Migratory bird hunting seasons open up today

Published 11:58 am Thursday, September 1, 2022

BROOKHAVEN — Barred owls hoot back and forth across a field as the countdown to daylight grew shorter. Song birds hop around thick blackberry bushes, shaking the morning dew onto the ground Thursday.

The sun rose and a fog descended into the countryside. A murder of crows squawked as they flew above a cow pasture. It was the opening day of September goose season and kicks off the running list of hunting seasons from now until May 1 when Turkey season ends. 

Canada Geese are the target species in early goose season. Resident geese can be a nuisance for residential homes, golf courses, schools and commercial properties. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks said the geese can eat up to 4 pounds of grasses a day. 

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Hunters can play a role in controlling the goose population from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30 with a daily bag limit of five geese. These Canada Geese do not migrate but for some reason or another choose to stay in Mississippi year round. 

Rails and Gallinules are additional waterfowl species which can be hunted starting today. These birds are typically found in marshes and are very secretive. Daily bag limit is 15 for Common and Purple Gallinules. Clapper and King Rails have a daily bag limit of 15 while Sora and Virginia Rails  have a daily bag limit of 25. Those bag limits are singly or aggregate. 

Mississippi hunters traditionally pursue doves the first weekend of September. Dove season opens Sept. 3 and closes Oct. 14 before opening again November 19 to 27 and December 24 to January 31. The daily bag limit for doves is 15. Remember to practice hunting safety and not shoot at birds on power lines or telephone lines. 

Blue-winged teal, cinnamon teal and green-winged teal should be migrating through the south this time of year and the season for teal opens Sept. 10 and closes Sept. 25. The daily bag limit for teal is six. 

Hunters must plug their shotgun if it can hold more than three shells, which includes one in the chamber, when hunting migratory birds.