Bending the rules while hunting or fishing in Mississippi? It could cost you, just like more than 1,000 other people in January

Published 12:13 am Sunday, February 25, 2024

Col. Jerry Carter, chief of law enforcement for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, gave a law enforcement update in a regularly scheduled commission meeting Thursday. Carter said officers issued 1,216 citations in January.

MDWFP commissioners meet once a month where Carter gives his update on law enforcement. The commission met at Black Prairie Wildlife Management Area near Crawford Thursday.

Carter said the leading offense was no license with 185 citations issued. Game wardens issued 94 citations for trespassing, 89 citations for hunting from a public road, 65 citations for no hunter’s orange and 60 citations for supplemental feeding. If HB526 passes the senate, hunters will be able to wear fluorescent pink as a substitute for hunter’s orange.

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Another bill issued in the house would punish people who dump carcasses near public roads. HB1281 would allow the MDWFP to take away license privileges of anyone convicted of dumping carcasses illegally. Carter said they had a situation where someone was trespassing and dumping carcasses on someone else’s property.

“A lot of our calls are from the general public and the landowner in this instance helped us,” Carter said. “We initiated an investigation to catch someone coming back on the property. We were able to catch them and they confessed to dumping carcasses on a property in Jefferson County.”

Commissioner Leonard Bentz asked what the legal way to dispose of carcasses was.

“Of course, you can’t get on someone else’s property and do it. You can take it to a field or to a designated dump site,” Carter said. “You cannot dump it in creeks or rivers.”

License revocations

Bentz said he wanted to make it clear to the general public that the department may consider heavier penalties moving forward. Trespassers and repeat offenders could lose hunting and fishing privileges if the commission decides to move forward with more license revocations.

“The statute allows us to do license revocations on repeat offenders. I don’t think it has ever been used outside of head lighting,” Bentz said. “License revocations are specific to multiple violations. The general public needs to know that.”