By Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer
A bill allowing the use of “any legal” hunting method, including modern, repeating centerfire rifles, on private and leased lands during most deer seasons in Mississippi was signed into law Monday.
Listed as House Bill 1139, the law goes into effect July 1 and applies to all seasons opening after Nov. 30. While it would not affect the early bow season or the early antlerless-only season that coincides with the early November youth season, it would effectively eliminate the necessity to use a muzzleloader or the certain breech-loading single-shot centerfires specified by the state in previous years during the traditional primitive weapon periods that fall in the early to mid December and the mid to late January slots.
The move adds roughly four more weeks for hunters to use regular modern rifles each year, but it only applies to those doing their hunting on private and leased land. Hunters on public land will still be required to follow the primitive weapon guidelines as they were in place last year.
Although the new law eliminates the practicalities of primitive weapon season for hunters on private and leased land, it does not eliminate the necessity that they hold a valid hunting license with a primitive weapon season endorsement during that time. A valid primitive weapon license, sportsman license or lifetime sportsman license, if required before, will still be required.