Mississippi’s first true hunting season opened Thursday, but apparently not very many sportsmen cared.
The special 15-day season designed to give hunters a chance to thin the growing resident flock of Canada geese is open through Sept. 15 with a 5-goose daily limit.
Barnett Reservoir’s predominant boat ramp where hunters launch showed no signs of hunters early on Thursday morning. That’s sad, since the 33,000-acre lake is home to thousands of the mostly nuisance waterfowl, which seem nearly tame when it comes to human contact.
“They’re still wild birds, sort of,” said Tommy Jenkins of Jackson, who fishes regularly at Barnett and is not beyond shooting a Canada in September. “They’re wild, but they are as close to tame as wild birds get. They are so used to being around boats and fishermen that they don’t pay us much mind. They don’t fly away from you, they’ll fly right over your boat.
“That’s a big mistake in early September, at least if they come over or near my boat. Getting a limit of Canadas (5) is a lot easier than getting a limit of 14-inch largemouths (7) some days.”
Jenkins said he will test them over the weekend.
“I couldn’t hunt Thursday because of work, but Saturday I’m going fishing and I will have my 12-gauge and steel-shot BBs in the boat,” he said. “They may not be that great to eat, but they work in gumbos and I still have some deer sausage left from last year that works good in a goose gumbo.
“Plus, I just feel like that as many times as I’ve had to walk through goose **** to get to my boat, I have a little revenge coming.”
Hunters are required to use non-toxic shot shells, and to have both a state and federal migratory bird stamp.