It won’t be effective in time for this May, but beginning in 2015 Mississippi squirrel hunters will have a spring season.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill that not only creates about a two-week late May season, but also gives all of Mississippi a uniform fall and winter season. Beginning this Oct. 1, the statewide squirrel season will be Oct. 1 through Feb. 28. That adds four weeks to the season for hunters in Southeast Mississippi and two weeks in the Central and Southwest areas.

“It’s about time,” said Ron Jenkins of Jackson, an avid squirrel hunter and dog owner. “They tempted us with that spring season about six or eight years ago and then dumped on us by not passing it. I am glad the legislature finally saw fit to passing the bill and I am glad the Governor agreed.”

Wall Doxey youth fishing rodeo Saturday

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a free youth fishing rodeo Saturday at Wall Doxey State Park pond. The rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under and registration starts at 8 a.m. at the park, located on Mississippi Highway 7 approximately six miles south of Holly Springs.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear, catfish bait and stringers. This rodeo will offer a quality fishing experience for younger anglers in a controlled and safe environment. 

The rodeo area is well stocked with catfish to make it easier for participants to catch fish, and is a great way for a family to spend quality time together.

For additional information, call Wall Doxey State Park office at (662) 252-4231.

Partners for wetlands

Through May 1, the Mississippi Partners for Fish and Wildlife (MPFW) is accepting applications for its private land wetlands project.

MPFW is a partnership of state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and private companies, working to improve wetland habitat on privately owned land for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. Two-thirds of the nation’s land is privately owned, making landowners essential to fish and wildlife management programs.

“Mississippi’s landowners are very interested in managing waterfowl habitat, but sometimes lack the most effective tools or the sufficient finances to best achieve their objectives,” said Houston Havens, Waterfowl Program Leader for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. “This unique partnership will be an effective way for landowners to leverage their funds with MPFW technical and financial assistance to improve wetland habitat on private lands.” 

Assistance to private landowners can be in the form of cost-share payments for approved habitat management practices or providing materials such as water control structures to enhance wetland management infrastructure.

After enrollment, biologists will work with landowners to develop a cooperative habitat management plan to benefit waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. In exchange, landowners agree to manage and flood wetland habitat annually for 10 to 15 years.

Private landowners interested in learning more about wetland management assistance through MPFW may contact Havens at (662) 299-0273 or; or James Callicutt at (601) 432-2079 or