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White-Tailed Deer Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Mississippi Hunting & Fishing

Zone lines are based on soil regions using highways and interstates as dividing boundaries.

Zones

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

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

Delta: 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, excluding the South Delta Zone.

South Delta: All Mississippi lands south of Bunge Road; south of Hwy 14; west of Hwy 149; west of Hwy 3; west of Hwy 61 from Hwy 3 to Business 61 and to I-20; and east of the of state line (in MS River).

Bag Limits

Antlered Buck Deer

The statewide bag limit on antlered buck deer is one (1) buck per day and three (3) per annual season. One (1) of these three (3) may have hardened antlers that do not meet the zone legal antler requirements on private land and Holly Springs National Forest. Only two (2) antlered deer may be harvested from the South Delta 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 statewide annual bag limit on antlerless deer is five (5). Antlerless deer are male or female deer which do not have hardened antler above the natural hairline. Only two (2) antlerless deer may be harvested from the Southeast and South Delta zones. There is no daily bag limit on antlerless deer; except, only one (1) anterless deer per day may be harvested in the Southeast Zone.

U.S. Forest Service Lands: The bag limit is one (1) per day, not to exceed five (5) 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/South Delta

12”

OR

15”

Legal Bucks: Northeast, East Central, Southwest, and Southeast Zones

A legal buck is defined as having either a minimum inside spread of 10 inches or one main beam at least 13 inches long.

Estimating a 10-inch spread is accomplished by observing a buck’s ears in the alert position. When in the alert position, the distance from ear-tip to ear-tip measures approximately 14 inches. If the OUTSIDE of each antler beam is 1 inch inside the ear-tip, the inside spread is approximately 10 inches.

To estimate a 13-inch main beam, the buck’s head must be observed from the side. If the tip of the main beam extends to the front of the eye, main beam length is approximately 13 inches.

Legal Bucks: Delta and South Delta Zones

A legal buck is defined as having either a minimum inside spread of 12 inches or one main beam at least 15 inches long.

Estimating a 12-inch spread is accomplished by observing a buck’s ears in the alert position. When in the alert position, the distance from ear-tip to ear-tip measures approximately 15* inches. If the OUTSIDE of each antler beam reaches the ear-tip, the inside spread is approximately 12 inches. Therefore, if the outside of both antler beams reach the ear tips, the buck is legal.

*Due to body size differences in the Delta Zone, ear-tip to ear-tip measurements are slightly larger compared to the Hill and Southeast Zones.

To estimate a 15-inch main beam, the buck’s head must be observed from the side. If the tip of the main beam extends between the front of the eye and the tip of the nose, main beam length is approximately 15 inches.

Supplemental Feeding

Supplemental feeding of wildlife is allowed on private land in any county, or portion thereof, not in a CWD Management Zone. The feed may only be provided from above-ground, covered feeders or stationary spin-cast feeders. Any type of feed may be used. Feed may not be poured, piled, or placed directly on the ground. All feed and feeders must be at least 100 yards from the nearest property line. Deer hunters may hunt in the proximity, with no minimum distance, from a feeder as described above.

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. Refer above for the definition of a primitive weapon.

Hunter Orange

When hunting deer during any firearm season, 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

The 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.

The 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.