Bryant signed House Bill 1139 into law, with an effective date of July 1 2014. The bill states that during primitive weapons seasons that begin after Nov. 30, private landowners, leaseholders (hunting clubs) and their guests can use weapon of choice.
Only hunters on public lands will be restricted to using muzzle-loaders or single-shot, breech-loading centerfire rifles that are deemed primitive under guidelines set by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks.
However, those hunters aged 16 to 65 who are not otherwise exempt will still be required to have either a Sportsman's License or an all-game hunting and fishing license with a primitive weapon permit.
Affected seasons include the main primitive weapon period Dec. 2-15 and the late season that begins the day after the gun season closes in mid-January and ends Jan. 31. Depending on the calendar, the change will add as much as four weeks of regular gun hunting annually.
Unaffected are any special primitive weapon seasons set by the MDWFP prior to Nov. 30, including the antlerless-only season in early November that coincides with the youth season.
The amended bill passed the House unanimously 119-0 and the Senate 44-8. The Senate had earlier defeated the bill, only to reconsider later.