Weekend waterfowl harvest report high despite less favorable weather

Published 11:32 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

By Houston Havens and Darrin Hardesty

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

JACKSON – The second weekend segment of the 2023-24 duck season was met with relatively warm and rainy weather conditions. Some areas across the Delta received close to 1 inch of rain. Many wetland impoundments that are rainfall dependent were able to collect some much-needed runoff, but much more is needed.

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The consistent warm temperatures likely had little effect on pushing waterfowl further south. The long-range forecast shows more of the same for the coming weeks, with the highs being in the mid-50s and the lows in the upper-30s.

However, Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) across the Mississippi Delta are still holding good numbers of ducks. The harvest reports from the past two weekends were relatively high considering the overall current weather patterns.

Some areas are having great success with hunters averaging over 4 birds/hunter/day. Some private land managers reported an increase in harvest from the previous week. Harvest consisted primarily of Northern shovelers, wood ducks, gadwall, and teal.

An increase in snow and greater white fronted geese increased significantly across the state over the past week. Aquaculture ponds are beginning to hold higher numbers of northern shovelers and a variety of diving ducks.

The final segment of the regular waterfowl hunting season starts back on December 9th and will continue through January 31st . Our December aerial waterfowl survey is scheduled for the week of December 11-15th.

As soon as the survey is completed, the results and distribution maps will be posted on MDWFP’s website and released through social media.

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.

Howard Miller averaged 4.62 birds per hunter out of 42 visits this weekend. Muscadine Farms averaged 3.71 birds per hunter out of 34 visits this weekend. Mahannah averaged 3.36 birds per hunter out of 80 visits this weekend. William Deviney averaged 4.17 birds out of 23 hunters.