JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Barnett Reservoir has long been known for excellent fishing, boating and water sports, but it also offers thousands of acres for hunting and this year there are new regulations and hunting opportunities.
The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District board of directors recently approved plans to offer a series of 13 special-permit hunts in two areas around Barnett Reservoir, including the first legal hunting on about 400 acres below the dam since its construction five decades ago and applications are now available.
The 400 acres below the dam will be split into two sections, with the Pearl River as the dividing line, giving each hunter approximately 200 acres.
Additionally, about 500 acres near Pelahatchie Bay that has not been available for hunting will be divided into three sections for the special-permit hunts.
All of the hunts are archery only and will be held from Thursdays at noon until Sundays at noon from Oct. 31 through Jan. 26.
Each permit will allow legal buck to be killed, along with one antler-less deer. Legal bucks for the Permit Hunts are limited to those that have either a 15-inch inside antler spread or an 18-inch main beam.
Applications can be picked up at the Pearl River Water Supply District office on Madison Landing Circle at Barnett Reservoir or hunters can apply online at. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 24 and the drawing is expected to be held Sept. 27. There is no application fee and applications sent by mail must be postmarked by Sept. 24.
Only one permit will be issued per section for each hunt. Applicants must be 21 or over, possess a valid Mississippi hunting license for deer or be exempt in order to apply. Permits below the dam will cost $300, while those for Pelahatchie Bay will be $200. No other hunting will be allowed in these areas.
Changes have also been approved for hunting on PRVWSD lands that are open to hunting, most notably, weapons that can be used for deer and hogs.
Archery equipment, including crossbows, is allowed, but firearms for deer and hogs are limited to muzzleloaders with black powder or black powder substitute and shotguns with slugs only. Breach-loading “primitive weapons” that are approved by the state are no longer allowed.
For complete details on hunting regulations for Barnett Reservoir, http://www.therez.ms