December full of hunting opportunities for Mississippi sportsmen

While deer and duck seasons occupy most of the spotlight in Mississippi, hunting opportunities abound.

Goose season, along with coots and mergansers, mirror the duck dates throughout the state. Other migratory birds like snipe, rails and gallinules are open all month (snipe through Feb. 28 and rails and gallinules through Dec. 31). The last migratory bird season to open is woodcock, which begins Dec. 18 and runs through Jan. 31 with a limit of three per day.

Seasons on squirrel, rabbits and all other small game opened earlier in the fall and remain open through Feb. 28.

Squirrel hunters across Mississippi have until Feb. 28 to target bushytails.

Dove hunters have reason to celebrate December’s arrival. More days were pushed back into the third and final segment of the season to allow more hunting for migratory birds pushing in from the grain fields of the upper Midwest. In both the North and South Zones, the season reopens on Dec. 21 and runs through Jan. 14.

“I know that’s important in the South, but don’t overlook what that means for us in the Delta,” said Ben Simpson of Grenada. “In the Delta, that means we get to duck hunt in the morning and then dove hunt in the afternoon from Dec. 21 to Jan. 14. I am really happy about getting to hunt to Jan. 14, because this will be the first year we get to really take advantage of the migrating doves.

“Those big fat Midwest doves provide a unique opportunity late in the season, which is perfect because food sources are few and far between. That concentrates them in certain areas where, regardless of hunting pressure day to day, they have to keep coming back to feed. It ought to be some of the best shooting all year.”

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Bobby Cleveland
About Bobby Cleveland 1331 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.

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