Mississippians seeking quality deer hunts on public lands can begin applying immediately for hunts on state-managed Wildlife Management Areas and at Barnett Reservoir.

The WMA draws are also available for teal and rabbit hunts.


All hunts on the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ WMA system are free, with the exception of deer hunts at the Canemount WMA near Port Gibson. Canemount last year produced one of the biggest deer killed during the state’s deer season. Prices there are $300 for a three-day hunt and $200 for two-day youth hunts.

The draw period for all WMA deer hunts, including Canemount, is Aug. 1-31. Teal hunt applications will be taken through Aug. 15 and rabbit hunt applications will be taken through Oct. 15.

All applicants for any WMA draw hunts must possess either a valid annual Big Game License, Sportsman License or Lifetime License, plus a WMA User Permit.

Waterfowl drawings will be held beginning Oct. 31 and will be staggered throughout the season.

For an online list of all early draws at the MDWFP’s WMAs, visit https://xnetsecure.mdwfp.com/drawings/public/drawingDates.aspx?preview=.

Barnett Reservoir 

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District offers archery-only hunts in two areas closed to all other hunting: Both sides of the Spillway area and the undeveloped land on north shore of Pelahatchie Bay.

The Spillway area is divided into two sections — Rankin and Madison counties — and each is about 250 acres.

In Pelahatchie Bay, the area is divided into three sections — East, Central and West — with about 250 acres per area.

Both areas will have 17 hunts during the archery season. Each special hunt permit is valid for one legal buck and two antlerless deer. Only bucks with EITHER a 15-inch minimum inside spread OR an 18-inch minimum main beam length may be taken. Each permit allows the hunter and a guest to harvest a total of one legal buck and two does. Hunts are six days, Tuesday through Sunday, with the exceptions of the first and last periods, which are nine days.

Hunters will be chosen by a random drawing and there is no application fee. Successful applicants will be required to pay $200 for Pelahatchie Bay hunts and $300 for hunts below the spillway. Forfeited permits will go into a second drawing.

The application period is August 4-18. Applications are available at therez.ms.gov and at the PRVWSD office on Madison Landing Circle in Ridgeland. Applications will also be accepted at the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza on August 4-6 at the Mississippi Trade Mart in Jackson.

The Barnett Reservoir Foundation is raffling two draw hunts, one in each area, during the Extravaganza at booths 1116-1118.