Hunting FAQs

Frequently Asked Hunting Questions:

  1. Do I need a permit to hunt on national forest land?

  2. May I hunt anywhere on national forest land?

  3. Where can I obtain a map of national forest land?

  4. Are hunting seasons different on national forest land?

  5. What is a wildlife management area?

  6. How can I retrieve game?

  7. May I carry a gun on national forest land?

  8. Can I hunt wild hogs on national forest land?

  9. Can I use tree stands or blinds to hunt?

  10. Are there areas designated for physically challenged hunter access?

  11. Is baiting allowed on national forest lands?

  12. How do I recognize national forest land?

  13. When and where is camping permitted on national forest land?

  14. Where can I obtain hunting rules and regulations?

  15. Where can I get more information?

  16. Can I hunt nuisance animals on national forest land?


  1.  Do I need a permit to hunt on national forest land?
    •  The requirements for hunting on national forest land in Mississippi include having a valid hunting license and following all rules and regulations set forth by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks.

      Residents and Non-Residents that hunt, fish, or trap on Wildlife Management Areas on national forest land must purchase a Wildlife Management Area User Permit in addition to any required hunting/fishing license.

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  1.  May I hunt anywhere on national forest land?
    •   Most of the general forest area is open to hunting, but designated recreation areas and administrative sites are not.Fourteen wildlife management areasare located on the National Forests in Mississippi that have special seasons and hunting regulations. These wildlife management areas are Bienville, Caney Creek, Caston Creek, Chickasaw, Chickasawhay, Choctaw, Leaf River, Little Biloxi, Mason Creek, Red Creek, Sandy Creek, Sunflower, Tallahala, and Upper Sardis. Be sure to review the regulations for hunting in these areas, found in the "Mississippi Outdoor Digest," available from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. All wildlife management area boundaries are posted with yellow signs. Check with the district offices for more information.

      It is important to stay at least 150 yards from trails, roads, recreation areas, buildings, and residences. Pay close attention to the boundaries; what you may think is national forest land could be private. National forest land is marked with yellow signs in black print. These signs are posted along the boundaries.

      Even though you may be within the national forest proclamation boundary, there are pockets of private land within that boundary. Abide by posted "No Hunting" and "No Trespassing" signs. Permission from private property owners must be obtained prior to hunting.

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  1.  Where can I obtain a map of national forest land?
    •  You may purchase National Forest maps, at district offices or NFMS the Supervisor’s Office: 200 S. Lamar Street, Suite 500-N (5th floor), Jackson, MS 39201

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  1.  Are hunting seasons different on national forest land?
    •  The hunting seasons set by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks for private land are the same for Mississippi’s national forest land, except for special regulations which govern wildlife management areas, antlerless deer harvest, and youth hunting seasons. The Mississippi Outdoor Digest contains relevant information about seasons, limits and permits required.

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  1.  What is a wildlife management area?
    •  Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) are lands that are set aside by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to manage wildlife habitat. Some WMAs are located on National Forest land some WMAs are located on state of Mississippi land. WMAs have their own hunting rules.
    •  
    • For more information see the Mississippi Outdoor Digest. https://www.mdwfp.com/media/286710/ms_outdoor_digest_2015-2016.pdf
    • Wildlife Management areas are protected sites to perform research on wildlife populations; teach about resource management; and provide public hunting, hiking, camping, bird watching and other recreational opportunities. The (WMAS) are managed for wildlife habitat by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

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  1.  How can I retrieve game?
    • ORV and ATVs are allowed on designated roads or trails only for the retrieval of harvested deer of hogs without a weapon on Forest Service owned WMAs. Please be familiar with the National Forests in Mississippi’s Motor Vehicle Use Maps for each area. These MVUMs show where ATVs are allowed to travel. Some areas may require a permit for ATV use like the Delta National Forest.

For more information see the Mississippi Outdoor Digest. https://www.mdwfp.com/media/286710/ms_outdoor_digest_2015-2016.pdf

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  1.  May I carry a gun on national forest land?
    •   Yes, as long as you are in accordance with state laws and regulations concerning firearms. Please note these exceptions:
  2. You may not hunt within 150 yards of a residence, building or developed recreation site [261.58(v)], and you may not display a firearm within a developed recreation site [261.53(e)]. .Please observe the general rules of gun safety and courtesy.

  3. Firearms are excluded from except during special designated hunting seasons.

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  1.  Can I hunt wild hogs on national forest land?
    •  Wild hogs are classified as nuisance animals in Mississippi. There’s no designated season for wild hogs on the National Forests in Mississippi; however, wild hogs may be hunted during daylight hours with weapons legal to use for the hunting season open at the time. Persons hunting wild hogs from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise with or without the aid of a light, are restricted to using standard rim fire rifles or handguns no larger than .22 caliber (all magnums are excluded) and/or shotguns with shot size no larger than No. 6 shot. Persons hunting nuisance animals with archery equipment and/or with primitive weapons during archery or primitive weapons season must possess either a Sportsman License or an Archery/Primitive Weapon License in addition to an All-Game License. The use of hunting dogs must conform to the dog restrictions established for the game species in season. See the Mississippi Outdoor Digest for details on legal firearms for various hunting seasons.

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  1.  Can I use tree stands or blinds to hunt?
    •   Tree stands and blinds may be used on national forest land, but they must be portable and cannot be of a type that will deface or harm trees. Since national forest lands are open to public hunting, hunters cannot maintain exclusive rights to a hunting area.  Wildlife Management Areas located on national forest land have specific regulations pertaining to tree stands and blinds.  Please refer to MDWFP Basic WMA Public Noticefor these regulations.

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  1.  Are there areas designated for physically challenged hunter access?
    •   Individuals who meet the criteria in MDWFP Public Notice 3518 are eligible to access physically challenged special use areas on Wildlife Management Areas on national forest land.  Contact MDWFP office for permit application and additional information.

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  1.  Is baiting allowed on national forest lands?
    •  Baiting and hunting over baited areas to attract wildlife is not allowed on national forest lands.  No food plots may be placed on national forest land except by official personnel.

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  1.  How do I recognize national forest land?
    •  Maps commonly show proclaimed national forest boundaries. However, all land within this boundary is not national forest land; some is privately owned. The land shown in green on the maps indicates national forest land.

      Red paint and signs mark the boundaries between national forest land and private property. Recognition of these markings and boundary signs helps the visitor to be certain to stay on national forest land.

      Visitors should comply with state law and the owner’s rules when entering private land.
      Entrance (portal) signs. These signs can be seen along major roads entering the national forests, usually on the first tract of government land encountered. Generally, portal signs are not used on low traffic roads.

      Welcome signs. These signs are located on or just inside the boundaries or individual tracts of national forest land where the road enters. The sign will be oriented so that the land behind the sign is public land. Generally, they are not used on dead-end or woods roads or on small blocks of public land.

      Upon entering woods on public land, welcome signs will not be present and the visitor should rely on property line markings and boundary signs.

      Property line marking and boundary signs. The boundaries of individual national forest tracts adjacent to other ownerships are marked with brown and yellow property boundary signs.

      The small metal boundary signs are fastened either to trees or posts located on the boundary line and at road crossings, and the signs are placed so that public land is behind the sign. Red paint spots on trees define the boundary line through woods.

      While the majority of boundaries are identified and posted, occasionally visitors may encounter an area where signs have been vandalized or lines are not marked. In these cases, visitors should be alert to avoid accidentally trespassing on private land.

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  1.  When and where is camping permitted on national forest land?
    •  Developed recreation areas offer conveniences such as showers, restrooms and picnic facilities. Primitive camping is allowed except in designated scenic areas or where otherwise prohibited. During hunting season, camping is permitted only in designated hunter camps in the Delta and Tombigbee National Forests. Camping in the national forests is limited to 14 days during a 30-day time period. Contact ranger offices for more information on camp locations.

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  1.  Where can I obtain hunting rules and regulations?
    •  The regulations for legal species, weapons, season dates and bag limits are issued by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks. Mississippi Outdoor Digest booklets are available where hunting licenses are sold and at Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks offices. The rules in this guide are general in scope. More detailed, local rules and regulations may be obtained from the district ranger’s office.

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  1.  Where can I get more information?
    •  For Hunting Licensing, Seasons, Regulations, and Bag Limit Questions … Please contact:

 Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS  39211-6374 or call (601) 432-2400 

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

 

16. Hunters may hunt nuisance animals (beaver, coyote, fox, nutria, skunk, and wild hogs) on the National Forests in Mississippi in accordance with state regualtion, according to federal law enforcement officials. The Forest Service will continue to work with its state partner, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, on hunting regulations on the national forest.

 

Questions about forest management, camping, ATV trails, recreation or any other forest use please contact: 

National Forests in Mississippi

200 S. Lamar St, Suite 500-N, Jackson, MS  39201 or call (601) 965-1600

 

 





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