Applications will be accepted beginning Friday (July 31) for the third year of archery deer hunts on two areas of the Barnett Reservoir project, and hunters have more to draw for, according to the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

“This year, instead of a four-day hunt, we’re stretching them out to six days, with only Monday being a down day,” said Craig Hunt, the PRVWSD’s director of Parks and Recreation. “The one exception is the opening week, since archery season doesn’t open until Oct. 1, that week’s hunt will still be Thursday to Sunday, like they all were in previous years.

“Otherwise, you get to hunt from legal hours from 30 minutes before sunrise on a Tuesday through 30 minutes after sunset on a Sunday.”

The application process ends Aug. 15.

There are five zones open — two below the dam, separated by the river, plus three in Sections M&N on the north shore of Pelahatchie Bay. Each permit allows one legal buck, and two does.

“The big change we made last year was allowing the permit holder to bring a guest and allowing both to carry bows and to hunt at the same time,” Hunt said. “That is true again. They can hunt together or apart, as long as both stay within the permitted zone and do not exceed the permit limit.”

Hunt said the limit and guest regulations were changed to encourage doe harvest.

There is no charge to apply, but once drawn the permits are $300 for the two areas below the dam and $200 for the areas in Pelahatchie Bay.

“What makes these hunts a quality hunting experience is that once you have the permit and go hunt, you and your guest should be the only persons in the assigned zone,” Hunt said. “I would encourage archers to study our rules and regulations prior to entering the draw. This is basic hunting, walk-in and walkout and these areas are in a natural state. We do allow hunters to retrieve deer with an ATV, but otherwise, it’s walk-in and walk-out.”

Applications will be available and accepted this weekend at the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza, where the Barnett Reservoir Foundation will raffle one hunt each in the spillway and the Pelahatchie Bay areas. Winners will get their pick of week and applicable zones.

For more information or to download or electronically file an application, visit TheRez.ms.