By Bill Hamrick and Chad M. Dacus
MSU Extension Service
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Some hunters complain about a lack of deer every year, but the concerns this season seem to be more widespread. Since early January, radio programs, newspapers and online forums have featured much discussion about hunters statewide seeing and harvesting fewer deer during the 2016-17 season.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Landowners who want to improve an existing pond or build a new one can find guidance in upcoming educational workshops.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks have teamed up to offer at least seven pond management workshops this year. The short sessions will be held throughout Mississippi, so chances are good there will be one near you.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Winter and spring weather in Mississippi is a rollercoaster ride. Some nights are below freezing, while others feel like midsummer. With the warmer, sunnier weather, people begin to pay more attention to their ponds.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With spring around the corner, gardeners and farmers are beginning to plan for the upcoming planting and growing seasons.
One important way to ensure success during the Mississippi growing season is to have a plan for irrigation. Water keeps plants alive during the hot Mississippi summers, so irrigation is often vital during times of limited rainfall.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The conclusion of deer season does not mean the end of Mississippi hunting adventures for the year. It is just time to swap out gear and head back to the woods.
February brings small game hunting and other new, exciting opportunities to connect with your primitive side. Mississippi squirrel and rabbit season extends to the last day of February. It is a chance to scout for signs of turkey and look for shed antlers, but most of all, it is an excellent way to introduce kids to the outdoors.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With deer season over, many outdoor enthusiasts are looking forward to the next hunting opportunity: turkey season.
Most hunters know about planting food plots to add nutrition for deer on their property, but they may not fully understand the habitat needs of turkeys. Habitat requirements for turkeys differ each season of the year. As a result, knowing what these seasonal needs are and being able to identify habitat features that best meet these needs are essential for sustainable turkey populations.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Every waterfowl hunter anticipates the cooperation of winter weather to turn the skies black with incoming ducks and geese as migratory journeys deliver the birds to decoy-laden waters in the South.
Southern hunters frequently watch the forecast in hopes that winter weather up North will finally have the ducks packing up and heading our way.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Few things are as stirring as the sight of long strings of high-altitude, migrating geese. Soft calls from on high beckon us to stop and marvel at their flight, their apparent freedom and their single-minded purpose to reach their winter home.
Geese are members of a large group of birds known as waterfowl. These large-bodied birds depend on wetlands, lakes and other watery habitats. Ducks and swans are also members of this group. Webbed feet, flattened bills and waterproof feathers are characteristics shared by most waterfowl.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Burn bans such as the ones recently imposed in Mississippi are not unusual, especially in the fall when dry leaves are abundant.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission will issue a burn ban, typically at the request of a county board of supervisors. Once approved, the ban prohibits all outdoor burning until local authorities deem that conditions have improved enough to allow safe and responsible burning.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- While hunting on public land can be difficult and overwhelming at times, just knowing a few tips can help increase your success.
There are plenty of places throughout Mississippi to get a taste of some of the finest hunting anywhere in the country. Residents in the southeast part of our state enjoy hunting opportunities in the DeSoto National Forest. This semicoastal national forest provides just over 500,000 acres of open-canopy pine forest habitat.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Woodsmanship and stewardship are two characteristics of all successful deer hunters as they track down injured deer.
The initial impulse most hunters have after taking a shot is to bail out of the stand and immediately look for their target. Depending on where the animal was hit, this hasty action could be a terrible mistake. Attempting to trail a deer prematurely can spook the deer even more and make locating it more difficult, if not impossible.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For many Mississippians, cold and wet conditions make this the least likely time of year to venture outside, but an outdoors lover knows it just takes a little preparation and a positive attitude to hit the trail and enjoy viewing wildlife.Having grown up in a climate much colder than Mississippi's, I learned a valuable skill to help cope with unpleasantly cold weather: layering clothing.
Before I venture outside, warm socks are my first priority. I prefer wool blends with mostly wool for two reasons: comfort and warmth.
RAYMOND, Miss.--Farmers and other birds hate them, but hunters love crows for the productive, fast-paced hunts they can provide.
The black clouds of birds can do a number on a pecan orchard in a short amount of time. Similarly, they are known to dig up seeds in corn, peanut and other row crop fields. That is why farmers hate them.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The best fishing holes may begin with good fish genetics, but they continue with proper pond management.
Since the early days of farm pond management, MSU Extension Service specialists have made fish stocking recommendations based on the idea that if it's set up right in the beginning, the pond will provide quality fishing opportunities for decades to come. I have told many landowners there's no need to restock bass or bream unless there is a fish kill or someone wants to intentionally start over by draining or poisoning the pond.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cooler weather brings a great time to get outside, set up a hammock and "just hang" between two trees.
When I am outdoors, one of my favorite ways to enjoy the wildlife and wild places in our state -- other than when I am hunting or fishing -- is to spend time in my hammock. Whether I relax in it while hiking or sleep in it while backpacking, lying in a hammock allows me to be comfortable while enjoying in the great outdoors.