MDWFP Supports Deer Season Structure Change

By MDWFP

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is in full support of HB 1282 and requests your assistance changing the deer season structure in Mississippi. If HB 1282 becomes law, the deer season structure for 2010-2011 would be:
Archery – Oct. 1 – 31
Archery / Crossbow / Primitive Weapon – Nov. 1 – 19
Gun with Dogs – Nov. 20 – Dec. 1
Gun without Dogs – Dec. 2 – 23
Gun with Dogs – Dec. 24 – Jan. 19
Gun without Dogs – Jan. 20 – Jan. 31
Archery / Primitive Weapon – Feb. 1 – Feb. 15 (Zone 2)

Currently, MS Code §49-7-31 gives exclusive opportunity to archery hunters from Oct. 1 – the Friday prior to Thanksgiving.
“This exclusive opportunity was given during a time of deer protection in Mississippi with the goal to provide maximum opportunity without being detrimental to the resource. HB 1282 empowers landowners and hunting clubs to harvest deer earlier in the season with a more efficient weapon,” said Chad Dacus, Deer Program Coordinator. “This earlier deer harvest is needed on some properties across the state to help reduce deer numbers in areas where there is high crop damage, habitat damage, and out of balance sex ratios.”

HB1282 is not taking opportunity away from archery hunters. Archery hunters still have 123 days of hunting opportunity because they can choose to hunt with archery equipment during the gun seasons.
“This is not a dramatic move in season structure,” said Larry Castle, Wildlife Bureau Director. “This bill is moving away from exclusive seasons and allowing hunters to decide which weapon they want to use.”

If you are in support of HB 1282, contact your local representative or senator at (601) 359-3770. For a list of representatives and senators visit http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/.