Contact: Clay Chester, Southeastern States Coordinator
The Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (Commission) held a virtual meeting last month to consider proposed rule changes to the 2020-2021 hunting and fishing seasons.
One of the rule changes being considered would require Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing in 24 counties on specified weekends during deer season. To combat the spread, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) would issue either-sex Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) CWD Management Tags to participating private landowners who are in close proximity to known CWD-positive animals. Hunters using the DMAP CWD Management Tags are not subject to daily or annual bag limits as long as they submit tagged deer for testing and provide a report to the MDWFP detailing annual deer harvest and tag usage.
CWD was first detected in the state in February 2018. In response, the MDWFP created two CWD Management Zones (North Region and Issaquena) in which it required testing of deer harvests and established prohibitions on supplemental feeding and the transportation of carcasses outside of these zones.
In addition to the efforts to detect and contain CWD, the Commission proposed the following rule changes:
Public comments on the proposed rule changes can be submitted here. The Commission will hold their next meeting on May 14 to further discuss the proposed rules. Persons interested in participating in the webinar or submitting comments can find additional information here.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?