Squirrel and rabbit seasons are upon us, and there are many opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy time hunting. For many Mississippi hunters, small game hunting was their first hunting experience. However, recent survey data suggests that fewer new hunters are hunting small game, and they are missing a great opportunity to develop a new hunting passion.

Rick Hamrick, MDWFP Small Game Biologist says, “Small game hunting is a great way to get new hunters started and is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. Squirrel and rabbit hunting is more active than other types of hunting and does not require sitting still for long periods of time. Instead of becoming restless during these long periods of sitting and waiting, young hunters can move around, explore, and be inquisitive while afield, and this can be as much fun as the hunt itself.”

Youth hunters less than 16 years old are exempt from obtaining a hunting license. MDWFP offers several options in Apprentice Hunting Licenses for residents over the age of 15 that may want to try hunting but have not completed a hunter education course. An apprentice hunting license may be issued only one time, and the licensee must be accompanied by a licensed or exempt resident hunter at least 21 years of age.

“We encourage experienced hunters to be a hunting mentor and take friends and youth small game hunting to show them how enjoyable it can be. Many hunters that go on to hunt larger game still look forward to small game hunting during at least part of the hunting season. For some, it is special because of the formative years they spent small game hunting with a close relative or friend,” Dave Godwin, MDWFP Small Game Coordinator said.

Logo courtesy Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

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