The Delta is, without a doubt, the crown jewel of the state’s WMA regions due to the rich soil composition and bountiful wildlife, with the best deer, duck and squirrel hunting in the world.
“The productivity of the Delta soil is unmatched anywhere,” said Roger Tankesly, a wildlife biologist with MDWFP. “The South Delta took a hit last year, and we saw some bad things happen, but the water receded in June … and things are looking up. “
“We are documenting fawn drops on all of the WMAs and private land, so we’re back in the deer making business. The browse is there now, and it’s in good shape,” Tankesly said. “I expect all those deer that suffered last year to rebound, and we expect deer hunting to be good, too. While the numbers may be down in the South Delta, it may take another year or two, but I believe people might not even know there was a problem.”
The bag limit in the South Delta has been reduced to two legal bucks and one doe, and on draw hunts at Phil Bryant, Mahannah and Twin Oaks WMAs, it is one legal buck and two does.
“Last year, we had a limited amount of people hunting and harvesting deer on the South Delta, but we saw deer all year, and those deer came back through the WMAs when the river flooded again,” Tankesly said, “so we’re pretty excited about our deer hunts this year and ready to go.
“O’Keefe WMA is wide open for hunting. We’ve been managing the habitat by harvesting timber, and there’s a lot of browse,” he said. “During the week, hunting pressure usually is pretty slow, with limited access, but if you put in the time and are willing to walk in, the opportunity will be there to harvest a good deer.”
“Duck hunting should be good this year on O’Keefe, Muscadine Farms and Howard Miller WMAs, as we were able to get a lot of feed planted,” Tankesly said.
“The habitat is excellent at O’Keefe; we planted a lot of soybeans (and) corn and completed moist-soil management with native grasses. Muscadine Farms is one of the draw hunts, and we put in a lot of work there and planted soybeans and moist-soil management. Last year, we didn’t get to plant anything at Howard Miller, but this year, we planted soybeans and there should be a lot of native grasses producing seeds. Howard Miller should be back again.”
“Mahannah will be good again, even though we lost a few levees and weren’t able to get them repaired quick enough to plant. But we had our best year ever there, and it should be good again as we’ve got our planting in this year on most areas.”
The Delta is full of bottomland hardwoods, with a variety of mast-producing trees, both hard and soft mast, and as a result, both fox squirrels and grey squirrels are plentiful in many areas. In fact, people come from all over the country to hunt the big black and red fox squirrels and the harvest should be plentiful in most areas.
Check out the hunting regions below:
- Southwest WMA Region
- Northeast WMA Region
- Northwest WMA Region
- East Central WMA Region
- Southeast Region
- Dove hunting
- Statewide deer forecast
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