Mississippi provides its public-land hunters with some great opportunities across the entire state
“This year should be a great year for O’Keefe,” said biologist Roger Tankesly. “It’s been the most-active timber harvest, and that should help the browse and deer hunting. We’ve planted soybeans and other crops, and habitat-wise, it’s great. We normally harvest a couple hundred acres of timber, so bowhunters should have a lot of deer and a chance to harvest a mature buck, 130 inches and up.
“If you kill a buck in the Delta region, it will be a lifetime memory,” Tankesly said. “Those bucks have the genetics and habitat to grow big antlers and big bodies. If they get the chance to live to maturity, they are usually outstanding.”
O’Keefe offers a little of everything with excellent duck hunting as well as squirrel and rabbit hunting.
Sky Lake WMA
“There’s very good hunting here, with plenty of good habitat,” Tankesly said. “We have archery and primitive weapons draw hunting here, and some weeks, hunting pressure is weak. If hunters will get out and hunt the trails and put in the time, there’s a good possibility they may have a chance at a trophy buck.
“It seems like every year or so, somebody kills a buck in the 150 to 170 class. Part of the reason the deer live to maturity here is because the area is planted with trees, and they are thick. It’s just like O’Keefe but hard to hunt.”
Muscadine/Charlie Capps/Diviney WMAs
“Muscadine, Charlie Capps and Diviney should provide excellent duck-hunting opportunities if we get the cold weather and ducks,” Tankesly said. “We’ve done a lot of work at Muscadine this year and worked about a third of the area, sprayed a third and the other we left in natural, moist-soil habitat. We couldn’t complete everything we wanted to do because of the rain, but we were able to plant a lot of the area for ducks, (and) sprayed a lot of the undesirable weeds like copper weed, so that should help as well.”
Sky Lake/O’Keefe/Muscadine/Sunflower WMAs
“The best areas for rabbit hunting are Sky Lake, O’Keeffe and Muscadine,” Tankesly said. “We have the habitat on those areas, and hunters are successful at those places. The forecast for rabbits is good again this year.
Squirrel hunting is always good at O’Keefe, and hunters are usually pretty successful.
“Sunflower is one of the most-popular squirrel-hunting destinations, when it’s open to hunt,” Tankesly said. “We will get it open as soon as possible after the flood waters recede, but we’re going on eight months under water now, so we don’t know when that will happen or how it’s affected the squirrel population.”