(Information from Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks)
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks formally dedicated its newest wildlife management area (WMA) today. The Phil Bryant Wildlife Management Area is a matrix of bayous, cypress sloughs, and well-managed bottomland hardwoods in Warren and Issaquena Counties.
“I am humbled and honored with the naming of this amazing Wildlife Management Area. I will continue to do all in my power to earn this distinction. It will be dedicated, if not in name, in spirit to the Mississippi outdoorsmen and women who will forever enjoy its beauty and harvest,” said Governor Phil Bryant.
Establishing the nearly 18,000 acres as a WMA, MDWFP will be maintaining an intact bottomland hardwood forest in perpetuity for the benefit of many wildlife species. Teddy Roosevelt harvested a black bear in this area. This WMA will be vital in maintaining a long legacy of outdoor recreation for sportsmen and women. Thus, as with hunters in the past, we hope you will also traverse these woodlands and experience the abundance of the Mississippi Delta. Additionally, it will offer a unique hunting experience.
“We are applying a new concept with the Phil Bryant WMA by allowing group hunts in a primitive setting,” said MDWFP Executive Director Dr. Sam Polles. “It is divided into four tracts that offer a variety of hunting opportunities. This is a big deal and it would not be possible without the tireless efforts of our partners.”
In 2018, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, purchased about 18,000 acres in Issaquena and Warren counties from Anderson-Tully Company (ATCO). The land, which is managed by MDWFP, becomes the newest Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and has been named after Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.
“The Nature Conservancy in Mississippi is proud to partner with the state in bringing this iconic piece of the Delta to the people of Mississippi,” said Nature Conservancy in Mississippi Associate Director Alex LIttleton. “This property has something for everyone as families, hunters, and others who want to enjoy the experience of stepping back in time to see the scenery of the Mississippi River bottoms. This is an incredible accomplishment for conservation in our great state.”
The Phil Bryant WMA is the 55th managed by MDWFP. The WMAs make up more than 700,000 acres of land in all four corners of the state.
“Growing up on Eagle Lake, I immediately recognized the potential of these thousands of acres of unique bottomland hardwood property. Generations of Mississippians will create memories here. A fitting legacy for Governor Bryant, the Nature Conservancy, the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and all involved, said Secretary of State/Lt. Governor-elect Delbert Hosemann.”
When most Mississippians think of our WMAs, they think of them primarily as public hunting areas. In fact, public hunting does constitute the largest single use of WMAs. Phil Bryant WMA will offer an array of recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women. It has been divided into four units based on accessibility and geographical features (Buck Bayou, Ten Point, Goose Lake, and Backwoods). For hunters, there will be unique opportunities not previously offered on other WMAs.
GROUP DRAW HUNTS
From October–January, groups of hunters (such as fathers and sons) will be drawn for a specific hunting unit. For five days, they can camp and hunt any game species that are in season.
YOUTH AND HANDICAPPED HUNT
From Dec. 26–Jan. 12 on the Ten Point Unit, draw hunts will be conducted for youth and handicapped hunters. This hunt will be during the peak of the rut and provide an exciting hunting opportunity.
The Buck Bayou Unit will be included in the Mahannah WMA draw hunt system. These areas are a combination of moist soil impoundments and flooded timber, providing a quality waterfowl hunting experience. Other WMA units will offer open waterfowl hunting on specific days.
ARCHERY ONLY UNIT
The Goose Lake Unit, accessible only by boat or foot, will have archery-only draw hunts throughout the season. This unit offers a unique hunting experience for those wanting to get off the beaten path.
Proposed Hunt Plan
- Four sub-units
- Group hunting and camping
- Draw a party of four per hunt (16 hunters total per hunt)
- Wednesday through Sunday
- Every other week from October 1 through January 14
- Group bag limit of four legal bucks and eight antlerless deer
Deer draw hunts (same as Mahannah WMA)
- October: archery only
- November and December: gun
- January 1 through 14: open archery hunting
- 41 units on Mahannah and Buck Bayou
- Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
Small game season (same as Mahannah WMA)
Deer draw hunts
- Thursday through Sunday
- October and November: archery
- December: gun
- Youth/physically challenged only: December 26 through January 14
Waterfowl and small game days with no deer hunting
- (Monday through Wednesday)
Boating or walk-in access only
Deer draw hunts
- Thursday through Sunday
- October 1 through January 14: archery
Waterfowl and small game: Monday through Wednesday