Mississippi Hunting License Requirements
Hunter Education and License Issuance
In Mississippi, a mandatory hunter education course is crucial for all individuals born on or after January 1, 1972, who wish to procure a hunting license. This course must be sanctioned by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Without passing this course, purchasing a hunting license is legally impermissible, and any obtained through fraudulent methods will be revoked. Providing evidence of course completion is non-negotiable prior to license issuance, as mandated by MS. Code 49-7-20.
Resident Hunting License Eligibility
Mississippi residents between the ages of 16 and 64 need a hunting license, unless they are exempt because the land they hunt on is in their name. Seniors aged 65 and over, as well as those in categories listed under exemptions, though not needing a license, must carry documentation verifying their exemption status while hunting. These exemption details are further outlined in MS. Code 49-7-5.
For non-residents, the rules are clear-cut: all individuals over the age of 16 must secure a non-resident hunting license to legally hunt within state boundaries, with a clear exception made for minors under 16.
Exemptions from Licensing
There's a bracket of residents who can skip the licensing process. This includes individuals who are visually impaired, paraplegic, have amputations of multiple limbs, or are classified as totally disabled by the Social Security or Veterans Administration. Nevertheless, carrying proof of the exemption qualifiers is a must when hunting or fishing, and all previously issued disability licenses are considered void as per MS. Code 49-7-5 and 49-7-9.
Defining Mississippi Residency
Mississippi residency is clearly defined in section 49-7-3 of the Mississippi Code. A person's primary home is their domicile, a status that your driver's license state can infer. Thus, residents holding a Mississippi driver's license are eligible for a resident hunting license. Conversely, those with out-of-state licenses are relegated to obtaining a non-resident license.
Individuals lacking a driver's license from any state can still attain a resident hunting license if Mississippi is their principal home, verified potentially by a state income tax return or homestead exemption receipt, although these aren't absolute in proving domicile.
Special Circumstances for Resident License
Certain non-domiciled individuals may still be eligible for a resident hunting license. If you attend a Mississippi college or university or are an active-duty member of the Armed Forces stationed in Mississippi, you can procure a resident license, given the presentation of proper identification.
Evidence of Age for Licensing
To affirm one's age for licensure, acceptable documents include a valid driver's license or a birth certificate copy.
Lifetime License Options in Mississippi
Mississippi offers distinct Lifetime License categories, including a Lifetime Sportsman license, requiring 18 months of Mississippi residency proof. Non-Resident Mississippi Natives can also apply with proof of being born in the state or having parents residing in Mississippi at the time of their birth. For the Lifetime Sportsman MIL category, documentation of a parent’s Mississippi nativity and their active military status at the applicant's birth time is mandatory.