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White-Tailed Deer Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Mississippi Hunting & Fishing

Current antler criteria will protect almost 100% of the 1½-year-old bucks. This protection will prevent over-harvest of bucks and will improve antler size as bucks get older. These protected bucks will improve skewed buck:doe ratios, resulting in higher reproduction. Zone lines are based on soil regions using highways and interstates as dividing boundaries.

NORTHEAST ZONE

Private and open public lands east of I-55 and north of U.S. Highway 82.

EAST CENTRAL ZONE

Private and open public lands east of I-55, east of U.S. Highway 49, south of U.S. Highway 82, and north of U.S. Highway 84.

SOUTHWEST ZONE

Private and open public lands east of U.S. Highway 61, south of I-20, west of U.S. Highway 49, and west of MS Highway 35.

Southeast Zone

Private and open public lands south of U.S. Highway 84 and east of MS Highway 35.

Delta Zone

Private and open public lands west of I-55 and north of I-20 plus areas south of I-20 and west of U.S. Highway 61.

Bag Limits

Antlered Buck Deer: The bag limit on antlered buck deer is one (1) buck per day, not to exceed three (3) per annual season. Legal bucks must meet the antler criteria within the appropriate deer management zone. For youth hunters fifteen (15) years of age and younger hunting on private land and authorized state and federal lands, all three (3) of the three (3) buck bag limit may be any antlered deer.

Antlerless Deer:

Private Land: The bag limit on Delta, Northeast, East Central, and Southwest zones antlerless deer is three (3) per annual season. The bag limit on Southeast Zone antlerless deer is one (1) per day, two (2) per annual season.

U.S. Forest Service Lands: The bag limit is one (1) per day, not to exceed three (3) per annual season except in the Southeast Zone, which is two (2) per annual season.

LEGAL BUCKS

Zone

Inside Spread

OR

Main Beam

Northeast

10”

OR

13”

East Central

10”

OR

13”

Southwest

10”

OR

13”

Southeast

10”

OR

13”

Delta

12”

OR

15”

Hunting Seasons: NORTHEAST, EAST CENTRAL, SOUTHWEST ZONES

Northeast Zone: Areas east of I-55 and north of U.S. Highway 82. East Central Zone: Areas east of I-55, east of U.S. Highway 49, south of U.S. Highway 82, and north of U.S. Highway 84. Southwest Zone: Areas east of U.S. Highway 61, south of I-20, west of U.S. Highway 49, and west of MS Highway 35. A legal buck is defined as having EITHER a minimum inside spread of 10 inches OR a minimum main beam length of 13 inches.

Method

Season Dates

Legal Deer

Archery

Sept. 30 – Nov. 17

Either-Sex on private and open public land.

Youth Gun

Nov. 4 – Nov. 17

Either-Sex on private and authorized state and federal lands. Youth 15 and under.

Nov. 18 – Jan. 31

Either Sex on private land and legal bucks only on authorized state and federal lands.

Antlerless Primitive Weapons

Nov. 6 – 17

Antlerless Deer Only on private lands.

Gun (with dogs)

Nov. 18 – Dec. 1

Either-Sex on private land. Legal Bucks only on open public land.

Primitive Weapon

Dec. 2 – 15

Either-Sex on private land. Legal Bucks only on open public land. Weapon of choice may be used on private land with appropriate license.

Gun (without dogs)

Dec. 16 – 23

Either-Sex on private land. Legal Bucks only on open public land.

Gun (with dogs)

Dec. 24 – Jan. 17

Either-Sex on private land. Legal Bucks only on open public land.

Archery/Primitive Weapon

Jan. 18 – 31

Either-Sex on private land. Legal Bucks only on open public land. Weapon of choice may be used on private land with appropriate license.

Hunting Seasons: Southeast Zone

Private and open public lands south of U.S. Hwy. 84 and east of MS Hwy. 35. A legal buck is defined as having EITHER a minimum inside spread of 10 inches OR a minimum main beam length of 13 inches.

Method

Season Dates

Legal Deer

Archery

Oct. 14 – Nov. 17

Either-Sex on private and open public land.

Youth Gun

Nov. 4 – Nov. 17

Either-Sex on private and authorized state and federal lands. Youth 15 and under.

Nov. 18 – Feb. 15

Either Sex on private land and legal bucks only on authorized state and federal lands.

Gun (with dogs)

Nov. 18 – Dec. 1

Either-Sex on private land. Legal Bucks only on open public land.

Primitive Weapon

Dec. 2 – 15

Either-Sex on private land. Legal bucks only on open public land. Weapon of choice may be used on private land with appropriate license.

Gun (without dogs)

Dec. 16 – 23

Either-Sex on private land. Legal bucks only on open public land.

Gun (with dogs)

Dec. 24 – Jan. 17

Either-Sex on private land; Legal Bucks only on open public land.

Archery/Primitive Weapon

Jan. 18 – 31

Either-Sex on private land. Legal bucks only on open public land. Weapon of choice may be used on private land with appropriate license.

Feb. 1 – 15

Legal bucks only on private and open public land. Weapon of choice may be used on private land with appropriate license.

Hunting Seasons: Delta Zone

Private and open public lands west of I-55 and north of I-20 plus areas south of I-20 and west of U.S. Hwy. 61. A legal buck is defined as having EITHER a minimum inside spread of 12 inches OR a minimum main beam length of 15 inches.

Method

Season Dates

Legal Deer

Archery

Sept. 30 – Nov. 17

Either-Sex on private and open public land.

Youth Gun

Nov. 4 – Nov. 17

Either-Sex on private and authorized state and federal lands. Youth 15 and under.

Nov. 18 – Jan. 31

Either Sex on private land and legal bucks only on authorized state and federal lands.

Antlerless Primitive Weapons

Nov. 6 – 17

Antlerless Deer Only on private land.

Gun (with dogs)

Nov. 18 – Dec. 1

Either-Sex on private land. Legal Bucks only on open public land.

Primitive Weapon

Dec. 2 – 15

Either-Sex on private land. . Legal bucks only on open public land. Weapon of choice may be used on private land with appropriate license.

Gun (without dogs)

Dec. 16 – 23

Either-Sex on private land. Legal bucks only on open public land.

Gun (with dogs)

Dec. 24 – Jan. 17

Either-Sex on private land. Legal Bucks only on open public land.

Archery/Primitive Weapon

Jan. 18 – 31

Either-Sex on private land. Legal Bucks only on open public land. Weapon of choice may be used on private land with appropriate license.

Legal Weapons

Archery: Longbows, recurves, crossbows and compound bows. There is no minimum or maximum draw weight. There is no minimum arrow length. Fixed or mechanical broadheads may be used.

Primitive Weapons: Weapons legal for use during the Primitive Weapons season are all archery equipment and primitive firearms. “Primitive firearms,” for the purpose of hunting deer, are defined as single or double barreled muzzle-loading rifles of at least .38 caliber; OR single shot, breech loading, metallic cartridge rifles (.35 caliber or larger) and replicas, reproductions, or reintroductions of those type rifles with an exposed hammer; OR single or double- barreled muzzle-loading shotguns, with single ball or slug. All muzzle-loading primitive firearms must use black powder or a black powder substitute with percussion caps, #209 shotgun primers, or flintlock ignition.

“Blackpowder substitute” is defined as a substance designed, manufactured, and specifically intended to be used as a propellant in muzzleloading or other black powder firearms, excluding modern smokeless powder. Metallic cartridges may be loaded with either black powder or modern smokeless powder (cartridges purchased at sporting goods stores).

Telescopic sights are allowed while hunting with any primitive firearm during the primitive weapon seasons.

During any open season on deer with primitive weapons after November 30, a person may use any legal weapon of choice on private lands only, if the person is the title owner of the land; the lessee of the hunting rights on the land; a member of a hunting club leasing the hunting rights on the land; or a guest of a person specified above. If the person is required to have a hunting license, the person must have a primitive weapon license, Sportsman’s License or a Lifetime Sportsman’s License.

Gun: There are no caliber or magazine capacity restrictions on firearms. Archery and primitive firearms may be used during Gun seasons.

Open Public Lands include U.S. National Forests, Corps of Engineers lands, etc., that have statewide seasons without special regulations. Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are not considered Open Public Land. For seasons and bag limits on MDWFP Wildlife Management Areas visit www.mdwfp.com/wma

Special Deer Hunts

Special primitive weapons deer hunts are established pursuant to the authority granted the Commission in Sections 49-7-37(2), (3), & (4), Mississippi Code of 1972. All archery and primitive weapons hunters must wear hunter orange while these special hunts are in effect.

Antlerless Primitive
Weapons Hunt

This season is for Antlerless Deer Only on private lands. Legal weapons are primitive weapons. This hunt is not on MDWFP Wildlife Management Areas.

Hunter Orange

When hunting deer during any firearm season on deer, every hunter, whether hunting with a firearm, bow and arrow, or any weapon, must wear in full view at least five-hundred (500) square inches of solid unbroken fluorescent orange, except as otherwise provided in this section. Mesh-style or orange-camouflage is not considered unbroken and does not count toward the five hundred (500) square inch minimum.

Hunters shall not be required to wear five hundred (500) square inches of solid unbroken hunter orange when:

  1. Hunting from a deer stand that is elevated twelve (12) feet or more above the ground; or
  2. Hunting in a fully enclosed blind.

It is the intent of the Commission that “fully enclosed blinds” are tripod type stands, ladder stands, blinds and/or “shooting houses” or any other stand, whether located on the ground or elevated above ground, that can be covered so as to hide the hunter from view of game or other hunters.

Federal Lands–Youth Hunts and Antlerless Harvest

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed lands which designate the youth deer season in their regulations and open U.S. Forest Service National Forest lands are authorized to provide youth hunting opportunities.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Army managed lands are authorized to harvest antlerless deer on days designated by Federal Regulations. Contact local National Wildlife Refuge, Corps of Engineers, or U.S. Army for details.