Hunting and fishing are key parts of our American way of life, and everyone has a right to enjoy both whether it be for recreation, or for feeding one’s family. With that said, there are strict rules that govern this process and failing to adhere to these rules can result in serious legal consequences.
A hunting or fishing violation is not exactly capital murder, but there can be repercussions if you ignore state regulations. This can potentially include prison time.
Mississippi’s hunting and fishing regulations are provided through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).
It is wise to familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure you are following all state rules and avoiding legal consequences.
What are the Main Rules for Hunting and Fishing in Mississippi?
A License: Everyone aged 16-64 must obtain a hunting license, unless you are hunting on lands titled to your name. Above the age of 64, you do not need a license, but you do need to carry your documentation with you at all times.
Education: Everyone born after January 1, 1972, must complete a hunter education course regulated by the MDWFP.
Hunt in a legal manner: There are sets of rules laid out by the MDWFP for the types of weapons you can use, where you can hunt, when you can hunt, and which species you can hunt.
What are the Most Common Hunting and Fishing Violations?
There are many different ways to violate the state of Mississippi’s hunting and fishing regulations. The most common violations include:
Poaching: Poaching can be a serious crime and can occur in various ways. For example, hunting endangered wildlife, hunting certain game during the wrong time of year, or hunting on public or private land without permission can result in a poaching charge.
Unlawful firearms: Between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise, legal weapons for hunting are restricted to handguns or rifles using no larger than .22 standard rim-fire cartridges and shotguns no larger than No. 6. If you are hunting migratory birds, your shotgun has to be “plugged” so that it can only hold three shells.
Hunting from roads, vehicles, or boats: Hunters are not allowed to hunt from a street, public road, public highway, levee, or certain railroads.
Unlawful use of dogs: There are certain rules for how you use your dog, as well. For example, it is illegal to hunt turkeys with dogs. It is also illegal to use dogs in areas where turkey season is open unless it’s in a permitted enclosure.
What are the Punishments for These Crimes?
The punishments for hunting and fishing violations can vary. You can expect to pay small fines of a few hundred dollars, large fines in the tens of thousands of dollars, or small amounts of jail time. It all depends on what type of violation was committed.
Have you been accused of a hunting or fishing violation?
Vic Carmody Jr, P.A. at Mississippi Lawyers can help you defend yourself to minimize any potential legal consequences.