Mississippi’s 2020-21 hunting forecast – Southeast Region

Deer

Although the overall deer forecast is not looking as good as normal on some areas, others provide excellent opportunities at harvesting a deer.

Leaf River is the best bet to kill a buck and decent deer as well,” said area manager Drew Arnold. “This is the only region in the Southeast region with a 12- to 15-inch antler regulation; we have good hunter compliance there, and hunters are letting the smaller deer walk.”

Old River is also a good place to kill a buck if you’ll put in the time to scout and find the sign and deer, but access is limited.

Ward Bayou is another area that should be good, with decent deer located on the WMA, but you need to hunt before the dog season opens.

“Most of the WMAs in this region offer opportunities to harvest bucks, but you have to scout and get away from the crowd to be successful,” Arnold said. “The deer numbers are down at Red Creek, but there’s low hunting pressure,so you may have success there. I’d say Mason Creek is a sleeper choice down here, as it has some good deer on it if you will just spend the time to scout and put in the legwork to locate the deer.”

Ducks

“There’s not a lot of duck hunting in this region like there is in the Delta region, but Ward Bayou, Pascagoula River and Old River traditionally have a lot of wood ducks,” Arnold said. “A lot of people hunt the sloughs and get after the wood ducks. If there’s a good acorn crop with some water on it, then duck hunting can be good, but you’ve got to have cold weather to push some ducks down here. If they come down and we’ve got acorns, water and food, then the action should be good.”

Small game

“The top squirrel hunting area is the Pascagoula WMA, hands down, due to the hardwood bottoms,” Arnold said. “We have mostly grey squirrels, but you may occasionally find a fox squirrel.”

Chickasawhay WMA is the destination for quail hunters, and the future looks bright at the U.S. Forest Service had done a lot of habitat improvement and work. They’ve been working quail on smaller focal points and burn units, including thinning of timber and prescribed burning. The future looks bright indeed as officials look for a good response to the habitat improvement over the coming years.

“Woodcock hunts can be good in the upland areas if you have a good bird dog and small thickets,” he said. “Chickasawhay, Wolf River and Mason Creek all have some potential for fast and furious woodcock hunting as a by-product of the quail management.”

Check out the hunting regions below:

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Michael O. Giles
About Michael O. Giles 279 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.

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