Photo of a female youth with a doe taken on a youth hunt.

Mississippi Youth Hunting Opportunities and Requirements

Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by Brian Grossman

There’s nothing better than watching a young hunter take their first deer, turkey, or other game animal. And fortunately, Mississippi is a great state when it comes to youth hunting opportunities and minimal requirements to get started.

This article quickly breaks down what licenses Mississippi youth hunters need, as well as some of the excellent youth hunting opportunties the state offers. If by the end of the article, you still have questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to get them answered.

Mississippi Youth Hunting License Requirements

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) makes it easy to get youth hunters out in the field. Resident and nonresident youth 15 years of age and younger are NOT required to have a hunting license to hunt. So it doesn’t get much easier than that.

Youth hunters ages 16 to 17 will need the same licenses and permits as an adult hunter. It would be great to see Mississippi allow these youth hunters to hunt without licenses and permits, too, but for now, they will need to have them.

Mississippi Hunter Education Requirements

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1972 must complete an approved hunter education program before being eligible to hunt in Mississippi. Hunters must be at least 10 years of age to get certified.

Youth hunters between the ages of 12 and 15 without a Hunter Education Certificate still have the opportunity to hunt, but they must be supervised by a licensed adult who is 21 years of age or older. 

Photo of a Mississippi youth squirrel hunter and his mentor.

Mississippi Youth Hunting Opportunities

NOTE: For the purpose of all the youth hunting seasons and special opportunties discussed below, Mississippi considers a youth as someone who has NOT reached their 16th birthday.

Youth Deer Season

The MDWFP offers a long youth deer season across the state. You can see the dates and harvest requirements below by deer unit

Northeast, North Central, Delta, East Central, Southwest Deer Management Units

November 5-18, 2022 | Either sex on private and authorized state and federal lands.

November 19, 2022 – January 31, 2023 | Either sex on private lands. On open public lands, youth must follow legal deer criteria.

Southeast Deer Management Unit 

November 5-18, 2022 | Either sex on private and authorized state and federal lands.

November 19, 2022 – February 15, 2023 | Either sex on private lands. On open public lands, youth must follow legal deer criteria.

Photo of a youth hunter with a big gobbler taken during a youth turkey hunt.

Mississippi Youth Turkey Season

In a similar fashion as deer season, Mississippi gives youth turkey hunters a jump on the spring turkey season. The youth turkey season takes place the seven days preceding the statewide spring turkey season. For 2023, those dates are listed below.

Youth Turkey Season Dates: March 8-14, 2023

Youth Squirrel Hunting

Youth Squirrel Season Dates: September 24-30, 2022

The season is open on private lands and authorized state and federal lands only in those areas open for squirrel hunting. The daily bag limit is 8.

Youth Waterfowl Season

Youth Waterfowl Days: February 4-5, 2023

The daily bag limit and possession limit are the same as the regular waterfowl season.

Summary

The future of Mississippi’s hunting heritage lies in the hands of our youth. It is our responsibility to introduce them to hunting, get them in the field as much as possible, and to teach them woodsmanship and proper hunting ethics. 

Make it a goal to find a local youth this fall who wants to try hunting, and be a mentor to them. That may be your own child, grandchild, or nephew, or it may be a neighbor or coworker’s child.

Regardless of who it is, taken them hunting and give them the same opportunity to develop that passion that you were given. When they pull the trigger on their first deer, turkey, or other game animal, and you see that excitement in their eyes, you’ll be glad you made the effort!

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