For most, March is a time for beautiful spring weather and flowers in bloom. For Mississippi’s estimated 50,000 wild turkey hunters, it also brings something else.
The spring turkey season began yesterday, March 15th, and ends May 1st. For hunters age 15 and under, the Youth season began a week earlier on March 8th. Bag limits for the spring season are one adult gobbler (or gobbler with at least a 6-inch beard) per day, not to exceed three per spring season. Youth hunters 15 years of age and younger may harvest one gobbler of choice per day, not to exceed three per spring season.
“Turkey hunting is a pretty popular pursuit in Mississippi,” said Adam Butler, the Wild Turkey Program Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). “We don’t have as many turkey hunters as we do deer or duck hunters, but generally speaking, turkey hunters tend to be a very intense bunch,” continued Butler.
To participate in spring turkey season, Mississippi residents, ages sixteen through sixty-four, must obtain a hunting license unless hunting on lands titled in their own name. All non-resident hunters, except minors under the age of sixteen, are required to obtain a hunting license while hunting in the state of Mississippi. In addition to any statewide license requirements, purchase of a Wildlife Management Area User Permit is required prior to hunting on public Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Hunters planning to hunt WMAs or any other public lands are urged to check the area-specific regulations before going afield. Season dates and bag limits on some Wildlife Management Areas may differ from the statewide framework. Hunting on many Wildlife Management Areas is by drawn permit only during the first two weeks of the season; some areas are permit-only throughout the entire season. Other public lands may also require special permits.
For more information regarding Mississippi’s spring turkey season, visit www.mdwfp.com or call (601) 432-2212.