A bill that would require all white-tailed deer and wild turkey to be tagged has passed the state House and is on its way to the Senate.
If House Bill 1028 were to become law, Mississippi would be joining states like Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois, whom have similar laws in place.
Those in support, argue it’s a better way of keeping tabs on both deer and turkey populations.
Alann Lange of political website Y’all Politics, disagrees with the need for required tagging.
“If this is about getting information on deer and turkey harvest, we got a program that does that, it’s called DMAP [Deer Management Association Program],” said Lange.
According to the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MWFP), DMAP is a comprehensive deer management program, consisting of data collection and cooperator education.
Lange instead, recommended that they should make tagging voluntary.
“I think Mississippi sportsman are pretty conservation minded. I think most of them would do it. I think the ‘having to do’ is the wrong answer,” said Lange.
MWFP estimates the state deer population to be around 1.75 million, with hunters harvesting approximately 280,000 deer annually. It’s estimated that between the Delta and the Gulf, there are more than 250,000 wild turkey.