Rural Property Rights
Association of Mississippi

Assuring the peaceful enjoyment of private property

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Property rights defined by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders in 1997: “Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right.”

Serving sportsmen, ranchers, farmers, timberland managers and others who own or lease rural land:

  • We support the right of land owners and lease holders to use and manage their land without disruption from trespassing deer dogs and other nuisances.
  • We support the use of dogs to hunt squirrel, coon, rabbit, duck, geese, quail, hogs, and other small game.
  • We support additional regulation of dog-deer hunting to reduce or eliminate deer-dog trespass on private land.

Mission Statement:

This organization is organized exclusively for protection and promotion of rural landowner and leaseholder rights to enjoy their land as they see fit.

In many parts of Mississippi, land owners, lease holders, their guest hunters, and the general public often are affected by the poor conduct of some dog-deer hunters and their dogs. Our association seeks to reduce or eliminate the inconsiderate behavior of the few dog-deer hunters who give all hunters a bad reputation when they do things such as:

  • turn their deer dogs out on someone else's land.
  • block public roads.
  • damage property (e.g., cut fences, commit arson).
  • threaten to commit both bodily harm and property damage.
  • abandon their dogs.
The problem is so serious that some land owners no longer hunt on their own land solely because deer-dog trespass ruins their hunts throughout most of deer season.

Did you know?

  • Deer-dog trespassing is a problem that is not unique to Mississippi.
  • Only nine states in the USA allow the use of dogs to hunt Whitetail deer; even in those states, some areas are closed to dog-deer hunting.
  • There are 155 national forests in the USA. Of those, 127 (81%) are closed to dog-deer hunting for Whitetail deer.
  • Mississippi has six national forests. There are some areas in all six forests that are closed to dog-deer hunting.

Some questions...

  • Can the permit system that has worked so well in the Homochitto National Forest be implemented for the whole state?
  • Is it possible to hunt, bike, hike, bird-watch, horseback ride, or enjoy any other activity in a national forest during dog-deer hunting season?
  • Is Mississippi losing still-hunting license revenue because of dog-deer hunting?

HNF permit system info

Excerpt pertaining to HNF permit system

What you can do now

  1. Tell your senator and representative in your legislative district what you are experiencing and that you want something done about it. Find their contact information here: http://www.legislature.ms.gov/  then click on Legislators at the top of the page. If you are using your phone, you may have to tap the three-bar menu button in the upper right corner to find Legislators. We have handouts and videos available to help you educate legislators.

  2. Talk with your MDWFP Commissioner since these are the people who authorized the Homochitto Permit system and can approve additional permit systems in other areas of the state. You cannot contact them directly but you can email Sharon Polson and she will forward your email to your commissioner: sharonp@mdwfp.state.ms.us  

    Find your commissioner here:  http://www.mdwfp.com/administration/commission/ 

    Find your district here:  http://www.mdwfp.com/media/2748/commission_districts_map_large.jpg

  3. Form Neighborhood Watch groups in your area. Start by contacting neighboring landowners, leaseholders, and interested still hunters in your area. We can help by providing names of other nearby RPRAM members. Host a lunch meeting (Saturday works best for most deer camp meetings) where you get to know each other and exchange contact information. Notify local game wardens about your watch group and invite them to your meetings. Ask them how you can help them catch road hunters, poachers, trespassers, and other violators.

  4. Document incidents by using trail cameras, cell phone and other handheld cameras, and drones to photograph trespassers and trespassing dogs.

    Photograph or record on paper the permit number (if applicable) and dog-collar information. You can download a printable form here:

    Dog-Violation Form (3-up, PDF)

  5. Complete an Incident Report here on our website for every deer-dog trespass incident you experience.

  6. Call 1-800-BESMART (1-800-237-6278) to document your incidents.

MDWFP 2016-2017 Deer Hunter Survey Results

  • Less than 7% of the respondents hunted deer with dogs.
  • Only 2.2% of the responding hunters said that hunting deer with dogs is their primary means of deer hunting.
  • Only 4.5% said that both still hunting and hunting deer with dogs are their primary means.
  • 88% said that still hunting is their primary means.
PDF

Membership Info

For information on joining or paying for membership, visit our Membership page:

Membership

Submit an Incident Report

(Members only)

For incidents involving dogs, deer-dog hunters, or both.

You do not have to have caught the dog and you do not have to be in HNF permit system area. This is for all deer-dog- and deer-dog-hunter-related problems.

Incident Report

Education 2016

Dogs, Doggers, Damage, and Threats

WARNING! Graphic content in photos

Photos

Videos

Member Hunting Photos

Email: msproprights@gmail.com
Address: P.O. Box 544, Picayune, MS  39466

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