The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) would like to remind hunters that all Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) with waterfowl hunting opportunity will be open for the first youth waterfowl hunting day on November 16. Adults are encouraged to take a youth (under the age of 16) out to enjoy Mississippi’s waterfowl hunting on this special day. Additionally, thanks to a provision under the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, a new opportunity allows Veterans (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code) and members of the Armed Forces on active duty.
“The early-season youth day allows an opportunity for youth to experience waterfowl hunting when weather conditions are typically mild. It also gives youth an introduction to the sport before the regular season opens,” said MDWFP Waterfowl Program Coordinator Houston Havens. “Mississippi is proud to broaden this early hunting opportunity by extending eligibility to veterans and active-duty military personnel.”
Waterfowl regulations and bag limits for the youth, veteran, and active military waterfowl hunting day will be the same as during the regular season; however, 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 an adult who is licensed to hunt waterfowl in Mississippi, and adults are not allowed to duck hunt during the youth hunt unless they meet veteran or active duty military requirements. All participating veterans or active military personnel must possess state and federal waterfowl stamps, a valid Mississippi hunting license, and Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration for Mississippi.
Participating veterans are required to provide one of the following additional forms of documentation:
Veteran designation on a current driver’s license
DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
Retired Military ID
Before hunting public lands, hunters are reminded to check the specific area regulations and maps for the area they plan to hunt. Some areas may have limited draw hunts or other regulations restricting access.