Mississippi’s WMA Preview 2019 – East Central Region

Mississippi provides its public-land hunters with some great opportunities across the entire state


Black Prairie WMA

“Black Prairie is still the best WMA in the East Central Region to harvest a quality buck,” said Chad Masley, an MDWFP biologist. “We’ve run camera surveys and practiced intensive management for quality deer, and the cameras are showing good results.”

Black Prairie has 6,000 acres of prime hunting land, with 1,600 acres in agriculture such as soybeans and plenty of early successional growth, which gives the deer plenty of quality food, too.

Black Prairie has a 15-inch inside spread or 18-inch main beam requirements, which give the bucks time to grow and reach their potential. Mature bucks 31/2 years and older typically weigh between 180 and 200 pounds.

Antler restrictions on Black Prairie WMA allow bucks to live long enough to grow nice racks.

Nanih Waiya/Choctaw WMAs

“Nanih Waiya is a good place to harvest a deer, and there will be an either-sex opportunity on this WMA. There was a pretty good hunter success rate there last year,” Masley said.

Nanih Waiya has 8,243 acres along the Pearl River in Neshoba and Winston counties near Philadelphia. Choctaw WMA has 21,705 acres in Choctaw and Winston counties near Ackerman.

Trim Cane WMA

WMA Trim Cane excels in youth and handicapped hunts.

“Trim Cane has 875 acres, but very good, quality deer, and (it) provides excellent opportunities to harvest a good buck for youth and handicap hunts,” said Masley. “Deer hunting is limited to handicapped and youth hunters, which limits the pressure. We have one hunt a week, and each Saturday, we draw for two youth hunters and two handicapped hunters.”


Trim Cane/Nanih Waiya/Okatibbee WMAs

“Trim Cane is your best bet for waterfowl if it gets enough water early,” Masley said. “Generally, If we have the water here early, we’ll usually have a lot of ducks, too.”

Trim Cane is primarily managed for waterfowl and rabbit hunting, and it is the best opportunity to harvest ducks in this region. Brown-top millet, milo and other duck foods are usually planted to attract the ducks.

Nanih Waiya WMA provides duck-hunting opportunities in an area of the state that doesn’t have a lot of water. Kayaks and duck boats are good bets when hunting this WMA.

Okatibbee WMA, near Collinsville and adjacent to Okatibbee Lake north of Meridian, offers excellent waterfowl opportunities along creeks, beaver sloughs and in the upper end of Okatibbee Lake. Many hunters have had excellent teal hunts during the early season, but hunters must put in the time to scout early and plan their hunts accordingly. During the early season avid hunters will be set up in the prime areas well before daybreak.

Small Game

Yockanookany/Choctaw/Black Prairie WMAs

Yockanookany WMA has 2,375 acres along the Yockanookany River in Attala County near McCool. Hunters are encouraged to bring ATVs to access the area more easily, as you have to travel a good way from the access areas before getting to good hunting areas.

“Yockanookany has the best squirrel hunting in this region,” Masley said. “There’s plenty of hardwood, mast-producing trees and habitat for the squirrels, and we have a lot of hunters taking advantage of that too.”

Choctaw is also a top pick for harvesting squirrels.

“Last year, our rabbit numbers quadrupled as the habitat got thicker,” said Masley. “We have special dates for the rabbit hunts, but the opportunities are good when you can get drawn.”

Black Prairie is also open to rabbit hunting, and if you have some good dogs, you’ll kill some rabbits there,” Masley said. “Rabbit season is open in November and February and we have a draw for Wednesdays and Saturday hunts.”

Check out the other regions below:

Northwest Region
Delta Region
Southwest Region
Northeast Region
Southeast Region
North Delta

About Michael O. Giles 407 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.