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Youth Hunting in Mississippi

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Mississippi Game Warden Detrimental to the YOUTH of our Sport of HUNTING!

Thanksgiving weekend for our family has been a family tradition for over the past fifteen years. We load up the truck and head to our hunting camp in Mississippi to hunt for the holidays. This past Thanksgiving was definitely one to remember.
My middle son, who is eighteen, decided, after harvesting a nice seven point on Wednesday, that he would take his 13 yr. old sister on Thanksgiving morning. They set up in a box stand on our private lease near Brookhaven, Mississippi and settled in for what was going to be an awesome morning hunt. My son was going to film the hunt and was armed with only the video camera and my daughter had her youth model .243 with about an inch cut off of the stock.
Well, everything was in place and perfect, Except, at around 6:45 a Mississippi game warden came walking down the food plot and told them to exit the stand. My two children began packing up the camera and unloading the gun to exit the stand when they heard someone pulling on the door of the stand. Well, evidently, they werenít exiting FAST enough for this game warden. My son unlatched the door and when he opened it, the warden began his interrogation of my two children. He first wanted to know how many guns were in the stand and my son explained to him that there was only one and that he had a camera. The warden then assumed that my thirteen yr. old daughter was my sonís girlfriend, as he demanded for my son and his ďgirlfriendĒ to exit the stand immediately. My daughter, not knowing what was going on, was extremely afraid and upset with this wardenís accusations and tone.
He then asked my son if he had put corn out on the plot. He said No, but the game warden insisted that he did. The warden then made my two children wait while he searched the entire area around the plot and found an area where someone had put some corn out previously and started kicking the dirt up and uncovering the old corn that had began to sprout. Keep in mind that we hunt a lease with 30 members and the food plots are first come, first served. There was no way for my son to know if someone else had placed corn on the food plot. All he knew was that he didnít do it!
The warden then became even harsher and started accusing them of feeding, baiting and starting spouting off about all types of fines and laws. My daughter at this time is starting to get extremely upset and nervous not knowing why or how they are getting in trouble. My son tried to explain to him that he was in from college for the holidays and hadnít put out any corn, but the warden insisted that he had.
My son then phoned me, as I was hunting in a separate part of our lease, to let me know that the game warden was there and I instructed him to tell the warden I was on my way. The warden then wrote him two tickets. One for ďimproper supplemental feedingĒ which, when calling in to the office in Jackson, found out that itís a fine of $611.00. He also wrote him a ticket for not having his hunting license on his person. My son tried to explain to him that he didnít think he needed it due to the fact that he was not hunting, but that it was at our camp not only five minutes away. The officer refused to listen or follow him to the camp to verify the license, but told him to just call the license number in, and they would delete one of the tickets.
Before I could get to my children, the warden, along with his counterpart that drove up when my children reached the truck, now making it seem that they were in even BIGGER Trouble, both departed before I could even talk to him or his partner to see what the situation was.
Both of my children were very upset and distraught when they returned to the camp. My 13 yr. old daughter was in tears because of the horrible treatment they received from this so-called ďlaw enforcementĒ officer. She told me that she NEVER wants to hunt again because of this. She had a problem with trying to understand why they received tickets and they didnít do anything wrong!
The state of Mississippi needs to be very careful who they hand out badges to because when they are in the hands of a person like this officer, they can be very detrimental to the very sport that we are trying to promote and protect.
In this day and time when our sport is dying rapidly, trying to get children involved should be our FIRST priority! We need, as responsible adults, parents, AND law officers, understand that children, especially thirteen year old girls, are the FUTURE of our sport and handle them with RESPECT and TACT and neither of these were used in this incident.
Iím not sure if this game warden has a daughter, but I wonder what he would have thought if his daughter would have been treated like this!
Not to mention the fact that my son, a financially struggling college student visiting for the holidays, is now faced with paying a fine of$611.00 for doing something that he didnít do! He had no idea that this plot was fed or had been fed. He was merely taking his baby sister out for a hunt on Thanksgiving morning!
I feel personally, that the state of Mississippi needs to revisit their laws and the enforcement of the feeding/baiting issues. These laws are full of loopholes and grey areas that can only lead to confusion, but Iím quite sure, they generate a large amount of funds for the state, based on the amount of the ticket my son is faced with. Not to mention, the state of Mississippi allows a licensed hunter to kill 7 deer per year, three legal bucks and four doe, if you hunt with the muzzle loader or bow.
This evidently means that there is a pretty big surplus of deer in the state. What difference does it make if those seven deer are killed on a food plot, eating acorns under an oak tree, or under a feeder full of corn? You can still only kill your allotted limit! Maybe we need to enforce more strictly the number of deer killed with some type of tagging system instead of if they are killed on a food plot or under a corn feeder.
My family and I have been hunting in the state of Mississippi for seventeen years now and have NEVER had any issues with the game wardens till now. We have even solicited their help when we had poachers on our lease and assisted with the capture of these folks. I hope that this is an isolated incident, but from what Iím hearing from the hunting community, itís been rampant across the state since the new feeding laws are being enforced.
I understand that this is a time in our country of tight budgets and financial shortfalls, but Letís Not sacrifice the Youth and Future of our sport merely to write a ticket to boost the economy of the state of Mississippi! It also seems pretty funny that the fact that my truck, being used by my son, had a LOUISIANA license plate on it and there were other hunters along the same road with Mississippi tags and didnít even get checked for a license! Sounds like Non-Resident Profiling maybe???
Being an out of state hunter, Iíve been buying these outrageous licenses year after year, along with paying extremely high lease fees, buying seeds, fertilizer, tractor parts, groceries, fuel, dine in the local restaurants, and all the other things that we add to the economy of Mississippi during the hunting season, and I feel that we do our part and donít need to be targeted by the game wardens and having my children humiliated for the sake of a dollar.
We need to come together as a hunting Community and realize that if we donít stick together and see that our children are the future of this sport, then we may not have this opportunity in the future.

A Concerned and Extremely Upset Louisiana Non-Resident Hunter in Mississippi
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'Swing Low Sweet Chariot'
...the only way these two 'departments' complete is to see who can 'out skin' each others 'pawns' the most...yet,a lot of their 'brass' do 'socialize' w/ours...???

P/S...read in newspaper last month where both States were on the bottom list of education,health and 'management'...also both seem to be a Mecca for part-time politicians ???...(there is nutt'n like putting some newspaper editorials in a real nice frame and getting permission to hang'n it on a wall of a business place...I think our Chinese Cajun Cowboy had a couple of'em hang'n up ???...cheers ???

P/S...had one that told me he loves to see us 'vent'...it's the 'quite one's' 'dat bugg's him ???...cheers
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Wardens
There are a few good wardens out there, but for the most part, the majority are like the ones you mentioned. The DWF in most states, including LA and MS, are rife with anti-hunters. Most game wardens will flat out admit, they don't hunt, they hunt hunters.
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Non - Resident
Thats why I quit hunting in Miss.
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Bad deal
So sorry to hear about this. Something like this should never happen. I wouldn't be paying that fine either. Your son wasn't even hunting so they should throw it out just on that alone.

Should have turned that camera on! Do you have any footage taken that day which shows that the daughter was the one hunting. A video shot that shows the gun?

Should be able to prove that the ticket should have gone to the daughter and those charges would have to be dropped. Fight it!
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sorry to hear
my son brought a friend up to our lease a while back and he had just turned 16 ( i didnt no) and game wardens aproached him in the stand also he called me and iwent meet him and he was issued a ticket well we had to call his father and when they went to court after traveling from louisiana to jackson the warden wasnt present so the judge told them they would have to come back at another date well with that said they never returned back and come to find out the ticket was never even turned in. said to say they were gonna go pay their fine and didnt have any issues with the ticket but were expected to drive back and the father to miss work again to go on a later date. sounds like they shouldnt bother the kids and focus on their own citizens who are outlawing and tresspasing on what we spend our good hard earned money on, and trust more mississippi citizens trespass and outlaw on what we lease than people think.
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typical
This is just a typical badge power trip! Sorry this happened to your kids,Id be pretty pissed and would definitly fight that ticket!
A few years ago we had some new rookie game warden runnin around tryin to make a name for himself.He even messed with a buddy of mines girlfriend while she was in a stand(alone),he even frisked her!Needless to say they transferred him real quick before they found him floatin!
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Mississippi Hunting
well i have been hunting in mississippi for about 15 years and played by misissippi rules. but the feeding/baiting thing is a joke. it should be feed or no feed no exceptions. also non residents not able to shoot does is a big topic at the lease i am in especially when i pay $425 a year for a license and a resident $35. the game wardens regularly stops by and shoots the bull telling us about going hunting for corn in food plots around our lease. i think if enough people will give up a season or two not to hunt or pay leases in mississippi and let them see just how much non residents put into their economy they will think twice how they look at non residents. if enough people will stand together and show that the revenue from just the licenses will put a dent in their budget they my do something about it. WE NEED TO STAND TOGETHER AS A GROUP NOT INDIVIDUAL!!
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Wardens
I've been hunting sw miss since 1997 and this yr has been unbelievable with the game wardens checking for corn,especially non-residents.WHATS THE DEAL.The week of Thanksgiving they had 4 wardens check a friend of mine on his own 300acre farm that manages the herd and only shoots mature bucks and limited does as per biologists requests.They showed up at 4:45pm Fri on 4wheelers and ruined all of their hunts and then last weekend in Liberty,another friend had a warden come knock on his box stand and check him and used his glasses to check plot for corn trying to be quiet so he didn't ruin his hunt that he already did and proseeds to tell him that he ran his (Louisiana Plate )and it cam back as a company truck and he owns the company and then left.WTF WTF.
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Messed UP
I am from Louisiana, hunt in Liberty,MS and, and own a house in Meadville,MS and have never experienced what I did up until a couple weeks ago. It was Saturday evening at about 4:30 when I heard something like pecking on the legs of my stand. I kind of shook the stand slightly to move away whatever it was. That didn't work. About 10 seconds later that sound was now knocking on my door about 10' off the ground. I opened the door to see a mississippi game warden. He told me he was back here because he ran the plate on my truck and it came back a company truck. Yes it is a company truck, and it is my company. He saw I had a feeder down the plot about 200 yards, but sorry its been empty for years. This whole ordeal took abou 15 minutes. It was 4:45 when he decided to get off my ladder. There was no ticket issued but, thanks for screwing up my hunt. Oh one more thing next time you want to mess someone's hunt up make sure you have your hunters orange on(This guy only had a half orange hat). I did notice some old 4 wheeler tracks on my lease, and I do not ride my bike on there. So he must have road my lease earlier that week looking around. If you were looking for corn you did not find any. The law for corn is stupid by the way.
I'm not going to get into detail with this, but what I would like to say is Louisiana hunters spend bunches of money in Mississippi. I dont no an exact figure but im sure its more than anyone could imagine. We have to have a $400.00 license and still can't shoot a doe in the national forest, we buy there gas, groceries, land, pay tax bills, lease property, get our deer processed, and im sure i'm missing some things. So go find the real outlaws that give deer hunting a bad name, and leave us the ---- alone!
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Our State is Worst
I read your long text Duddy. I know what your kids experienced. I spent 10 years doing that job in LA, and all I can say is we are worst. You will never fix it either. It is too strong, and the connections go to high up. I wouldn't join that clique which is why I own my own business now and am laughing at the sheep agents who are still stuck with the puppet strings. What a shame. Just so you know, the standard procedure is to visit suspected food plots at midnight with night vision and collect samples of bait for evidence. Strict adherence to chain of custody of the bait, night-time photos, and enough credible agent witnesses are the norm. They know about flash cameras and know how to delete their night visits from the sd card. Find out what member of your club put corn out and kick him out. No himm hawwing around, just do it. Then take care of the nightly visits too.

Example, the 1992 High Point dove bait case, they went in at midnight from the ICWW with boats and walked in to obtain the bait samples.
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hunting
Sorry for your experience, there is no excuse for being treated that way, espially for a youngster.

As for as all of the complainers about Mississippi, The laws are made and that is how it is played out. Remember, whether you pay for expenses or not, you are still bound by the laws of the land. If you don't like those laws, then you should stay at home. If I was at your home, I would abide by the rules you set forth, or I shall stay away.
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Non-Resident profiling alive and well in Mississippi...
I was enjoying some late night Louisiana Sportsman Hunting reports when I came across this upsetting report, I've had several similar incidents in Mississippi...

We hunt public land below Natchez, Ms and are REGULARLY harassed by Federal Game Wardens AND local Wildlife and Fisheries agents!?! Their favorite scenario is to visit when they see you after your morning hunt. It's starts with a request for your $430 hunting license AND your driver's license. After verifying that the license belongs to you they run your driver's license for attachments. Next is a search of the truck, inside and out. Next, you get threatened that you're going to jail IF any of your guns are loaded. After verifying the guns are unloaded, you're asked where's the corn?!? Since there's no corn in the truck, the next question is exactly where are you hunting so that he can walk to your area and scour it for any type of illegal feed. If any sign of blood is found in your truck bed, your in for more interrogation... Next, your asked how many deer have you killed so far this season? Your answer determines whether you'll be questioned further on this subject.

My cousin quit hunting Mississippi this year, he said he'd rather hunt public land in Louisiana rather than run the gauntlet in Mississippi!?!

Neither my son OR daughter will come hunting with me because each has witnessed these checks for themselves.

I'm puzzled at the hatred that the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Game Wardens have for Louisiana Non-Residents!!! They search for corn like meth addicts and issue citations like candy. What makes this so insane is that every store in Mississippi has corn available on pallets. I have friends, Mississippi friends, who ALL have corn feeders out and they NEVER get cited!?!

What's even worse is the judges are drooling to enforce, and collect, fines.

I love Mississippi and the variety of wildlife, but don't appreciate hunting alone simply because people are sick and tired of harassment by Game Wardens...
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Mississippi Blues
I've been hunting Ms. for the last forty years. I started out on public land, then hunted in a few clubs, and now have my own place. Ms. game agents are predictable. They like to frequent large clubs made up of nonresidents; they can check a lot of people in a short time and don't have to ticket relatives, friends, or neighbors. They like to frequent the public lands. There are those there that don't seem to know the game laws. Backwoodhunter is absolutely right; you've got to LEARN and OBEY the regs. The baiting regs. are complicated and can easily be unintentionally violated resulting in a class 2 violation that ranges from $100 to $500 dollars.
Duddy, I hope your daughter continues to hunt.
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do yourself a big favor
Do yourself a big favor to anyone that does in Louisiana or Mississippi. Stop putting out corn, stop hunting over corn. Corn isn't free and you will save a few dollars by stopping. If you hunt in Mississippi then you might save yourself a big fine as well.

Start hunting the deer the old fashioned way. The aCORN trees are natural feeders.

But more impressively is hunting the bedroom is more productive especially on big bucks than hunting the kitchen. Deer feed at night and sleep during the day for the most part. So hunt them where they are not where you would like them to be.

Less money means more and bigger bucks!
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The Solution
That's a very good point, Mr. Guerin. One could feed all summer, if they wish, then pull the feeders out for the season. You would still have the deer in the area but remove the possibility of a fine. Also, it doesn't hurt to be courteous to the agent should you get a visit. It may make the difference between just getting a warning rather than a ticket. Good luck.
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a little history
I am sorry to here what happen to your children. This new baiting law is a joke. The Warden wrote the ticket because pelletized feed was to be used during that date.It did not matter how old the corn was on that date. There is always two sides to each story. MS reisdents recieved tickets for the same thing during those dates and in the same area. People in LA need to understand that when it comes to Deer hunting, MS residents do not have a high reguard for people from LA. This stems from years of abuse that MS residents have had to put up with from LA hunters. I am not trying upset anyone , just trying to help you understand. As far as the money(lic,leases,gas food), MS residents dont care if you dont come back. They would rather that you didnt cause they would get your lease. As far as the high licenses, that came about because the two states got into argument over license fees so they both raised thier prices. On shooting does on public land. That law came about because La hunters were coming to MS on doe days about 30 years ago shooting anything with hair on it and as many as they could shoot.The law states that you must check out where you are hunting before you hunt it,and that ignorance is not a defense. Thats how late Sheriff Harry Lee got busted in MS.
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jonnyappleseed
Now you dont really believe old Harry was ignorant to what he was huntin over do you?? I also dont agree with ms hunters no caring if we dont come back.They need our money,period!! My neighbor and I got out of our lease in Meridian and they are still begging us to come back! The economys gettin too bad for those boys to keep all that leased land and have people dropping out on em!
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johnyappelseed
well not to make an issue but i would have to disagree about a few things you wrote from experience hunting clubs and my own leases in mississippi. first i have not hunted anywhere yet in mississippi from columbia to utica that the land owners would only lease to out of state residents due to us being more respectful to them and their property. im not saying it is like this everywhere but even my current land owner goes out of his way for me due to my family and friend never once hurt his property and we keep our camp area extremely clean. we sat down and talekd over a few beers one afternoon and he said he would never lease to a mississippi resident again due to they would leave trash in the woods and have actually cut trees down without asking to burn and left the camp area messy, they even killed one of his cows for meat int he freezer. i have at least 4 friends who lease land from land owners and they have been told the same thing that mississippi residents dont appreciate or respect it like we do. like i said im not trying to argue just pass on what my friends and myself have been told.
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Year long fishing.
Yes, those $400+ nonresident fees vs. a $35 fee for a resident seems a bit out of balance. Does La. charge that much for nonresident hunting? How about great fishing? Maybe we should charge $400+ for a nonresident fishing license. We've got probably the world's best estuary fishing and you can do all year long, not just a few months like the hunting. Sounds like something to consider.
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