Mississippi’s proposed 2014-15 small game hunting seasons include two long-awaited and major changes to one of the most popular, traditional game animals — squirrel.

Thanks to legislation passed this spring, hunters in Central, Southwest and Southeast Mississippi will now have equal opportunity during the full season on the bushy-tailed prey, and that season will be standardized for every year. It now opens statewide on Oct. 1 and ends Feb. 28, and the daily bag limit remains eight in all areas.

Plus, beginning in 2015, hunters can enjoy a late spring season that will run May 15 through June 1. The daily bag limit during this period will be four.

The youth squirrel season will continue to be the week prior to opening day of the fall season. This year, that’s Sept. 24-30.

Mississippi’s proposed 2014-15 seasons include:

SQUIRREL

Fall Season (Statewide) — Oct. 1, 2014-Feb. 28, 2015. Bag Limit: 8 per day. 

Spring Season (Statewide) — May 15, 2015-June 1, 2015. Bag Limit: 4 per day.

Youth Season: (On private lands and authorized state and federal lands only in those areas open for squirrel hunting) Sept. 24-Sept. 30, 2014. Bag Limit: 8 per day.

Authorized state and federal lands: Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U. S. Corps of Engineers managed lands, which designate the squirrel youth season in their regulations, and open U. S. Forest Service National Forest lands.

Persons eligible to participate in this special hunt are: Those who are 15 years of age or younger. A child at least 12 years of age and under sixteen (16) years of age must have a certificate of satisfactory completion of a hunter education course approved by the department before hunting alone in this state; otherwise they must be in the presence and under the direct supervision of a licensed or exempt hunter at least 21 years of age when hunting. A child under the age of twelve (12) must be in the presence and under the direct supervision of a licensed or exempt hunter at least 21 years of age when the child is hunting. A licensed hunter supervising a child as provided in this section must hold a valid Mississippi license for the species being hunted.

RABBIT

Season: Oct. 18, 2014-Feb. 28, 2015. Bag Limit: 8 per day.

RACCOON

Summer Season — July 1, 2014-Sept. 30, 2014. Bag Limit — 1 per party per night

RACCOON, OPOSSUM, AND BOBCAT

First Season — Oct. 1, 2014-Oct. 31, 2014 (sport hunting with dogs and guns for food & sport). Bag Limit — 5 per day; 8 per party.

Second Season — Nov. 1, 2014-Feb. 28, 2015 (sport hunting with dogs and guns for food, sport, and pelt) Bag Limit: No limit

BOBWHITE QUAIL

Season: Nov. 27, 2014-March 7, 2015. Bag Limit: 8 per day.

FROG

Season — April 1, 2015-Sept. 30, 2015. Bag Limit — Only 25 may be taken in any one night. A valid hunting or fishing license is required.