Bowhunters that have been awaiting the start of a deer hunting season in Mississippi do not have to wait much longer. The opening of deer archery season is October 1 for the Hill and Delta Zones and October 15 for the Southeast Zone. Longbows, recurves, compound bows, and crossbows are all still considered legal archery equipment and can be used during all hunting seasons for deer.
In addition, there is no minimum or maximum draw weight for bows and crossbows, no minimum arrow length, and fixed or mechanical broadheads may be used during the archery deer hunting season. The development of improved hunting equipment over the years has opening the door to fewer and fewer equipment restrictions; archery equipment is better than ever.
White-tailed deer populations look healthy across Mississippi according to state wildlife officials, but deer hunting could be tough during the early season with the abundance of food out there right now. Biologists are reporting healthy mast crops, so putting a tag on a buck will likely mean finding where he’s feeding and setting up in the area.
“The acorn and persimmon crops look good on all the trees I’ve observed, now we just need some cooler temperatures to get deer on their feet,” says William McKinley, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Biologist. “The relatively mild, wet summer has produced some great antlers and a prolific fawn crop. Bowhunters should have a great season, and a good time to pattern a pre-rut, mature buck is the first week of archery season.”
It’s important to remember that all Wildlife Management Area (WMA) hunters in Mississippi are required to wear a full-body harness (fall-arrest system) while climbing a tree, installing a tree stand that uses climbing aids, or while hunting from a tree stand on a WMA.
While required on Mississippi WMAs, it’s a good idea for all hunters to wear and know how to properly use a full-body harness while hunting from an elevated position. Take time before your hunt to be sure you have all the proper safety equipment, and remember that the most important part of the hunt is making it home.
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