Hunting season comes to an early end along MS River due to flooding

Flooding at the Mississippi River is affecting hunters as well as wildlife.

Hunting season closures

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Heavy rainfall has once again caused flooding along the Mississippi river.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (MDWFP) has closed all hunting except for waterfowl in certain areas along the river.

We spoke to some local hunters to see how these closures are affecting them.

Jayme Ray of Van’s Deer Processing says, “we have seen several customers that on Thursday the game and fish cut off their season so they won’t be hunting this year anymore.”

Ray says when waters rise, it takes a certain amount of customers out of the woods.

“We have a customer that got stuck over the weekend and was not able to leave," said Ray.

MDWFP enforced its law this past week to protect wildlife and residents being affected by rising waters. The floods forced hunters to put down their guns earlier than expected.

Flooding causes hunting closures (SOURCE: WLBT)
Flooding causes hunting closures (SOURCE: WLBT)

We spoke to one local hunter, Marty Ballard, who told us as a hunter he wishes he could finish the season. As a sportsman, he understands that the closures are in place for one good reason.

“The biggest thing is the stress it puts on the animals. We hate that. They have no place to go," said Ballard.

Ballard, who has had his own deer camp for 5 years, says the closure affects him in more than one way.

“We put a lot of time and money into food plots and the flood gets it and takes it. But again, it is what it is and it happens more than it used to and it still affects a lot of people.”

MDWFP will continue its increased law enforcement presence in the affected areas to patrol the levees, promote public safety for residents affected by the rising waters, and enforce the wildlife laws that protect animals affected by flooding. They want to remind hunters that high water has also affected areas along the Pascagoula and Pearl rivers and it is unlawful to hunt, trap, take, frighten, or kill game or fur-bearing animals forced out of their natural habitat by high water.

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