit of 24. -Fall squirrel, rabbit, oppossum, raccoon and bobwhite quail all conclude Feb. 28. Bobwhite quail ends March 5. Squirrel, rabbit, oppossum and bobwhite quail all have a daily bag limit of eight. -Trapping season will end March 15. Trapping has no limit daily bag limit or possession limit.

Hunters pursuing wild hogs must have a All Game hunting license. Hunters pursuing wild hogs must wear 500 square inches of fluorescent orange when pursuing hogs during an open gun season on deer.

Rabbit and Squirrel hunters are also required to possess a small game, all game, or sportsman license while hunting these species. Daily bag limits for both rabbit and squirrel are eight animals per hunter.

Squirrels are the only game animals that can legally be taken from a boat, provided the motor is shut off and progress has ended. Hunters must avoid hunting in areas with a high concentration of displaced deer, not to cause the animals further stress.

-The final youth waterfowl hunting day of the season opens Sunday for ages 16 and under on public or private lands.

Hunters are encouraged to check area regulations before hunting public lands to be sure they are open. Some areas offer limited draw hunt opportunities for youth. Others are simply open on a first-come, first-served basis. Waterfowl regulations, including bag limits, for the youth hunting day are the same during the regular waterfowl season.

Youth hunters are exempt from purchasing a hunting license, WMA user permit, and duck stamps. Non-toxic shot and shotguns holding no more than three shells must still be used. Youth hunters must be accompanied by a Mississippi licensed adult. Adults are not allowed to waterfowl hunt during the youth hunt.

"It's extremely important to the MDWFP that Mississippi hunters take the time to pass along the hunting tradition to youth who will soon be old enough to drive themselves, purchase a hunting license, and hunt on their own," MDWFP Waterfowl Program Coordinator Houston Havens said.

"This late-season youth day allows an opportunity for youth to experience waterfowl hunting when bird numbers are typically near their peaks for the season. It also provides incentive for adults to get out and set up one more time in areas where they've had success during the regular season."