Arrows that amount to being “bang sticks” will not be allowed during archery season, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks announced Monday (Sept. 30).

The state’s long archery season opens Tuesday in the Hill and Delta Zones, and on Oct. 15 in the Southeast Zone.

Agency officials said they have received inquiries from hunters about the legality of the new broadheads, like the Bow Mag, which features an arrow with a .357 or .38 bullet. When the arrowhead hits the target, the bullet discharges. The arrow bounces away, but the bullet delivers the killing blow to the quarry.

According to the MDWFP, the explosive broadheads do not fit the definition of a “mechanical broadhead” included in 40 Miss. Admin. Code Part 2, Rule 2.2 that defines legal weapons during various deer seasons.

Paragraph c.1 states:

“Archery: Longbows, recurves, compound bows, and crossbows. There is no minimum or maximum draw weight. There is no minimum length arrow. Fixed or mechanical broadheads may be used.” 

The MDWFP used prior opinions issued by the State’s Attorney General in determining these devices to be firearms.  

Using such a device during the archery season for deer could expose the hunter to being charged with “hunting out of season.” The devices are perfectly legal for use during the regular gun season for deer by any person who may lawfully own or possess a firearm.

The agency also said devices that propel an arrow by means of firing a firearm cartridge or blank is prohibited from use during the archery-only deer season.

“We have had some calls on these weapons that look like a rifle, but they fire an arrow by means of a .22 long rifle cartridge or a blank, being fired to propel the arrow downrange,” said Steve Adcock, MDWFP’s Chief of Law Enforcement. “Of course, these devices are not longbows, compound bows or crossbows, so they cannot be used during the archery-only deer season.”

Like the “bank stick” broadheads, those weapons are legal for hog hunting at any time, including any archery season for deer.

Rabbit applications

The MDWFP is now accepting applications for draw rabbit hunts with dogs at Nanih Waiya and Trim Cane Wildlife Management Areas. Applications must be made online at www.mdwfp.com/draws before Oct. 15. Applicants must have a valid Mississippi hunting license before applying for a WMA draw hunt and, if a new license is purchased, the applicant must wait 24 hours before applying.

At Nanih Waiya, each permitted hunter may bring up to two guests for each hunt and at Trim Cane, four guests can accompany the permit holder. Hunts will be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays in November and February on Trim Cane and December through February at Nanih Waiya.

Nanih Waiya also offers standby opportunities. If any permit holders fail to check in by 8 a.m., a drawing will be held to fill the spot. The daily bag limit on each WMA is eight per party.