As expected after federal officials last month reported another above-average count in its annual waterfowl population surveys, Mississippi has set a 2015-16 duck season that gives hunters 60 days and a six-bird daily limit.
“That’s one thing you have to give the federal migratory bird guys, when they said they would adhere to the adoptive harvest management plan and be consistent with their seasons and limits, they apparently meant it,” said Gerald Guice of Bay St. Louis. “We’ve had solid duck counts the last decade and we’ve consistently been given the liberal frameworks (which include limits, and season lengths).
“Knowing our history, I would have bet money against it. But, like I said, they have stuck to it and I’m glad. I wish they could be as good with their fishery biology and management in the Gulf of Mexico.”
Mississippi’s Commission on Wildlife Fisheries and Parks announced Tuesday it would divide the 60 days into three splits to maximize weekend opportunity.
Duck, merganser, and coot seasons will begin with a post-Thanksgiving weekend Nov. 27-Nov. 29, comeback the next weekend for a Dec. 4-6 hunt and then reopen Dec. 9 and continue to Jan. 31.
“That’s a good thing, too, that this year, the last possible day allowed under the liberal frameworks (the final Sunday in January) and the last day allowed under the North American Migratory Bird Treaty (Jan. 31) are the same two days,” said Raymond Moore of Jackson. “We like to hunt as late as possible and that we get to go all the way to Jan. 31 is as good as we are going to get.”
The duck daily bag limit will be a total of six ducks, including no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be females), three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two pintail, two canvasback, one mottled duck and one black duck.
The merganser daily bag limit will be a total of five mergansers, only two of which may be hooded mergansers.
Coots will have a 15-bird daily bag limit.
The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit for ducks, mergansers, and coots.
MDWFP also announced two youth waterfowl hunting days, Nov. 21 and Feb. 6. They will get the first and last shots at ducks this winter.
The agency also set its regular goose seasons, which for Canada, snow, blue, Ross’s, white-fronted and brant geese will be Nov. 19-Jan. 31.
Daily limits include: three Canada, one brant and three white-fronted. The combined limit on snow, blue and Ross’ geese is 20. The possession limit on Canada, brant and white-fronted geese is three times the daily limit, while there is no possession limit on snow, blue, and Ross’ geese.
In addition to the regular hunting season, there will again be a conservation order for snow, blue, and Ross’ geese during the following dates: Oct. 1-Nov. 8; Feb. 1-5 and Feb. 7-March 31.