Two deaths mar otherwise safe hunting season

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — State wildlife officials say two people have died in hunting-related incidents but overall the 2011-12 season has had a safe start.

Jerry Carter, with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, tells The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/ufLvTl) that one death was caused by a fall from a tree stand and the other was firearm related.

Since the Sept. 1 start of the 2011 hunting season, Carter says 13 total incidents have been reported, with 12 of the 13 involving deer hunting. The other reported incident was dove hunting.

Carter said over half — eight — of the accidents reported were tree stand related. The other five were firearm related.

As compared to the previous season, from Sept. 1, 2010, to May 1, 2011. There were 38 total incidents reported that season including six fatalities — four by firearm and two by tree stand falls.

Last year, 30 deer-related accidents were reported. There were two incidents reported involving hogs and two involving dove. There was one each involving quail, turkey, rabbit and squirrel.

Meanwhile, the third, last and longest of the Mississippi’s three duck seasons opened.

The duck season will remain open through the federally mandated final day allowed, Jan. 29, 2012. Under federal season frameworks, the 60-day duck season must end by the final Sunday in January.

Mississippi’s deer season is in the primitive weapon segment through Dec. 15. Only those centerfire rifles defined as legal by the MDWFP, muzzle-loading rifles, archery and crossbows are allowed by hunters aged 16 and over. Children 15 and under can use their weapon of choice during any open firearm season.

The regular gun season returns Dec. 16, with the still season segment. Dogs will be allowed again Dec. 24 through the end of gun season Jan. 18.