Jerry Miller is having a hard time concentrating on his professional or personal life this week.

“I’m afraid I’m consumed with deer season, and it’s getting so close,” said Miller, 27, of Brandon. “I have scouted. I have hung stands. I have prepared my clothes for scent control. I have shot about a thousand arrows.”

And, has he checked the weather?

“Oh man, I bet I have looked at the different weather apps on my cell phone probably 20 or 30 times a day,” Miller said. “I need it to rain between now and then, and boy, am I hoping for a south or southwest wind on opening day. I got a big boy patterned for that wind.”

Mississippi’s archery season is now a week away, with the opening set for Saturday Oct. 1 in most of the state. Miller will be one of thousands of archers hitting the woods looking for deer.

“If you are a true archery hunter, and I am, you pretty much have to be all in,” he said. “It’s a year-round thing for me, but from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1, it is about all I can think about.”

And, what does his wife of six months think about that?

“She gets it, she understands,” Miller said. “She knew from the time we started dating three years ago what she was getting, and the great thing about her is she could have just sighed and resigned to it, but instead she decided to join me and now she’s as excited about opening day as I am.”

Two of Mississippi’s three deer zones will have an Oct. 1 opening, the Hill and Delta Zones. 

The Southeast Zone, south of U.S. Highway 84 and east of Mississippi Highway 35, will open on Oct. 15.

The archery season is open to either-sex deer. The limit is one legal buck per day with a three buck per license year limit, including archery and gun hunting. There is no daily limit on antlerless deer, but the license year limit is five including archery and gun hunting.

Longbows, recurves, compound bows, and crossbows are all considered legal archery equipment and can be used during all hunting seasons for deer. There is no minimum or maximum draw weight, no minimum arrow length, and fixed or mechanical broadheads may be used. 

The table is set for a good season, according to biologists.

“The acorn and persimmon crops look good on all the trees I’ve observed, now we just need some cooler temperatures to get deer on their feet,” said William McKinley MDWFP Biologist. “The relatively mild, wet summer has produced some great antlers and a prolific fawn crop. Bow hunters should have a great season, and a good time to pattern a pre-rut, mature buck is the first week of archery season.”

Wildlife Management Area (WMA) hunters are required to wear a full-body harness (fall-arrest system) while climbing a tree, installing a tree stand that uses climbing aids, or while hunting from a tree stand on a WMA. 

The MDWFP also urges all hunters to wear and know how to properly use a full-body harness while hunting from an elevated position. Take time before your hunt to be sure you have all the proper safety equipment, and remember that the most important part of the hunt is making it home.