A rule change proposed in September and given final approval in October by the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks removes the restriction that had prevented deer hunting within 100 yards of a feeder.

While it doesn’t specifically mention baiting, the language stricken was part of Mississippi Code Title 40, Part 2, Chapter 2, Rule 2.4: Supplemental feeding of wild animals outside of wildlife enclosures. Unchanged in Rule 2.4 is a line that reads: “Nothing set forth in this rule shall be construed as authorizing or allowing the taking of deer or any other game animal or bird with the aid of bait.”

However, along with a change several years ago that removed language requiring feeders be “out of line of sight,” the latest change certainly does allow baiting, and the reasoning given for the latest edit makes it clear.

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 bowhunters,” Russ Walsh, executive director of the Wildlife Bureau, told The Clarion-Ledger newspaper. “The Commission looked at it, and it was their decision to do it.”

The change was verified in a special phone teleconference on Oct. 12.

Another deer change adapted 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.

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. Those lures and scents will remain legal during the 2018-19 season, but not beyond.