Perry Ross of Big Creek never thinks of deer hunting as a seasonal sport. At 55, he’s got nearly 50 years under his belt in the woods, and for him there’s the offseason and the on-season — but it’s always deer season. 

Ross hunts huge parcels of land in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas as part of Ross Trophy Outfitters, but he’s always got something cooking at home by the time Oct. 1 rolls around for the opening day of Mississippi’s archery season.

Ross believes deer season actually begins the day the previous season ends. He understands that not every deer hunter keeps such a strict regimen, and he had some tips for hunters who are late to the party.

“If you watch deer hunting on TV, you see hunters headed out into the cold to hunt; that’s not Mississippi,” he said. “This is hot-weather hunting for the first part of the season, and you have to plan and hunt differently because of that.”

With a month to go until the fun starts, many deer clubs are rushing to get food plots in the ground. Ross said they are important for nutrition and antler development, and they can be hunted over, but in Mississippi, food plots typically aren’t a big draw during daylight hours until much later in the season.

“You are much better off during the preseason identifying the places that have oak flats,” he said. “Water oaks and pin oaks will drop first, and then you’ll get white oaks and red oaks and whatever else is available. Your better deer tend not to hit food plots or baited areas until after dark.”

Ross (662-983-9304) said identifying the No. 1 food source deer will use on a property