Mississippi’s 2020-21 hunting forecast – Southwest Region

Each year, many hunters drive across Mississippi to various WMAs in search of the buck of a lifetime, and each year, many achieve their goal. If you’re looking to harvest a deer, kill some ducks, squirrels or rabbits, Mississippi has an opportunity waiting for you ­— if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to scout and hunt. Whether you’re hunting private or public land, there’s sure to be a world-class opportunity just waiting for you.


“The best opportunity for a quality mature buck in this region would be at Canemount,” said biologist Josh Moree. “We have a 16-inch inside spread or 20-inch main beam antler requirement, which allows the bucks to mature and produce quality antlers.”

Last year, the average 41/2-year-old buck was typically an 8- or 10-pointer weighing from 200 to 220 pounds, with some up to 230. Occasionally a 31/2-year-old buck will meet those criteria, and if they live to be 41/2 years old, they’ll be trophies.

For hunters who are more interested in the chance at taking a deer, Copiah County and Sandy Creek WMAs are in the forefront.

“(Copiah County) offers possibly the best opportunity to harvest a deer in this region, and it’s a short drive from Jackson,” Moree said. “Hunters will be able to harvest either sex from Oct. 1 through mid-December. We also have a 12- to 15-inch antler regulation on bucks.”

Sandy Creek may get overlooked some, but with 16,000 acres of good woods, it offers a great opportunity to harvest a buck. This WMA is in the Homochitto National Forest, with a lot of hardwood bottoms and mixed pine and hardwood areas.

Natchez State Park has some very good bowhunting, and it is all draw, split between archery and primitive weapons. It’s a very popular spot for bowhunters and is utilized as a way to control the deer population in the park. Natchez State Park has a 12- to 15-inch antler criteria regulation.


“Sandy Creek is probably the top squirrel-hunting destination as it has plenty of mast producing hardwoods,” said Moree.

Bienville, Tallahala and Caney Creek have some good squirrel-hunting habitat with hardwood bottoms. These areas are located in central Mississippi and are easily accessible.


Pearl River WMA is the top spot for duck hunting in the region, and it’s reserved for youth waterfowl draw hunts in the waterfowl impoundments. However, there are lots of flooded acorns and bottomland and sloughs.

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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