Even though the first deer hunting opportunities don’t start until Oct. 1, the time to start the process for drawing for the best public land opportunities is August.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks opens its application process on Monday (Aug. 3) and ends it on Aug. 31 for most of the agency’s wildlife management areas draw hunting opportunities.

“All of our draws are now done online only at mdwfp.com,” said Chris McDonald, assistant chief of wildlife. 

Permitted deer hunts will be available for Black Prairie, Canemount, Charles Ray Nix, Hell Creek, Great River Road, Mahannah, Natchez State Park, Sardis Waterfowl, Sky Lake, Trim Cane, Twin Oaks, and Yockanookany WMAs.

(Editor’s Note: Information here is contradictory to previous information printed in the August edition of Mississippi Sportsman Magazine. The dates of the original application period for Canemount as announced by the MDWFP were Aug. 15-Sept. 5, but now are Aug. 3-31.)

Youth and disabled hunting opportunities are available on Sardis Waterfowl, Natchez State Park, and Trim Cane WMAs. Applicants for youth deer hunts on Sardis Waterfowl WMA and Natchez State Park must be 15 years of age or younger.

Applicants for deer hunts at Trim Cane WMA must have a physical condition which makes them fully dependent on a wheelchair for mobility or be 15 years of age or younger. 

To participate in the draws, applicants must first possess a valid Mississippi hunting license and there must be at least 24 hours between time of license purchase to the time of applying to allow the system to be updated with current information. There is no cost to apply. 

Visit MDWFP.com for more information.

Teal and rabbit applications

The application process for WMA draws for early teal season and rabbit season also begin in August.

Permitted early season teal hunts will be available on Howard Miller and Muscadine Farms WMAs.

Teal applications are accepted between Aug. 3 -Aug. 15. The teal season in Mississippi will be Sept. 12-27, with a 6-bird daily bag limit — both the maximums allowed under federal frameworks. 

Permitted rabbit hunt will be held at Trim Cane WMA and applications will be accepted from Aug. 3 through Oct. 15. The statewide season opens Oct. 17.

All applications must be made online at mdwfp.com and a valid Mississippi hunting license is required to apply.