The ongoing shutdown of the federal government has closed many popular public hunting areas in Mississippi, and the offices of federal agencies responsible for many of these lands are also closed. With small game and archery seasons just beginning in most parts of the state, many hunters are puzzled about which public lands are available and open for public use.

All lands and facilities owned or managed by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) remain open for the public to enjoy.  This includes all Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) throughout the state.  National Forests (Bienville, Delta, DeSoto, Holly Springs, Homochitto, and Tombigbee) owned by the U.S. Forest Service are also open for hunting; but all campgrounds and recreation areas are closed.  Lands owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that are designated for hunting also remain open, but campgrounds and day-use areas are closed and are off limits to the public.  All National Wildlife Refuges owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Bogue Chitto, Coldwater River, Dahomey, Grand Bay, Morgan Brake, Noxubee, Panther Swamp, St. Catherine Creek, Tallahatchie, Theodore Roosevelt, and Yazoo) are closed to all public use.

All MDWFP offices, WMAs, state parks, and state lakes will remain open during the shutdown. As always, there will be MDWFP law enforcement officers and biologists on duty across the state.  To report a violation call 1-800-BE SMART (1-800-237-6278).

For more information regarding hunting opportunities in Mississippi, visit our website at or call us at 601-432-2199. Follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter at


Logo courtesy Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks

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