• Small Game

    A long season and liberal bag limits give Mississippi hunters a chance for days like this one.

    Squirrel and dumplings, easy and healthier

    I grew up — and anyone who knows me knows that I did so prodigiously — eating squirrel and dumplings every time I visited my grandmother’s house. Now Grandma was never one to worry about healthy eating; to her, it was all about taste, and to heck with the consequences.

    October 15 at 7:00am
    A tradition with roots in learning how to become one with the woods, Mississippi’s squirrel season opens Sept. 30 and is a popular October event.

    Squirrel away that knowledge

    Ask any Mississippian about his or her family tree, and it’s likely you’ll hear about a great hunter that stands out on one of the many limbs, like a fox squirrel’s red tail blowing on a cool fall morning.

    October 01 at 7:00am
    Scouting a few days prior to opening day can pay dividends.

    Early season essentials

    Hunting dove in early September can be brutally hot, especially when the Saturday opening time is high noon. During these late days of summer, when the latent heat of the dog days still lingers, you need to use caution and consider bringing the following:

    September 15 at 7:00am
    It's a good idea to take a day before the dove season starts and go scout and find out where the birds are.

    Mississippi Delta dove-tactics

    For generations upon generations as far back as the locals in little towns across the Deep South can remember, there has been a long-standing tradition of Labor Day weekend dove hunting. 

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Dove hunters, like former Ole Miss quarterback Tim Ellis — who led the Rebels to a win over national champion Notre Dame in 1977 — can enjoy some September shooting.

    More than just mourning doves

    Mississippi dove hunters could find as many as four different species in their range of fire this season, and one of them — Eurasian collared dove — are not managed with a bag limit since they are not native to North America. These are larger birds, more like pigeons than other doves, and usually lighter in color except for a black collar around the neck.

    August 31 at 4:00pm
    Mississippi dove hunters can begin shooting on Saturday, Sept. 2.

    September means hunting

    Never have so many been so happy to see September arrive, and that certainly includes Mississippi sportsmen.

    August 31 at 9:40am
    Successful dove hunts are usually the result of careful planning, hard work and fast shooting.

    Public dove hunts

    The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks recognizes the important tradition that dove hunting is to the state and works to provide public hunting areas through two different programs.

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Scott Davis leaves strips of sorghum as cover for the doves and hunters, and bush hogs strips to continually put food on the ground.

    Good dove fields are no accidents

    A flock of dipping and darting doves flew into the field near Stonewall, heading toward Scott Davis.

    August 01 at 7:00am
    Trey Graham and dog Leo with three squirrels they killed after they treed seven.

    Spring squirrels, take 3

    In 2015, Mississippi squirrel hunters had their first opportunity to hunt in a spring season. Going into the third year, it appears that it is a slowly developing and acquired taste.

    Only a small percentage of squirrel hunters have taken full advantage of the May 15-June 1 opportunity.

    May 12 at 6:00am
    Green grass next to heavy cover is an excellent place to ambush rabbits once the dogs get them running.

    More facts on rabbits

    Female cottontail rabbits are called does, and they begin breeding in January and continue through September, with litter sizes ranging from four to five young. A single doe may add 20 to 25 young to the population in a single year. Gestation for the cottontail is 28 days, and the female may rebreed while still nursing young. The average age of a wild cottontail is 15 months.

    February 15 at 7:00am
    February is prime time for rabbit and goose hunters in Mississippi, which offers up a daily double for hunters in the Delta.

    Smaller, but tasty

    February is small-game month in most of Mississippi, a time for rabbit and squirrel hunters to hit the fields and woods in a search for ingredients for a pot of gumbo, sauce piquant, dumplings or just plain ol’ fried happiness.

    February 08 at 10:10am
    A new hunter must learn it is to trust his dogs and allow them to do their work.

    All the rabbits run — Best rabbit-hunting tactics

    When it comes to rabbits, it’s best to forget fairy tales and think furry tails.

    Long the icon of nursery rhyme cuteness, a rabbit’s biggest fan is the modern hound-owning rabbit hunter.

    February 01 at 7:00am
    Seven guided squirrel hunts, including firearm and wildlife instruction, will be held around Mississippi on Feb. 11.

    Seven youth squirrel hunts set Feb. 11

    Seven youth squirrel hunts have been scheduled around Mississippi on Feb. 11, all geared around introducing new hunters to the thrill of hunting small game with dogs.

    January 25 at 2:45pm
    Hunters rarely get a clean shot such as this, but when two are hunting together, pulling a vine or shaking a limb can force a squirrel to move and make a fatal error.

    What about bots in squirrels?

    Bot Fly infestations affect squirrels and other mammals such as cattle and deer. Perhaps because of a squirrel’s size, the bot just seems larger and can be a turnoff to many hunters.

    October 15, 2016 at 7:00am
    A 22 long rifle, such as this Browning T-Bolt, remains a top choice of squirrel hunters.

    Air rifles for tree rats

    Little-known fact: The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803 used an air rifle to harvest game and keep hostile peoples at bay. 

    October 15, 2016 at 7:00am
    Snakes are likely to be out during the early season, so you need to wear snake boots when sneaking up on squirrels.

    Tips for early squirrels

    There are squirrel hunters who hit the woods a couple times each season and knock down a handful of tree rats. And then there are those who are just eaten up with the sport.

    October 14, 2016 at 6:00am