Mississippi Early Waterfowl Season Begins September 1
Thursday, August 25, 2011
JACKSON - Mississippi hunters will get their first chance to hunt waterfowl when Canada goose and teal seasons open in early September. The early Canada goose season opens September 1 and will close on September 15. The early teal season opens September 10 and will close on September 25. Teal season is growing in popularity as hunters are learning how fun it can be to break out their decoys and calls and watch blue-winged teal rocket through the air. Hunters need to be sure their hunting license is current for the 2011 hunting season, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification, as well as possess state and federal waterfowl stamps.
Canada geese can be found in a variety of habitats during the September season. Key areas to scout for geese include large, permanent waters like lakes and reservoirs, and food sources like harvested corn fields, and even hay fields surrounding farm ponds.
The bag limit for September Canada geese is 5 per day with no more than 10 in possession. The bag limit for September teal (all species) is 4 per day with no more than 8 in possession. Shooting hours are from 30 minutes prior to sunrise to sunset. Hunters should remember that non-toxic shot must be used for waterfowl hunting. In areas where dove hunters may have a chance to harvest Canada geese or teal, only non-toxic shot should be used for the day's hunt.
Blue-winged teal prefer shallowly-flooded wetlands with natural vegetation like wild millet and smartweed, which produce seeds and harbor invertebrates, but concentrations of birds can also be found on reservoirs, oxbow lakes, catfish ponds, farm ponds, and other permanent waters. Houston Havens, MWDFP Waterfowl Program Biologist, explained, "Blue-winged teal typically begin migrating in late summer and early fall, and usually ride the first cold fronts of the season down to the Caribbean and Latin America. Breeding populations of blue-winged teal were at an all-time high this year, so we hope to see good numbers during the early hunting season."
MDWFP offers early-season teal hunting opportunities at several WMAs including Muscadine Farms and Howard Miller WMAs. Visit us online athome.mdwfp.com/waterfowl or call 601-432-2199 to receive more information on waterfowl hunting opportunities throughout the state.
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Jeff "Jesse" James - Owner of Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors
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