Mississippi’s turkey hunting hot spots

The author took this nice long spurred gobbler in Jefferson County back in 2010.

Selecting the top Mississippi turkey hunting hotspots has never been easier. The top eight turkey counties can all be found in the same area — Turkey Region 4 in Southwest Mississippi.

Based on data from the Spring Gobbler Hunter Survey and input from MDWFP turkey biologists, the top turkey counties for the 2012 season include: Wilkinson, Adams, Jefferson, Claiborne, Amite, Franklin, Copiah and Lincoln. The turkey population in this part of the Magnolia State is very near that seen in the mid-1980s when turkey hunting was nothing short of phenomenal.

When it comes to the top turkey hunting wildlife management areas, the guys at MDWFP tend to shy away from highlighting specific WMAs. They don’t want to place any undue hunting pressure on any particular WMA.

That being said, hunters who study the data in the Spring Gobbler Hunter Survey can easily identify the better turkey WMAs in the state. By getting better acquainted with these specific WMAs, hunters can also more than likely find some very good public land turkey hunting opportunities.

The Spring Gobbler Hunter Survey is an invaluable resource for Mississippi turkey hunters. It is one of the best data sets that turkey hunters have at their disposal. It is a survey where hunters statewide collect turkey data on what they see, hear and harvest during their hunts. The MDWFP staff uses this information to monitor the state’s wild turkey resource.

Hunters choosing to participate in the program are rewarded with individual reports summarizing their data and comparing that information to state and regional averages. The Mississippi Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Mississippi Foundation for Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks have also partnered to provide a shotgun to randomly selected survey participants over the past three seasons.

Mississippi turkey hunters can find out more information or enroll in the Spring Gobbler Hunter Survey by visiting the department’s website at http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/turkey-program.aspx.

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