Barnett Reservoir officials say the drawing for permits for the first-ever archery hunt below the dam, and for a long-closed portion of the north shore of Pelahatchie Bay will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday (Sept. 30).

It will take place in the boardroom at the main office of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District on Madison Landing Road.

“The drawing is open to the public, if anyone wants to observe,” said Craig Hunt, director of parks and recreation for PRVWSD. “We will immediately begin notifying the hunters who were drawn, and they will have until Oct. 4 to contact us and verify that they have received their notice and announce their intent to hunt.”

Hunt said any permits that go unclaimed will be filled from the original applications pool.

“Hunters who are drawn will have until Oct. 10 to purchase their permits, or those permits will go back for another draw,” Hunt said.

A total of 65 permits are available, 26 for the area below the dam (spillway) and 39 for Sections M&N of Pelahatchie Bay’s north shore. While it is free to apply, a $300 fee will be required for the spillway hunts and $200 for Pelahatchie Bay.

Hunt said there will be a series of 13 four-day weekend hunts, all beginning at noon on Thursday and ending at noon on Sunday. One permit will be available each period for the two zones below the dam (26 total) and for the three areas in Pelahatchie Bay (39).

No other hunting will be allowed in those areas, and access will be limited to permit holders only. Scouting will be allowed on Tuesdays.

For more information, contact Hunt at (601) 856-6574. The rules and applications are available online at therez.ms

Seasons

Mississippi’s 2013-14 hunting season is still in its early stages, but is just days away from providing lots more opportunity.

The early teal season remains open statewide and will close at sunset on Sunday. To this point, the season has been a tough one. 

“Not just for Mississippi but for most southeast states,” said biologist Houston Havens. “There just hasn’t been a great migration.”

Warm weather in September has been a factor, although teal also use photoperiod to make their long move south.

“It’s just a matter of time,” said Jacob Sartain, a veteran duck hunter who loves the early season. “The biggest effect of the weather is more of them wanting to move ahead of a front and get the wind assist in their flight. There just haven’t been any really big cold fronts in the upper Midwest.”

While waterfowlers will be busy chasing teal this final weekend, squirrel hunters in Mississippi’s North Zone (areas above Highway 82, plus all of Sunflower and Washington counties) can begin chasing bushy tails on Saturday. The youth season has been open since last weekend, and results have varied.

“We had two decent hunts last weekend, my two boys and I,” said Pete Jenkins of Tupelo. “We killed 13 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. We didn’t get the limit but we did good. We got the 13 with a dog, but decided we'd try to still hunt Sunday. Pretty equal result, but we did shoot all the squirrel we saw still hunting, but with a dog, we lost a lot of them because they were really hard to see in the trees.

“One thing is for certain, we got a lot of the little boogers running around in the hardwoods.”

Deer hunters will be the next ones affected. The archery season in the Hill and Delta Zones opens on Tuesday (Oct. 1). The Southeast Zone will open two weeks later, on Oct. 15.

“My scouting has been interesting,” said Jerry Wilkens of Jackson. “I got a couple of areas I like to hunt in October, one on public land and the other on my family property. The best signs have been on the public land, so I’m not going to tell you where for obvious reasons. I found plenty of food around soft mast and I saw a few rubs, too, like they are ready to knock the velvet off. The rubs were all near a dropping white oak flat.”

Dove hunters in the South Zone can return to the grain fields on Oct. 5 and in the North Zone on Oct. 12. Both zones will be open through Nov. 4.

Outdoorama

In celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and their partners will sponsor the annual Outdoorama youth event Saturday at the Turcotte Education Center on Mississippi Highway 43 near Barnett Reservoir. 

The purpose of this event is to get kids and anyone interested in the outdoors to step outside for a hands-on experience with the tools and concepts of hunting and fishing in Mississippi. 

They will learn how to reload shells, shoot skeet and sporting clays, get to try their hand at the MDWFP’s laser 3/D target shoot, learn how to tie flies, fish for catfish, learn how knives are made, shoot bows and arrows, learn about recycling, try their hand at canoeing, learn how to use a treestand safely, learn the importance of clean water, see snakes and alligators, and more.

The event is free and begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.

Commercial king season ending

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will close the 2013 commercial season on king mackerel at noon on Friday. The state agency made the announcement after the National Marine Fisheries Service determined the quota for the western Gulf of Mexio (to the Alabama/Florida border) had been reached.

A “lure” to Bogue Homa

The fisheries bureau of the MDWFP and the Cliff White Chapter of the Mississippi Wild Turkey Federation will host a free family fishing day Oct. 5 at Lake Bogue Homa off U.S. Highway 84 east of Laurel. Registration for “Lure U to the Lake” begins at 6:30 a.m.

The free event, with lunch included, will begin with a youth fishing rodeo for children aged 15 and under, offering them a quality fishing experience in a controlled and safe environment. The fishing area will be stocked with catfish. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear, catfish bait and stringers.

After the youth event, the stocked waters will be open to the entire family. A tagged fish worth $100 will be released.

All fees have been waved for this event. Contact the Lake Bogue Homa field office at (601) 425-2148.