Official: Commission may ‘step back’ from hunting buffer

December 10, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A member of Mississippi’s wildlife, fisheries and parks commission says the commission may step back from a proposal to reduce the area for duck hunting at a popular wildlife management site.

Commissioner Scott Coopwood told the Clarion Ledger public comments have overwhelmingly opposed the proposed buffer along a property line at the McIntyre Scatters.

The lake is partially in the Malmaison Wildlife Management Area north of Greenwood. The buffer would reduce the amount of water for duck hunting by dozens of acres.

“It makes me think we need to pause,” Coopwood told the newspaper in a story on Friday. “I think there’s a great possibility we’ll take a step back.”

The commission was expected to take up the proposal at a meeting scheduled for next week.

The buffer is intended as a safety measure. Roger Easley, a member of the Leflore County Hunting and Fishing Association, told the commission in September hunters on the Malmaison side have set up close enough to potentially shoot and injure hunters on the club property, according to the Clarion Ledger.

The Mississippi Wildlife Federation has objected to the proposal, saying there is no history of safety problems.

“This proposed rule drastically reduces some of the best duck hunting access in the state for arguably no justifiable reason,” Chief Executive Officer Ashlee Smith said.