Weather helps waterfowl numbers, harvests increase
Published 8:13 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022
By Darrin Hardesty & Houston Havens
MDWFP Waterfowl report
JACKSON – The first of three season segments for Mississippi’s waterfowl hunting season occurred over the weekend, and harvest reports from public and private lands with managed water were good, overall. Although last week saw a warming trend, the week prior brought below-freezing temperatures, which likely helped to increase waterfowl numbers across the state.
Wetland habitat availability is well below normal levels for this time of year across much of Mississippi, but rainfall this week may help to add some water to the landscape. Water levels in the Mississippi River are also well below normal levels for this time of year.
These below-average water levels are likely causing congregations of waterfowl in some areas, resulting in good early season hunting. This week’s weather outlook for Mississippi predicts mostly warmer temperatures with a few chances of rain.
Many state Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and intensively managed private lands across the Mississippi Delta reported high hunting success over the opening weekend. Green-winged teal, gadwall, and wood ducks made up a significant portion of waterfowl harvest reports. However, some areas reported successful hunts with mallards, pintails, and wigeons in the bag.
Snow, blue, Ross’s, and white-fronted geese have increased in number over the last week. As always, availability of quality wetland habitat and weather conditions will greatly influence waterfowl harvest on both private and public lands.
Hunters are reminded that Mississippi’s waterfowl seasons are currently closed, but the light goose conservation order is open. The second segment of Mississippi’s regular duck and goose hunting seasons will be Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4.
The November aerial waterfowl survey has recently been completed, and survey results and distribution maps are available on MDWFP’s website and social media platforms.
The December survey is currently planned for the week of December 12. For more information regarding waterfowl in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com/waterfowl or call us at (601) 432-2199.
The Waterfowl Program web page lists links to hunting regulations, migration reports, and habitat information for specific WMAs and other public lands throughout the state.