Photo of a turkey taken during the spring turkey season.

Mississippi has long been known for its abundant turkey population and excellent turkey hunting opportunities.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know to turkey hunt the Magnolia State, whether you’re a resident or non-resident, including season dates, bag limits, basic rules and regulations, as well as some top public and private land destinations.

Season Dates and Bag Limits

Mississippi’s 2024 spring turkey season kicks off on Friday, March 15, and runs through Wednesday, May 1. Youth hunters 15 and under get a one-week jumpstart, with the youth season running March 8-14.

Turkey SeasonDates
YouthMarch 8-14, 2024
Statewide SpringMarch 15-May 1, 2024
on Public Lands*
March 15-28, 2024

*Nonresident public land hunters must acquire a special, no-cost Public Land Endorsement to hunt the first two weeks of the season. The endorsement requires applying prior to season and being selected. You can learn more about this Public Land Endorsement at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks website.

The bag limit for Mississippi’s turkey season is one adult gobbler or one gobbler with at least a 6-inch beard per day. Limit of three per spring season. Youth hunters 15 and under can shoot male turkeys of any age, but are still limited to one per day and three per season.

2024 Turkey Season Outlook

Like many other southeastern states, Mississippi’s turkey numbers have been trending down the last 10-15 years. But despite the decline, there are some bright spots in the Magnolia State’s turkey woods.

Mississippi turkeys had an outstanding hatch in 2022, surpassing every other southeastern state, and winter sightings by deer hunters indicated a dramatic spike in turkey numbers across the state.

While turkeys in the southern portion of the state have been impacted by hurricanes and flooding over the years, the area is showing signs of turkey numbers returning to their former glory.

As is often the case, though, the 2024 Mississippi turkey season will be good for some, while remaining challenging for others. Expect the best turkey hunting on properties with good habitat, while marginal areas will likely be short on adult birds.

Regardless of where you are in the state, opportunities to fill a spring turkey tag abound, so get out there and put in the leg work to make it happen.

Public Land Turkey Hunting Opportunities

Mississippi turkey hunters are blessed to have a variety of public land hunting options. Some of these are draw only for the first two weeks, followed by open hunting opportunities, while others are open for the statewide season. Still others are draw only for the entire season, or open only for youth hunters.

Below is a graphic highlighting all the Mississippi WMAs open for turkey hunting, color coded by when they’re open and who they’re open to.

Map of 2023 Mississippi public land turkey hunts.

2022 Mississippi WMA Turkey Season Harvests

Black Prairie6233.8
Canal Section/
John Bell Williams
Caney Creek1953728.3
Caston Creek1452337.4
C.R. Nix4256.3
Copiah County1434824.9
Divide Section1553635.7
Hell Creek12222.0
John W. Starr2328164.0
Leaf River2477232.2
Little Biloxi529058.0
Marion County5539107.8
Mason Creek522044.0
Nanih Waiya212663.0
Old River00
Pascagoula River313545.0
Pearl River0123
Red Creek1845325.2
Sandy Creek2846516.6
Upper Sardis4494921.6
Ward Bayou188.0
Wolf River549398.6

If you do decide to try public land turkey hunting this spring, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Turkey Harvest Reporting

In Mississippi, all turkeys harvested during the spring turkey season must be reported to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Game Check system before 10 p.m. on the day of harvest.

As part of this process, all turkey hunters must carry a current harvest reporting record while hunting. This record may be either the MDWFP reporting application on a smartphone, a paper copy of the MDWFP harvest reporting record, or a record provided by the hunter. Hunters must document their name and the date before moving the turkey from the harvest location.

To complete the Game Check process and receive a confirmation number, there are three options available. Hunters can log the harvest using the MDWFP reporting application on a smartphone, enter the harvest through the Game Check website, or call the Game Check reporting phone line at 1-800-BE-SMART.

Final Thoughts

While Mississippi turkey populations may not be at the level they once were, good poult production in recent years could make for a good 2023 turkey season for some Mississippi hunters. Even for those outside of the best habitat, opportunities still exist to fill a tag or two with hard work and persistence.

Good luck this season!

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One Comment

  1. I can not find the rule on the number of shells in a shotgun for turkey hunting.
    All I get as answers is that for Migratory Birds you are limited to 3 shells in the Shotgun. Well, I do not see that as being an answer for Turkeys, since Turkeys are not a migratory bird. So, is there a 3 shell limit for Turkey Hunting in Mississippi?

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