While it will pass unnoticed by many Mississippi hunters, the 2015-16 deer season will continue its progression Wednesday with the return of the regular gun season.
The primitive weapon season, during which hunters could use their firearm of choice on private lands, ended Tuesday (Dec. 15).
“Not much of a change any more, at least not for me,” said Randy Howell of Canton. “I only hunt on private family land in Holmes County, so I kept using my 7 mag. The only thing I killed during the two-week (primitive) season was two does and they were so close I could have killed them with a bow.”
But Howell said the two kills were important, for more than one reason.
“First, I filled the freezer with venison, including ground, tenderized steak and sausage,” he said. “And second, that’s two less does available when they (the bucks) start chasing later this month.”
During the next segment, which lasts through Dec. 23, running dogs will not be allowed. Only still-hunting or man-drives are legal.
The progression will continue on Christmas Eve, when the final true gun season (Dec. 24-Jan. 20) opens. During that segment, the running of dogs will be legal.
In the Hill and Delta Zones, the late primitive weapon segment will conclude the season Jan. 21-Jan. 31. During that time, on private lands, hunters can use weapon of choice including modern centerfire rifles.
In the Southeast Zone (south of U.S. Highway 84 and east of Mississippi Highway 35), the late primitive weapon season runs Jan. 21-Feb. 15, with the same firearm choice on private lands. However, antlerless deer are only legal for the Jan. 21-31 period and it’s legal bucks only Feb. 1-15. Of course, youth aged 15 and under can take either sex at any time up to filling the season limit.