After Mississippi’s first gun season ends on Monday (Dec. 1), a lot of deer hunters will find themselves doing something on Tuesday they’ve never done.
They will carry the same gun to the stand on Tuesday.
Under a law passed in 2013 that took effect this July 1, deer hunters on private lands can use their weapon of choice during any primitive weapon season that begins after Nov. 30.
That means Taylor Williams, 16, of Brandon will keep right on using his .270 rifle and won’t have to buy a primitive weapon.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am about this; the timing was perfect for me,” said Williams, who because of his age was entering a year of transition from youth to regularly licensed hunter. “I would have been looking at having to buy a primitive weapon this year, since I’m now license age. Saved me, well Dad and me, about $600.”
Under Mississippi regulations, youth hunters under the age of 16 can use firearm of choice during any firearm season. Williams was always able to keep hunting with his .243, which will now be passed down.
“I bought Taylor a .270 and his little sister, Kate, who just turned 14 and wants to start hunting, will get the .243,” said Don Williams, the father. “I have a .35 Whelan I’ve been using, but I think I will just go with my 7mm mag straight through.
“The reason that is important to me is because I like to do a lot of rattling for bucks in early December. We hunt in Central and Southwest Mississippi, and our bucks always start to break up and start fighting for dominance. When you rattle, big bucks like to circle around and get the wind right. With a regular rifle, I can reach out and touch them a lot further before they realize it’s a trick.”
On public lands, approved primitive weapons will still be required, as posted for particular properties. That includes state wildlife management areas, federal U.S. Forest Service lands, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project lands and National Wildlife Refuges.
Gun season will resume statewide on Dec. 16 with the still season, and on Dec. 24 the final gun season with dogs begins. Gun season ends Jan. 22, but during the extended primitive weapon season through Jan. 31, regular firearms will still be legal on private lands.