FAQ: Info About Hunting and Fishing Licenses

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Purchasing Licenses

  1. How long is a license valid?
  2. Can I purchase a Lifetime License online?
  3. If I purchase a Lifetime License for myself or my child and move to another state, is the license still good in Mississippi?
  4. How much is a sportsman's license and what comes with it?
  5. How do I obtain a duplicate license?
  6. If I own land, why does my family have to have a hunting license?
  7. If I own land in Mississippi but live in another state, do I have to purchase a non-resident hunting license?
  8. Where is your building located?
  9. When I purchase a trip license, do the days have to run consecutively?
  10. Where can I purchase an Electronic Waterfowl Stamp?
  11. Where can I purchase a trapping, commercial, or minnow license?
  12. How do I get a TAN number?

Hunting

  1. How can I go hunting or fishing on the same day I purchase my license with a credit card?
  2. When will the dates for the new hunting season be set?
  3. What is the deer bag limit?
  4. What are the rifle and ammunition restrictions for deer hunting?
  5. Can I turkey hunt with a rifle?
  6. Can I shoot Jakes while turkey hunting?
  7. Can I hunt with a scope on my muzzleloader?
  8. Can I hunt with a crossbow?
  9. What are the legal shooting hours?
  10. Can I hunt over a food plot?
  11. Can I hunt game using bait such as a corn feeder?
  12. Can I hunt deer from a boat?
  13. How can I get a brochure on a specific WMA?

Boating

  1. How do I register my boat?
  2. Where do I get a boat registration application?
  3. Which boats have to be registered with your department?
  4. I have built a boat myself or my boat has no serial number that I can find. How do I get my boat registered?
  5. How much is Boat Registration?
  6. When am I required to take a boating safety course?
  7. What should I look for when buying a used boat and motor?
  8. Is my boating safety course from another state valid in Mississippi?
  9. What will I get with my registration fee?
  10. Can I fax a registration application?
  11. How do I obtain a duplicate boat registration card?

Hunter's Education

  1. What is Hunter Education?
  2. Why should someone take a Hunter Education course?
  3. Who teaches Hunter Education?
  4. Who has to take the Hunter Education course?
  5. How do I get a duplicate Hunter Education card?
  6. I received a citation. What is the fine going to be?

Fishing

  1. Is it legal to commercially harvest mussels in Mississippi?
  2. How can I obtain copies of the laws and regulations that concern shrimping, crabbing and fishing for saltwater fish?
  3. How can I get help with managing my farm pond?
  4. How can I get a copy of the freshwater fish poster?

Miscellaneous

  1. Is it legal for a person to own a cougar in Mississippi?
  2. Who do I contact for information on beaver control?
  3. How do I become a license agent?
  4. How do I ask a question not covered in this FAQ?
  5. How can I get a wildlife car tag?

Purchasing Licenses

  1. How long is a license valid?

    Effective July 1, 2007 licenses are valid for one (1) year from date of purchase.

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  2. Can I purchase a Lifetime License online?

    No, you will need to purchase a Lifetime License in person or by mail at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Headquarters located in Jackson. Resident Lifetime License applicants must prove that they have been domiciled in the State of Mississippi for a minimum of eighteen (18) months immediately prior to issuance of such licenses. Please contact the Department for more information (601-432-2055 or www.mdwfp.com).

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  3. If I purchase a Lifetime License for myself or my child and move to another state, is the license still good in Mississippi?

    Your Lifetime License is good in the state of Mississippi for the rest of your life. The only difference after you move to another state is you would follow the bag limits set for a non-resident.

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  4. How much is a sportsman's license and what comes with it?

    The license cost is $34.00 when purchased via any Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks personnel. Additional charges are applied when purchasing licenses via licensed agents, 1-800-5GO-HUNT, or the Internet. A sportsman's license is only issued to Mississippi residents. This license allows for fishing and hunting of all legal game and fowl and the use of primitive weapons and bow and arrow. The State Electronic Waterfowl Stamp must be purchased in addition to this license. This is the only license issued as a plastic card in a designer format and comes with a sportsman's decal. It must be renewed annually.

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  5. How do I obtain a duplicate license?

    Send a copy of your Driver's License or name, address and Drivers License number along with a check or money order for $7.29 to Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, 1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS 39211, Attention: License Division. Make checks payable to Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

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  6. If I own land, why does my family have to have a hunting license?

    The only person who can hunt without a license on property they own is a Mississippi resident and the title holder(s). If you own land, but your spouse is not on the title for instance, he/she has to have a license.

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  7. If I own land in Mississippi but live in another state, do I have to purchase a non-resident hunting license?

    Yes, you must be able to prove residency in order to purchase a resident hunting license. To do so you must produce a valid Mississippi Driver's License, show where you most recently paid state resident income tax, demonstrate where you filed for homestead exemption or show a college, university or military I.D. Merely owning land in this state does not exempt you from purchasing a non-resident license. Also, if you are disabled and/or 65 years of age or older and are a resident of another state, you must purchase a non-resident hunting and fishing license. Non-residents under 16 are not required to purchase a license for non-residents.

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  8. Where is your building located?

    1505 Eastover Drive in Jackson, between the School for the Deaf and Blind and the Institutions of Higher Learning.

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  9. When I purchase a trip license, do the days have to run consecutively?

    Yes

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  10. Where can I purchase an Electronic Waterfowl Stamp?

    An Electronic State Waterfowl Stamp can be purchased through any bonded license agent or can be purchased through the license division of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks with a check or money order. The Electronic Waterfowl Stamp can also be purchased with a VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover Card via the Internet or by calling 1-800-5GO-HUNT.

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  11. Where can I purchase a trapping, commercial, or minnow license?

    In person or by mail from DWFP Headquarters in Jackson, local DWFP district offices, or state parks.

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  12. How do I get a TAN number?

    The Temporary Authorization Number (TAN) is provided as a part of the purchase confirmation screen at the end of the license purchase process. If you were unable to get the TAN from the confirmation screen and have successfully completed your purchase, it can also be obtained by going to the Payment Tracker and entering your purchase Confirmation Number.

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Hunting

  1. How can I go hunting or fishing on the same day I purchase my license with a credit card?

    After we take a full application and run the credit card for approval, a TAN NUMBER is issued to the sportsman over the phone and given to Law Enforcement. It is then considered legal without having the license actually on their person.

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  2. When will the dates for the new hunting season be set?

    The season dates are set in July except for duck season which is set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in September.

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  3. What is the deer bag limit?

    Antlered Buck Deer: The bag limit on antlered buck deer is one (1) buck per day, not to exceed three (3) per license year. Legal bucks must meet the antler criteria within the appropriate deer management zone. For youth hunters fifteen (15) years of age and younger, hunting on private land and authorized state and federal lands, one (1) of the three (3) buck bag limit may be any antlered deer.

    Antlerless Deer: The bag limit on antlerless deer is one (1) per day, not to exceed five (5) per license year.

    Spotted fawns are not to be killed or molested at any time.

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  4. What are the rifle and ammunition restrictions for deer hunting?

    There are none except for certain Wildlife Management Areas and Federal Refuges. Check with that area for specific restrictions. The only statewide restrictions are from ½ hour after sundown to ½ hour before sunrise. Only standard 22 rimfire and shotguns with shot no larger than no. 6 shot are legal.

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  5. Can I turkey hunt with a rifle?

    Not in the spring, and only with shotguns with shot no larger than #2 or with a bow and arrow. However, any quadriplegic may hunt turkey with a rifle.

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  6. Can I shoot Jakes while turkey hunting?

    To be legal, a gobbler must have a 6 inch beard, or be an adult bird. The tail feathers are used to determine whether a turkey is an adult or jake. The outside feathers on both sides of the fan will be shorter than the feathers in the middle on a jake; an adult gobbler's tail feathers will all be the same length.

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  7. Can I hunt with a scope on my muzzleloader?

    Yes, scopes of any magnification are legal on primitive firearms.

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  8. Can I hunt with a crossbow?

    Anyone using a crossbow must have either a General Crossbow License or a Special Crossbow Permit. 

    General Crossbow License
    All Residents and Non-Residents are eligible to purchase a General Crossbow License. The General Crossbow License is only valid during primitive weapon and gun season for deer. In addition to the General Crossbow License, residents are required to have a Sportsman or an All Game Hunting License, and non-residents are required to have an All Game License as well as a deer permit. The General Crossbow License DOES NOT replace the Special Crossbow Permit which is available for those 65 years of age or older and individuals who are disabled. See Special Crossbow Permit below.

    Special Crossbow Permit
    The Special Crossbow Permit is for Residents and Non-Residents who qualify through age or disability. All persons required to have a hunting license to take deer and turkey must obtain a hunting license prior to obtaining a Special Crossbow Permit. The Special Crossbow Permit is valid during all seasons for deer. Mississippi applicants 65 years of age and over must provide proof of age to qualify. Applicants under 65 years of age must present a statement on letterhead from a physician who is licensed to practice medicine in Mississippi, certifying the applicant has a disability which totally and permanently prevents them from using a longbow or other conventional archery equipment. Residents who are disabled must provide current year proof of disability such as a TPQY (Third Party Query) letter or your letter of entitlement to disability from the Social Security Administration. A letter from Veterans Administration or Railroad Retirement Board advising of total disability is also acceptable. Applications must be processed and permits purchased at the Jackson Office, however, applicants 65 years of age or older may purchase the Special Crossbow Permit from any vendor that sells hunting and fishing licenses. Applications are available at the Jackson Office and online at www.mdwfp.com.

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  9. What are the legal shooting hours?

    ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.

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  10. Can I hunt over a food plot?

    Yes, it is legal to hunt over any planted area as long as crop types, planting times, and cultivation methods adhere to normal agricultural practices.

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  11. Can I hunt game using bait such as a corn feeder?

    To hunt within the vicinity of a feeder hunters must be both: at least 100 yards away from, and not within the line of sight of feed or a feeder which contains feed. For the purpose of this regulation, “not within the line of sight” means hidden from view by natural vegetation or naturally occurring terrain features.

    Feed may only be provided from above ground covered feeders or stationary spin cast feeders.

    Feed allowed in feeders:
    Complete Pelletized Ration:
       October 1 – November 30
       March 1 – June 30
    Corn may be used and/or added to the Complete Pelletized Ration:
       July 1 – September 30
       December 1 – the last day in February

    Feeders may be placed no closer than 100 yards from any property boundary. Feed may not be poured, piled, or placed directly on the ground.

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  12. Can I hunt deer from a boat?

    No, the only game that can be hunted from a boat are squirrels and waterfowl. Remember that the motor must be shut off and all forward progress must have ceased.

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  13. How do I register my boat?

    Brochures are available by contacting the DWFP District Office in that area.

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Boating

  1. How can I go hunting or fishing on the same day I purchase my license with a credit card?

    You need to fill out an application for boat registration and mail or bring it to DWFP headquarters with a copy of your sales receipt, bill of sale (copy) or a notarized statement about how you obtained the boat (in cases of an old boat being given to a person by a now deceased relative). Your bill of sale must be notarized or signed by two witnesses. New or used boats purchased outside of this state must show proof of 7% state sales tax paid (the equivalent of Mississippi state tax). If 7% sales tax was not paid when the boat was purchased, you must go to the tax collector's office in the county you live and pay the difference. You must send a copy of that receipt with your registration application and sales receipt.

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  2. Where do I get a boat registration application?

    Applications may be obtained from boat dealers, marinas, most places that sell hunting and fishing licenses, Tax Collectors offices or you may call or write the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks headquarters, located in Jackson, for one to be mailed to you.

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  3. Which boats have to be registered with your department?

    Boats of all motor types and all sail boats. Any boat documented with the federal authorities need not be registered with this state.

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  4. I have built a boat myself or my boat has no serial number that I can find. How do I get my boat registered?

    You need to call or go by your local DWFP district office and have an officer inspect the boat and fill out a form. You will have to send that inspection form in with your application and fee. A serial number or H.I.N. (hull identification number) will be assigned to your boat. This is a separate number from your registration number.

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  5. How much is Boat Registration?

    If your boat is:
       under 16' in length, $10.20
       16'- 25' in length, $25.20
       26' or over, $47.70

    These fees are for a registration period of 3 years from the last day of the month you register your boat. The only exception is if you are renewing your registration and are late in doing so. Your expiration date remains the same as if you renewed it on time. You will, in effect, lose the time you are delinquent. You may submit a check or money order; please do not send cash.

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  6. When am I required to take a boating safety course?

    If you were born after June 30, 1980. Contact your MDWFP District Office for the schedule and location of offered classes. There is also a home study course, and an Internet course.

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  7. What should I look for when buying a used boat and motor?

    Be sure that the boat has a hull identification number (HIN) and the motor has a serial number. If these numbers are missing the boat and or motor will be seized.

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  8. Is my boating safety course from another state valid in Mississippi?

    Yes.

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  9. What will I get with my registration fee?

    In about 4-6 weeks, you will receive a registration card with your assigned numbers printed above your name and 2 validating decals (one for each side of your boat). Whoever uses your boat must have this card on board at all times. You will then need to go to a discount store or hardware store and purchase "stick on" numbers and letters to display on you boat. You may also have the numbers painted on. Your registration numbers must be on both sides of the front of your boat in letters at least 3" in height. They must be in a color that contrasts with the color of your boat.

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  10. Can I fax a registration application?

    We cannot accept a FAXED registration application.

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  11. How do I obtain a duplicate boat registration card?

    All duplicates are $7.70 regardless of the length of your boat. Duplicates may be obtained by filling out another registration form and indicating on it that you are applying for a duplicate. Mail or bring it to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, 1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS 39211, Attention: Boating Division.

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Hunter's Education

  1. What is Hunter Education?

    The Hunter Education program is sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. It is designed to help reduce hunting accidents and enrich a person's knowledge of the outdoors by teaching hunting ethics and responsibility, wildlife conservation and hunting equipment safety. Courses offered include the basic Hunter Education course and the Bowhunter Education course. The courses are a minimum of ten hours in length. They are available to all persons at no charge. To pass the course, a person must attend all course hours, score 70% or better on an exam and demonstrate responsible practices when handling hunting equipment.

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  2. Why should someone take a Hunter Education course?

    The Hunter Education program benefits the novice outdoor user regardless of age. It also serves as an excellent refresher program for experienced hunters. Hunter safety programs were formally introduced in some parts of the United States in the 1950's. Since then, firearm related hunting accidents have declined dramatically.

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  3. Who teaches Hunter Education?

    Volunteer instructors, county 4-H Youth Agents, school teachers and wildlife agency personnel all teach Hunter Education. They are qualified by attending an instructor certification course. They maintain their certification through various workshops offered by the wildlife agency.

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  4. Who has to take the Hunter Education course?

    Hunter Education training is mandatory for any person born after January 1, 1972, before they can purchase any resident or non-resident Mississippi hunting license. Also, effective July 1, 2000:

    • Anyone twelve (12) years of age and under sixteen (16) years of age must have a certificate of satisfactory completion of a Hunter Education course approved by the department before hunting in this state.
    • Anyone under the age of twelve (12) must be in the presence and under the direct supervision of a licensed or exempt hunter at least twenty-one (21) years of age when the child is hunting.

    The course is also required in almost every other state depending on a person's age. Sportsmen may take the course voluntarily to enhance their knowledge of new and revised wildlife management regulations and practices even though they are not required to do so.

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  5. How do I get a duplicate Hunter Education card?

    If the Hunter Education office has documentation that a person has successfully completed a Hunter Education course in Mississippi, that person may receive a duplicate certification card by sending a $3.00 check or money order made out to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks along with a note requesting the duplicate card and listing the name of the person requesting the card, their address and birth date. The request should be sent to: 

    Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
    Hunter Education Office
    1505 Eastover Drive
    Jackson, MS 39211

    Persons may also go into any of the department's district offices and pay the $3.00 duplicate card fee. They will receive a form allowing them to purchase a license in Mississippi until their card is prepared and mailed to them.

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  6. I received a citation. What is the fine going to be?

    The County Justice Court System sets fines. There is an address and phone number on the citation where the Judge or Court Clerk can be reached.

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Fishing

  1. Is it legal to commercially harvest mussels in Mississippi?

    The commercial harvest of mussels in Mississippi was prohibited in 1972 because our native mussel stocks were severely impacted by this harvest and several other factors. Currently, MDWFP has no plans to resume the commercial harvest of mussels.

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  2. How can I obtain copies of the laws and regulations that concern shrimping, crabbing and fishing for saltwater fish?

    The Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources manages all saltwater species.

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  3. How can I get help with managing my farm pond?

    A wealth of information concerning construction, design, stocking, management, weed control, fish kills, fish attractors, liming and fertilization, harvest, feeding, renovation, turtles and pond problems is contained in the publication "Managing Mississippi Farm Ponds and Small Lakes" published by the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service, MDWFP and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It is available from any County Agent, NRCS or MDWFP office.

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  4. How can I get a copy of the freshwater fish poster?

    Several years ago the fisheries division of MDWFP published a full color poster showing 34 of the freshwater fish most common to Mississippi. A few copies are still available free of charge. We do not mail these posters. Contact our Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (601-354-7303) or any MDWFP office, state fishing lake, or state park to determine if they have any posters before you make a visit to pick up a poster.

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Miscellaneous

  1. Is it legal for a person to own a cougar in Mississippi?

    Legislation passed in 1997 regulates the importation, sale and possession of animals declared inherently dangerous to humans. The cougar is included in this new law along with lions, tigers, leopards, wolves, wolf hybrids, certain primates and various other species such as elephants and rhinoceroses. A person must apply for a permit to keep any of these animals and comply with regulations on cage size, veterinary care, liability insurance and previous experience.

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  2. Who do I contact for information on beaver control?

    Animal Damage Control at Mississippi State (601) 325-3014.

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  3. How do I become a license agent?

    Call or write our department for an application (the individual must post a minimum $5,000.00 bond).

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  4. How do I ask a question not covered in this FAQ?

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  5. How can I get a wildlife car tag?

    For an additional $30.00 you can choose from either Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Wild Turkey, Mallard Duck, Largemouth Bass, Speckled Trout, Butterfly, or White-tailed Deer. Tags can be purchased at your local Tax Collector's office.

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