Gun Drawing!

Our members have asked for it, so here it is! The SCI Mississippi Chapter is holding a drawing where the winner will have their choice between:

-A Ruger American Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor
-A Stoeger Uplander Side by Side Shotgun in .410
-A Glock Model 27


We are only selling 200 tickets at $20 each! Contact Bryan Carraway to get your tickets at carrawaybryan@gmail.com before they are all gone!

Monthly Updates from the World of Hunting and Conservation

Hunting and Conservation News

MDWFP to Host CWD Public Meetings


JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host public meetings to discuss proposed changes for the 2019 – 2020 deer hunting season in response to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The meetings will be held at 6 p.m. at the following locations:

May 7

Forrest County Mississippi State University Extension Office
952 Sullivan Drive
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
 

Presentations by MDWFP staff will be on the status of CWD and proposed regulation changes for next hunting season. Biologists and law enforcement officials will be available to answer questions.

For more information about Chronic Wasting Disease, or to report a sick animal, visit www.mdwfp.com/cwd

 

Springtime Means Snakes are More Active


April in Mississippi means spring is in the air. The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and snakes are becoming more active. So, if you are in the outdoors your chances of running into a snake have significantly increased because of snakes changing habitats from one season to another.  

Snakes changing habitats

During the winter months, snakes go through a long period of inactivity because of their cold-blooded nature. When snakes are inactive, it is because physical activity correlates to body temperature. Cold weather means less activity. While they are inactive, snakes will seek out dens, underground burrows, and sometimes they will even get into buildings until seasons change.

When spring finally arrives, often, you will find snakes basking in sunny areas. They need their body temperature to rise so they can be more active for finding mates, producing offspring but, most importantly, they need the energy to search for food, because most of them have not eaten anything all winter.

People should be aware of this activity and pay close attention to their surroundings if they want to avoid a surprising encounter with a snake. People who hunt and fish in the outdoors may have a greater chance of having a “run in” with a snake since they are more likely to visit prime snake habitat. Turkey hunters, in particular, should check thoroughly around their area before settling next to a tree stump or pile of brush before attempting to call a turkey. 

Suggestions for avoiding snake bites

Although snake bites are quite rare, leaving snakes alone and allowing them to go on their way is the best way to keep both you and the snake safe. Most snakebites occur when people try to move, kill or harass them. Mississippi is home to more than 50 species of snakes, but only six species are venomous. If you do not have a lot of experience with snakes, it is not always easy to distinguish venomous snakes from nonvenomous. Glaring distinguishing features such as eye shape or heat-sensitive pits are not easily recognizable from a distance. If you are close enough to see those variations you are probably too close to the snake. 

Consider the following to reduce your risk of being bitten.

  • When you are in areas where there may be snakes, wear long pants and/or shoes that protect your ankles.

  • Always look carefully where you are walking or placing your hands.

  • Always use a flashlight for activities after dark such as gathering firewood.

  • Choose a campsite that is away from woodpiles, cave entrances, swampy areas, or thick underbrush.

  • Use care when moving boats left on shore for several hours.

  • If you see a snake, carefully step away from it. Never attempt to capture or kill snakes.

  • Treat “dead” snakes as you would live snakes.

  • If you are attempting to identify a snake, make sure you are not within its striking distance, which is usually 2/3 of the snake’s body length.

  • Bring a companion when traveling in areas where there may be snakes.

  • Remember that venomous snakes can climb trees, can bite underwater, and may enter saltwater.

For more information on venomous snakes in Mississippi in visit https://www.mdwfp.com/media/news/education-outreach/venomous-snakes-of-mississippi/



News from SCI Headquarters
 

Flawed ‘Big 6’ Bill Passes Connecticut Assembly Committee

Legislators in the Connecticut Assembly—members of a joint committee—have approved Senate Bill 20 to ban the import, sale or even possession of African elephants, lions, leopards, black/white rhinos and giraffes.  The bill was introduced earlier this year by Senator Bob Duff (D), the majority leader in the Connecticut Senate.

The Joint Committee on Judiciary passed the bill April 22 by a vote of 31 to 5, with four members absent or not voting.  The bill is likely headed for consideration by another legislative committee. 

It is unlikely the bill’s drafters consulted with African wildlife managers or with United State Fish & Wildlife Service officials before introducing SB 20 because it will do nothing to protect wildlife and will only prohibit activity that conservation experts and biologists across Africa use as a tool for species recovery.

SB 20 ignores the benefits that American hunters, including many from Connecticut, bring to African wildlife.  At least two of the species targeted in SB 20 owe their recovery to hunting.   

In Africa in 1895, there were fewer than 100 white rhinos.  Today, according to the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), due to hunting programs, there are an estimated 20,000 white rhinos. 

Sustainable, regulated hunting programs are responsible for increasing the number of black rhinos from approximately 1,000 in the 1890s to more than 3,500 today.  The IUCN reports that importation restrictions on species targeted by SB 20 such as the African elephant, black rhino, white rhino and African lion "could likely cause serious declines of populations."  Nevertheless, the drafters of SB 20 aim to impose obstacles that are likely to undermine the conservation of these species.

Violations of the proposal would be considered a felony and subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to two years.  Sadly, Connecticut lawmakers are advancing solutions detrimental to African wildlife species and punishing law-abiding hunters in the process.

 

SCI President Babaz Responds To Anti-Hunting, Anti-Science Bill Introduced In U.S. House Of Representatives

Safari Club International President Paul Babaz today issued a statement that points out the lunacy of a bill that has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives that, if passed into law, would harm the very wildlife it purports to want to help – all in the name of vilifying hunters and hunting. President Babaz’ statement notes:

“As expected, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) has reintroduced an unserious wildlife bill designed to restrict importations from Africa in the highly mistaken belief that Washington, D.C. politicians and bureaucrats know best how to manage wildlife in range countries. The truth of the matter is they do not. It is African range countries that best know how to manage their wildlife populations.

“Rep. Grijalva’s legislation will no more protect wildlife in Africa than pigs will fly. In fact, targeting hunting or hunters will have the opposite effect and will lead to more species loss and more poaching. Sadly, this bill specifically targets the importation of species that have seen the greatest benefit from well-regulated hunting programs.

“Regulated trophy hunting helps wildlife and local economies, while attacks on hunting result in harm to the very animals that we all want to save. The evidence of this is clear and it is why many African and
Asian countries use hunting to conserve wildlife and some African countries are considering lifting their restrictions on hunting.

“Safari Club International and other wildlife conservation groups will not back down. SCI strongly opposes Rep. Grijalva’s blatant attack. Hunters are standing tall and are prepared to defend the basics of wildlife conservation science. We look ahead with great eagerness for any opportunity to defend our hunting heritage.

“It is interesting to note that support for Grijalva’s bill by his House colleagues has plummeted by half every time it has been introduced. Those willing to examine facts know what this bill is: a clueless, anti-science hack bill written to raise money from fringe, anti-hunting radicals.”
 

Senate Confirms Interior Secretary David Bernhardt

Following a full Senate vote, David Bernhardt, President Donald Trump’s selection for Interior Secretary, was confirmed today.

In a largely party line vote of 56 to 41, the Senate confirmation is the culmination of the Feb. 4 Presidential nomination.

“Safari Club International is pleased to congratulate Secretary Bernhardt on his Senate confirmation,” said SCI President Paul Babaz. “We have had the privilege of getting to know the Secretary through his work at the Interior Department and strongly support his continued efforts to open up America’s public lands to the sportsmen and women who love the outdoors.”

“I personally look forward to working with Secretary Bernhardt in my role as a member of the International Wildlife Conservation Council. SCI wishes him the best of luck and offers him our support as he takes the helm at the Interior Department,” Babaz concluded.

Bernhardt’s nomination garnered support from many sportsmen’s groups and key Congressional leaders who have worked with him throughout his career.

Upon learning of his nomination earlier this year, Representative Rob Bishop of Utah, the ranking GOP member of the House Natural Resources Committee said, "It's a brilliant move. No one is more experienced, and I look forward to working with him."

Make sure you like and follow our Facebook page for more updates.

Mississippi: CWD Regulations Adopted for 2018-2019 Hunting Season

Courtesy of Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

JACKSON – The Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, adopted regulations for the revised Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Zone for the 2018-2019 hunting season during the August 16, 2018 meeting held at J.P. Coleman State Park. Regulations were approved after the thirty day comment period and take effect immediately. The new zone includes portions of Issaquena, Sharkey, and Warren counties and is identified as all areas south of Highways 14 and 16, areas west of the Yazoo River, all portions of Warren County, and all areas east of the Mississippi River (see map).

The supplemental feeding ban and permitted hog trapping are lifted in Hinds, Claiborne, and Yazoo counties. Within the revised zone, supplemental feeding is banned and hog trapping must be permitted through Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. (MDWFP)  Also, no portions of cervid carcasses may be transported outside of zone. For products that may leave the CWD Management Zone see the 2018-2019 CWD Hunting Season Handout located on mdwfp.com/cwd.

MDWFP will host a public meeting to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) at Warren Central High School on Thursday, August 30 at 6 p.m.located in the Auditorium. Presentations by MDWFP staff will be on the status of CWD and planned monitoring activities for the 2018-2019 hunting season.  Representatives from MDWFP will be available to answer questions.

Those unable to attend can view the meeting via Facebook Live on the MDWFP Facebook Page. Viewers can ask questions in the comment box during the video.  

For more information about Chronic Wasting Disease, or to report a sick animal, visit www.mdwfp.com/cwd. Follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.

Youth Hunting

How to Get Your Kid Started Hunting in Mississippi

Getting your kid into hunting is a great idea, and Mississippi is a great place to do it. Not only do the rules, regulations and opportunities promote youth involvement, the fees and requirements are reasonable. Hunting is an excellent hobby for kids because it encourages exercise, enjoying the outdoors, quality interaction with friends and family, and respecting nature and its resources.

Many children of hunting parents will be interested in hunting from the get-go. Most kids can sense the enjoyment that their parents and older siblings get from hunting and will automatically want to be included. Because Mississippi does not have a minimum age requirement for kids to participate in hunts when under the supervision of a licensed adult 21 years or older, parents must decide when their kid is ready to start. This can be tricky. This article will discuss ways to prepare them for their first experiences and how to determine the timing for getting them started.

Pre-Hunting Preparations

Safety should be the primary concern when you are deciding when your kid should start hunting. Of course, it would be disappointing if you started them too soon or too intensely and they burnt out at a young age. However, that is not a big deal compared to what could be a tragic accident if safety rules are not followed.

A good way to teach your kid safety lessons is to have them shoot an air rifle, which will also help them develop some shooting skills. If they are able to handle the airgun safely and follow directions well, then you can start looking for other indications that they are ready to go along on a hunt.

Some other things to look for would be their physical stamina, whether they are patient enough for a short hunting trip and how interested they are in coming along. If you gauge them to be ready by those standards as well, you can start planning a first trip.

The First Hunt

While some states have an age minimum for hunting, Mississippi lets the parents or guardians decide when a kid is ready. Until they are the age of 16, a youth hunter can hunt under the supervision of a licensed adult 21 years or older. This rule offers great opportunity for the kids to be taught safety, ethics and hunting skills. Kids ages 12 to 16 can hunt alone if they have passed an approved hunter education course. Once a kid is over 16, they are required to have passed hunter safety to purchase the license needed to hunt.

Youth Hunting Opportunities

Mississippi offers dedicated youth hunting opportunities for deer, squirrel, turkeys and waterfowl. These seasons generally occur at a time when the kids have better odds of success and fight fewer crowds than when hunting during the general season. These seasons represent a great time to get your kid involved when they are likely to be successful and create positive first experiences.  Consult the annual regulations for dates and new opportunities.

Things To Remember

Whether it is mentors or adult supervision in the early license years, the requirement of hunting with an adult provides great opportunity to teach the child ethics, safety and hunting skills. Make sure that during these hunts questions are encouraged and a great amount of emphasis is put on safety and respect of both firearms and animals.

Some other things to consider on the early hunts are:

-          Focus on the available opportunities where lots of encounters are likely

-          Pick good weather days if possible

-          Make sure they are dressed to stay warm and dry

-          Bring lots of snacks

-          Do not force them to stay out once they are ready to be done

Conclusion

By following these tips and taking advantage of the opportunities that Mississippi offers, you should have a good chance of getting your kid to fall in love with hunting. If there is not an immediate interest, back off instead of adding more pressure, as they may come to enjoy hunting in later years. Make sure to savor the chances to be in the field with your young hunter and hopefully there will be many such trips over the years. 

2018 Banquet Tickets-On Sale Now!

Banquet time is here!  Please come out and join us at the Cathead Distillery in Downtown Jackson on Saturday, February 24, 2018.  Doors open at 5:00 pm, tickets are $75 per person and $125 per couple. Sponsor tables are $750. 

Beer is $1.00 and drinks are $2.00.

For tickets, please contact Bryan Caraway at 601-421-3947 or carrawaybryan@gmail.com  or Donnie Young at wdyoungconstruction@gmail.com or 601-941-9566.

For a look at some of the hunts, trips, guns and gear you can win, visit our Banquet page.

FOURTH ANNUAL MISSISSIPPI SCI WOUNDED VETERAN DEER HUNT

By Greg Duncan, SCI Mississippi Chapter

One of the major humanitarian outreach programs supported by Safari Club International is working with wounded veterans and Purple Heart recipients from all conflicts.  The Georgia and Mississippi Chapters of SCI, Mississippi Order of the Purple Heart, Bill Whitmire VFW Post 3936, and Cooper Yerger American Legion Post 28 joined forces and officially declared war on the whitetail deer in Clarksdale, Mississippi, December 1-3, 2017, at the Fourth Annual Mississippi SCI Wounded Veteran Deer Hunt. 

Nineteen Purple Heart recipients from Mississippi and Alabama enjoyed a weekend of entertainment and whitetail deer hunting. Purple Heart recipients are veterans who have truly affirmed their willingness to put their lives on the line for the sake of freedom.  Veterans from the Korean War, Vietnam War and the Middle East Wars participated in the hunt.

Nine private hunting clubs in the Coahoma and Bolivar Counties graciously opened their hunting gates, cabin doors and hearts to serve those who have so bravely and unselfishly have served our country. The clubs included:

            Bland Bayou Hunting Club

            Burke’s Hunting Club

            Coahoma County Conservation League

            Concordia Hunting Club

            Merigold Hunting Club

            Russell Farms

            Spradling Farms

            Ward Lake Hunting Club

            Watts Plantation

Sunny skies, mild temperatures and a full moon prevailed and provided the hunters a bountiful harvest.  Harvest results included 15 buck and 2 does. The largest buck was a beautiful 10-point which green scored 164”.  The buck was taken at Ward’s Lake Hunting Club.  The fortunate hunter was Cody Perkins of Meridian, MS.   Another fortunate hunter was Dennis Adams of Hernando, MS.  After missing a shot on a morning hunt, Dennis was fortunate to harvest the same missed beautiful 150”+ class buck a few hours later on the afternoon hunt.  The host camp was Watts Plantation. 

Over the course of 3 days, the veterans enjoyed good food, great music, outstanding hunting and hospitality at the hunting camps and prizes and awards provided my Coahoma and Bolivar County merchants and individuals.

Many merchants and volunteers made this event possible through the donation of their facilities, materials as well as their time.  These gifts were expressions of their gratitude to the veterans and active military personnel for their service. 

Groundwork is already in process to resume the Whitetail assault next year.  The hunt is always conducted the weekend closest to December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day.  Plans are already in progress for the 2018 event.

Project Help Needed: Wounded Veteran Hunt

Things are coming together for the Fourth Annual SCI Wounded Veteran Hunt to be held near Clarksdale in early December. We could really use your help to offset some of the costs associated with feeding and gearing up the hunters.

If you can make a cash donation (no amount is too small or too large!), or donate new or gently used items to give as prizes to the veterans, contact Brian Carraway at 601-421-3947 or carrawaybryan@gmail.com.

Thanks to you and our friends at the Georgia Chapter of SCI who make this special event possible.

https://www.scimississippi.com/projects/