John Sigman knows exactly where he will be at sunrise next Monday morning, and it won’t be in his office as general manager of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District and Barnett Reservoir.
No way. He’ll be sitting in his ground blind a few hundred yards behind his house in Madison County hoping to get a glimpse of a passing doe.
“Perfect timing,” said Sigman, who is a retired army colonel. “It’s the opening day of the early primitive weapon season and it’s also a state holiday, Veteran’s Day. You better believe I will have my old muzzle-loader out with my powder and my ramrod and pushing bullets down the barrel.”
Mississippi’s early primitive weapon season for antlerless deer only opens Monday (Nov. 11) and will continue through Nov. 22 in the Hill and Delta Zones only. There is no early season in the Southeast Zone.
Three aspects of the early primitive weapon season make it popular.
One is that it starts only two days after Saturday’s opening of the youth gun season, so adults can hunt with their children and both have a harvest opportunity.
Another is that it can provide venison to replenish freezers.
The other, and most important, is that is encourages the early harvest of more antlerless deer.
“That’s what we like about it, and why we had so many members go and get the modern primitive weapons,” said L.J. Watts of Canton. “We have so many doe tags we need to fill and once December gets here nobody wants to shoot does. They don’t want to do anything that might spook bucks.
“These next two weeks will turn into a doe hunt. We even have pools where we all put up a few bucks every few days to see who either gets the biggest or most does. It encourages us to take does early, which biologists tell us we need to do to take some pressure off the habitat and increase the competition of bucks in the rut.”