Mississippi Deer Season Now Open

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Mississippi's white-tailed deer hunting season with guns opened November 21 and runs through December 1. Hunting with dogs is allowed during this season. Legal deer include either-sex on private land and legal bucks on open public land. Boundary and legal buck definitions for the three Deer Management Zones within the state are as follows:

Deer Management Zone 1: Private and open public lands east of I-55 and north of I-20 plus areas south of I-20 and east of U.S. Highway 61, excluding areas south of U.S. Highway 84 and east of MS Highway 35. A legal buck is defined as having either a minimum inside spread of ten inches or a minimum main beam length of thirteen inches.

Deer Management Zone 2: Private and open public lands south of U.S. Hwy 84 and east of MS Highway 35. A legal buck is defined as having either a minimum inside spread of ten inches or a minimum main beam length of thirteen inches.

Deer Management Zone 3: 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. A legal buck is defined as having either a minimum inside spread of twelve inches or a minimum main beam length of fifteen inches.

The bag limit in all zones on antlered buck deer is one buck per day, not to exceed three per license year. Legal bucks must meet the antler criteria within the appropriate deer management zone. For youth fifteen years of age and younger, hunting on private lands and authorized state and federal lands, one of the three buck bag limits may be any antlered deer regardless of number of points, inside spread, or beam length. The bag limit on antlerless deer is one per day not to exceed five per license year. It is illegal to harm or kill a spotted fawn at any time.

Hunters are urged to practice good hunter ethics and follow all safety rules to avoid hunting and firearm related accidents. When hunting deer during any gun season on deer, a hunter must wear in full view at least five hundred square inches of solid unbroken fluorescent orange. This requirement does not apply to a hunter while the hunter is in a fully enclosed deer stand.

All persons born on or after January 1, 1972 are required to complete a hunter education course before purchasing a Mississippi hunting license. Each resident of Mississippi, ages sixteen through sixty-four, must obtain a hunting license, except while hunting on lands titled in his/her name. Any resident sixty-five or older, or any resident otherwise exempt from obtaining a hunting license, must have documentation with him/her at all times while hunting. All non-resident hunters, except minors under the age of sixteen, are required to obtain a hunting license while hunting in the State of Mississippi. In addition to any required hunting license, purchase of a Wildlife Management Area User Permit is required prior to hunting on any Wildlife Management Area. Other public lands may require permits to hunt. Check the rules and regulations for these lands to ensure you are in compliance.

For complete information on license requirements, hunting regulations and hunting seasons visit the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks web site at www.mdwfp.com or refer to the Mississippi Outdoor Digest available where hunting and fishing license are sold.