November 5–6, 2011 is the dedicated youth weekend for deer hunting in Mississippi. This weekend provides youth under the age of 16 the first opportunity to hunt deer with a gun. “Take a kid, make a memory,” said Justin Thayer, Deer Program Biologist for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. “MDWFP encourages youth deer hunting by providing ample hunting opportunities, weapon of choice, and relaxed antler criteria for youth in hopes of getting more youth involved in the outdoors,” says Thayer.
While the November 5-6th weekend is dedicated to youth, expanded youth opportunities exist during any of Mississippi’s primitive weapon seasons by allowing youth to use any rifle. Also, a new regulation is in place which specifies that three of the youth’s three buck bag limit may be any antlered buck regardless of antler size.
The youth deer seasons are open on private and authorized state and federal lands. Furthermore, there are youth hunts on all MDWFP Wildlife Management Areas that allow deer hunting.
While all youth under age 16 are not required to purchase a hunting license, MDWFP strongly encourages all youth to complete a hunter education course before hunting. All youth between the ages of 12 and 15 must complete a hunter education class before hunting alone. It is also important to remember that when hunting deer during any primitive weapon or gun season for deer, all deer hunters must wear in full view at least five hundred (500) square inches of solid unbroken fluorescent orange. This requirement does not apply while hunters are in a fully enclosed deer stand.
For more information regarding youth hunting opportunities, hunting regulations, and hunter education classes, visit us online at www.mdwfp.com  or call 601-432-2400.