JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – During its July meeting, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks voted to adopt a set of proposals to curb hunting pressure from non-residents visiting public lands during the early weeks of Mississippi’s spring turkey season.

“Our goal is simply to cap the number of non-resident hunters on public lands to be more in line with historic norms,” said Turkey Program Coordinator Adam Butler. “Quality hunting cannot be maintained on a limited resource when faced with ever-increasing pressure. This process will allow for some non-resident access but will help keep those numbers at a sustainable level.”

Under the proposal:

  • Non-residents would not be eligible to hunt open public lands during the season’s initial 14 days without first receiving a special, no-cost license endorsement. This new license privilege will be offered only in limited numbers via a draw-hunt system.
  • Hunters desiring to hunt Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) during the existing, permit-only season (March 15-28) may still apply for these hunts. This proposal, and its license requirement, will not apply to non-residents hunting on private lands.  

According to officials, the new non-resident drawing will open for applications in mid-January. Additional details will be released in the coming months. For now, the proposed rule is in a 30-day comment period and is set for final adoption at the August Commission meeting.