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Turkey Hunting in Mississippi




Wild Turkey Population


Turkey Subspecies

Estimated 65,399 turkey hunters

Number of Licenses Sold Annually

$60 (turkey hunter package; includes sportsman License and WMA user permit)

Cost of Resident License and Permit

$370 (nonresident turkey hunter package; includes all-game hunting, nonresident spring turkey permit and HIP)

Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Image: eastern_12_nation

Photo by Tom Reichner

Mississippi is a classic place to hunt Eastern turkeys. And unlike many of its neighbors, it's enjoyed a solid turkey population rebound the past few years. The state's 2023 harvest estimate — 36,400 — was the highest in 20 years, and biologists estimate the 2024 harvest might top that.

Southwestern Mississippi traditionally sees the biggest turkey numbers. The state also has decent public land hunting in its wildlife management areas, and a vast national forest system. Properties along the Mississippi River might hold the best turkey numbers, but most of that area is under private ownership.

Mississippi also has a no-jake rule. Only birds with 6-inch or longer beards are legal. And yes, even if a sharp-spurred, full-fan adult gobbler stepped up with a dinky beard it broke off in a turkey fight (spurs, after all, are the best age indicators), you'd have to let that bird walk.

Editor’s Note: Articles about public hunting are always popular with readers, but we’re public-land hunters, too, and we recognize that technology has made it more difficult than ever to keep a great hunting spot secret. With that in mind, we have made some edits to this piece to trim out specific mentions of some public tracts. The information is still out there and easy to find for anyone who wants to do the research, but we’ve decided that with a platform of our size, it’s best not to share all the secrets. — Team Realtree

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