Rules change for non-resident turkey hunters

Published 7:03 am Saturday, January 15, 2022

JACKSON — Non-resident turkey hunters visiting Mississippi to turkey hunt this season should be aware of a new rule change. 

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks announced for the first two weeks of turkey season, non-resident hunters must obtain a special no-cost public land endorsement to hunt open public lands. 

This new rule would include the Homochitto National Forest which begins about 20 minutes east of Natchez. Endorsements will be allotted in limited quantities via a drawing conducted in mid-February. Winners will be notified by email. Prospective hunters can apply for the drawing anytime between January 15 – February 15 via a link which will be available on the MDWFP website. 

Open public lands include National Forests, Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), National Wildlife Refuges, Corps of Engineers lands, Department of Defense lands and any other lands that have statewide seasons without other special regulations. Sandy Creek WMA and Canemount WMA already have specific dates where hunters must be drawn to hunt them. 

Since 2019, the non-resident turkey licenses sold to hunters have doubled. The MDWFP’s goal with the rule is to preserve hunting quality on already limited public hunting lands. 

Non-resident Hunters hunting private lands do not need the endorsement from March 15-28 or if they receive a draw for a hunting area through the traditional WMA draw system.