Senior WMA draw hunts made final

Published 4:58 pm Thursday, October 20, 2022

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PERKINSTON — Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Commission approved a senior WMA draw hunts at Mahanna and Phil Bryant at the October meetin Wednesday afternoon. This new draw hunt started with a public comment made at an August commission meeting. 

The senior deer hunts will be two days long from January 19 to January 20, 2023. MDWFP Wildlife Bureau Director Russ Walsh said at last month’s meeting. They hope to have 125 seniors drawn between the two WMAs. 

He added the hunt would be a weapon of choice and have a bag limit of one legal buck and one antlerless deer. The draw application would be open between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15. A draw applicant could enter with a partner. If they apply by themselves, they can take a non-hunting partner. The commission unanimously passed the rules. Chairman Bill Cossar said it was a great example of what they could do.

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“We had senior citizens come in, and this is what they wanted. We got together, and we will have a senior citizens day for the older folks,” Cossar said. “I am 100 percent for it since I’m one of those old folks. It is a two day hunt.”

License Sales Report

Jason Thompson said the MDWFP’s revenue from license sales and boating registration was up 11 percent in September from Sept. 2021. Velvet Season brought in about $80,000 from the deer permits alone, which was a big help, and non-resident licenses were up 23 percent. Hunters harvested and reported 282 bucks over the three day weekend in Mid-September. 

Cossar said license sales reports are important because it funds about 90 percent of the MDWFP. It is a message he makes clear at every commission meeting. He reminded people that while seniors are exempt from purchasing a license once they turn 65, they can still purchase a license to help with the funding. 

WMA app downloads are 2,400 for fiscal year 2023. Hunters use them to check in at WMAs and complete hunter harvest surveys. 

The Copiah County Baptist Association asked the commission to waive licenses and state park lake fees for the Wounded Warrior Bass tournament. Commissioners approved the waiver for the tournament.

The tournament will be from October 28 to October 29 at Calling Panther Lake and Lake Lincoln State Park. This would be the first return since 2019 due to COVID. 

Scottie Jones gave the enforcement update for the month of September. He said 549 citations were issued. Of those 549, 97 citations issued for no license, 54 for unlawful possession, 52 for unplugged guns, 48 for hunting doves over bait and 38 for no duck stamp during the teal season.