2007 Regular Session
To: Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
By: Representative Robinson (84th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 49-7-31.5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW LANDOWNERS TO TAKE NUISANCE ANIMALS, ON PROPERTY OWNED OR LEASED BY THEM, WITH ANY WEAPON, WITH OR WITHOUT THE AID OF LIGHT WITH A PERMIT ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS; TO AUTHORIZE THE HUNTING OF NUISANCE ANIMALS WITH ELECTRONIC CALLS AND BAIT, SUBJECT TO CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS; TO EXEMPT THE LANDOWNERS FROM THE LICENSE REQUIREMENTS TO HUNT OR TRAP NUISANCE ANIMALS ON THEIR OWN PROPERTY; TO REQUIRE AGENTS OF LANDOWNERS HUNTING OR TRAPPING NUISANCE ANIMALS TO POSSESS A HUNTING OR TRAPPING LICENSE UNLESS OTHERWISE EXEMPT; TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSION ON WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS TO ESTABLISH THE RULES AND REGULATIONS ON NUISANCE ANIMALS; TO AUTHORIZE THE SALE OF THE MEAT AND HIDE OF NUISANCE ANIMALS; TO PROHIBIT THE TRAPPING AND RELEASE OF WILD HOGS IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS AND TO PRESCRIBE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS; TO REQUIRE THE WEARING OF HUNTER ORANGE WHEN HUNTING WILD HOGS DURING ANY OPEN GUN SEASON ON DEER; TO AMEND SECTION 49-7-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ADD FOX AND SKUNKS TO THE CLASS OF NUISANCE ANIMALS; TO AMEND SECTION 49-7-33, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 49-7-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-7-1. For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions and interpretations shall govern unless otherwise provided:
(a) The following wild animals are classed as game: bear, white-tailed deer, rabbits and squirrels.
(b) The following wild animals are classed as fur-bearing animals: muskrats, opossums, otters, * * * weasels, minks, raccoons and bobcats.
(c) The following wild animals are classed as nuisance animals: wild hogs, nutria, beaver, fox, skunks and coyote * * *.
(d) All freshwater fish in the following families are classed as game fish: Sunfish family (Centrarchidae) - including largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus), white crappie (Pomoxis annularis), black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus), bluegill (Lepomis macrochiris), warmouth (Lepomis gulosus), green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis), redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) and shadow bass (Ambloplites ariommus); Perch family (Percidae) - including walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), sauger (Stizostedion canadense) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens); Pike family (Esocidae) - including redfin pickerel (Esox americanus americanus), grass pickerel (Esox americanus vermiculatus), chain pickerel (Esox niger); Temperate bass family (Moronidae) including - white bass (Morone chrysops), yellow bass (Morone mississippiensis), striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and hybrid striped bass (Morone chrysops x Morone saxatilis and/or Morone saxatilis x Morone chrysops).
The following fish are classed as nongame gross fish: in the Herring family (Clupeidae) - gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense); in the Catfish family (Ictaluridae) - channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), flathead catfish (Pylodictus olivaris), yellow bullhead (Ameiurus natalis), black bullhead (Ameiurus melas), brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus); in the Gar family - spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus), longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus), shortnose gar (Lepisosteus platostomus), alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula); in the Eel family (Anguillidae) - American eel (Anguilla rostrata); in the Bowfin family (Amiidae) - bowfin (Amia calva); in the Paddlefish family (Polyodontidae) - paddlefish (Polyodon spathula); in the Minnow family (Cyprinidae) - common carp (Cyprinus carpio); in the Sucker family (Catostomidae) - river carpsucker (Carpoides carpio), quillback (Carpoides cyprinus), highfin carpsucker (Carpoides velifer), spotted sucker (Minytrema melanops), blacktail redhorse (Moxostoma poecilurum), smallmouth buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus), bigmouth buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus), black buffalo (Ictiobus niger); in the Drum family (Sciaenidae) - freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens).
All fish native to Mississippi that are not classed as game fish or nongame gross fish are classed as nongame fish.
All fish native to foreign countries and all fish native to the United States but not native to Mississippi are classed as nonnative fish.
(d) The following are classed as game birds: geese, brant ducks, rails, coots, snipe, gallinules, moorhens, woodcock, crow, mergansers, wild turkey, quail and doves.
All other species of wild resident or migratory birds are classed as nongame birds.
(e) Closed season: the time during which birds, animals or fish may not be taken.
(f) Open season: the time during which birds, animals or fish may be lawfully taken.
(g) "Commission" means the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
(h) "Department" means the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
(i) "Executive director" means the Executive Director of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
SECTION 2. Section 49-7-31.5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-7-31.5. (1) * * * The hunting, trapping and taking of * * * nuisance animals shall be regulated by the * * * commission. The commission may adopt regulations to regulate the hunting, trapping and taking of nuisance animals and to control the population of nuisance animals.
(2) (a) Landowners, agricultural leaseholders or their designated agents may take predatory and nuisance animals year-round on lands owned or leased by them.
(b) Landowners, agricultural leaseholders or their designated agents may take nuisance animals with any type of weapon and may take nuisance animals during the night after legal hunting hours on lands owned or leased by them with a permit issued by the department.
(c) No license is required for a resident landowner hunting or trapping nuisance animals on his own land. An agricultural leaseholder, designated agent and any other person must possess either an all-game hunting license or trapping license, unless otherwise exempt.
(3) The taking of any animal or animals other than nuisance animals by the use of a trap or traps is unlawful except during the time the season is open for the taking of fur-bearing animals.
(4) Nuisance animals may be run, chased or pursued with dogs, except as provided in Section 49-7-32, year-round by licensed hunters.
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(5) Nuisance animals may be hunted with the aid of electronic calls.
(6) Nuisance animals may be hunted or trapped with the aid of bait and lures, on private lands, according to regulations adopted by the commission.
(7) Any part of a nuisance animal may be bought and sold year-round.
(8) (a) Wild hogs may not be caught or trapped and released into the wild at a location different from the location where the wild hog was caught or trapped.
(b) A violation of this subsection is a Class I violation and is punishable as provided under Section 49-7-141.
(9) When hunting wild hogs during any open gun season on deer, a hunter must wear in full view at least five hundred (500) square inches of solid unbroken fluorescent orange.
SECTION 3. Section 49-7-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-7-33. (1) It is unlawful to hunt, trap or kill any wild bird or wild animal of any kind with the aid of bait, recordings of bird or animal calls, or electrically amplified imitations of calls of any kind, except a person:
(a) May use electrically amplified sound devices for hunting * * * crow;
(b) May use liquid scents for any animal or bird; * * *
(c) May use lures for trapping fur-bearing animals, * * * according to regulations adopted by the commission; and
(d) May take nuisance animals as provided in Section 49-7-31.5.
(2) The commission, in its discretion, may relax the restrictions regarding the use of lures or sound devices if a condition arises or exists, as decided by the State Board of Health or county board of health, that may endanger persons or livestock in a certain community, county or area.
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SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.