Baiting deer is one step away from being officially legal, after action proposed last week by the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks would remove the one major regulation that hindered the practice.

The five-man panel voted at its September meeting to remove the restriction that prevented hunting within 100 yards of a feeder, as well a few other regulation changes.

It is a move, one MDWFP official said, that has been requested many times by sportsmen and mostly by archers, who have a very restricted kill range as compared to modern rifles.

“There had been requests before, some from bow hunters,” Wildlife Bureau executive director Russ Walsh told The Clarion-Ledger newspaper. “The commission looked at it and it was their decision to do it.”

Walsh said the change would still require a final adaption vote at the October meeting as required under Mississippi’s regulatory process, but that the MDWFP would likely file a temporary order so that it would be allowed when the archery season opens in most of Mississippi on Oct. 1.

Another deer change adapted last week makes it illegal to transport a deer carcass into Mississippi from any other state, regardless of whether the state of origin has had a confirmed case of chronic wasting disease. Deer taken within the levees of the Mississippi River in either Arkansas or Louisiana would be excluded.

Other exclusions include:

* Meat from cervids that has been completely deboned.

* Antlers attached to cleaned skull plates or cleaned skulls with no tissue attached.

* Cleaned teeth,

* Finished taxidermy and antler products.

* Hides and tanned products.

As with hunting within 100 yards of a feeder, the ban on whole carcasses is expected to be included in a temporary order that will be effective Oct. 1.

The Commission also announced its intent to make it illegal beginning July 1, 2019 to use natural scents or lures that contain natural cervid biofluids or other biological material.

Commissioners also made two changes involving the 2019 spring turkey season. All supplemental feeding of wildlife, including deer, will be banned from March 1 to the last day of the turkey season (May 1). Turkey hunters will also be required to report any wild turkey harvests, the first mandatory harvest reporting system of any big game (other than alligator) in the state.

A full list of proposed and final regulations can be found at www.mdwfp.com/administration/rules/.