Mississippi house passes turkey stamp bill

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

JACKSON — A House Bill creating a turkey stamp passed out of the Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks committee and passed in the house Wednesday. The bill would require hunters 16 years and older to purchase a turkey stamp to hunt turkeys.

According to a roll call vote, 100 representatives voted for the bill including Lincoln County Rep. Vince Mangold. Rep. Becky Currie voted against the bill with 12 other representatives.

MDWFP Commission moved to lobby the Mississippi Legislature for a turkey stamp last May. Funds from the stamp would go towards research, habitat management projects and improving the wild turkey population in Mississippi. Sportsmen overwhelmingly voiced support for the stamp in a public comment period last summer. 

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Rep. Bill Kinkade introduced HB 1298 on Monday to create a turkey stamp in Mississippi. The stamp would be $10 for residents and $100 for non-residents. At this time, the bill would have a committee substitute to the legislation. 

“We have been so blessed with an impressive turkey population. We want to provide funding for conservation. We have worked on this since 2017. Been endorsed by every outdoor organization. We are tasked with the responsibility to preserve this resource,” Kinkade told the house. “Mississippi is a strong turkey destination. We are very popular. We have 100 million in impact on the economy from turkey hunting. We propose that like our waterfowl stamp we have a turkey stamp.” 

Kinkade answered a few questions and explained the stamp would be electronic. Hunters can purchase a physical stamp for an additional fee. 

“I talk to people all over about the turkeys. Kansas had an impressive turkey population like ours but it has diminished because they have put no money in research,” Kinkade told the house. “We won’t let that happen in our state. We will put resources into it. The fund would be monitored and controlled by this body.”

A representative of the Hole Hunting Club in Georgetown, named for a bowl depression on the property, voiced their support for the turkey stamps in an email to The Daily Leader. 

“Mississippi needs to start using Turkey Stamps. It will be a win-win for the state. Mississippi is missing out on so much revenue like with Turkey Stamps.  Also I think Mississippi should go to a tagging system on Whitetail Deer.  Plus I think the tags should be purchased in addition to your hunting license. Fact of the matter is turkey hunters and/or deer hunters will pay for them to be able to hunt.” the club wrote.