Efforts to fund turkey conservation die in legislative session

Published 11:14 am Friday, May 3, 2024

JACKSON — Mississippi legislators had an opportunity to fund the future of turkey conservation in Mississippi by passing a bill which would have required turkey hunters to purchase a turkey stamp. Neither the house nor senate bill creating a wild turkey stamp survived conference reports after both chambers overwhelmingly passed the legislation. 

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks commissioners had asked the legislature to pass a turkey stamp bill at the request of the turkey program. Stamps would have generated funds to be allocated solely to wild turkey research, habitat improvement and tagging. 

The house version of the bill stated that lifetime license holders would be exempt from purchasing a wild turkey stamp, residents would be charged $10 for turkey stamps and non-residents would be charged $100 for turkey stamps. The senate version would have charged non-residents $200 and not charge residents.

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MDWFP Executive Director Lynn Posey could not say much on what happened. He is a former state legislator and confirmed the bills are in fact dead this year. 

“It is dead but it had nothing to do with the legislation,” Posey said. “It passed both chambers overwhelmingly. We feel it is a good idea and we will get restarted on it next year.”

This is a developing story, check back for more updates.