Mississippi’s only remaining “mandatory” primitive weapon deer season opens Monday in the Hill and Delta Zones. This special season is open on private and some public lands Nov. 7-18.

According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, this season is provided to help hunters in areas with higher deer densities earlier opportunities to achieve antlerless harvest objectives prior to the rut. Only archery equipment and primitive firearms may be used during this season.

“Weapon of Choice” does not apply to this 12-day season.

“This season is needed due to many local deer populations in Mississippi exceeding carrying capacity,” said Kamen Campbell, MDWFP Private Lands Biologist. “This early season is a great opportunity for hunters to focus on doe harvest before the breeding season, which may increase rutting behavior by increasing buck competition for the remaining does.”

For the purpose of hunting deer, the MDWFP’s definition of primitive firearms is: single or double barreled muzzleloading rifles of at least .38 caliber; OR single shot, breech loading, metallic cartridge rifles (.35 caliber or larger) and replicas, reproductions, or reintroductions of those type rifles with an exposed hammer; OR single or double barreled muzzleloading shotguns, with single ball or slug.  All muzzle-loading primitive firearms must use black powder or a black powder substitute with percussion caps, No. 209 shotgun primers, or flintlock ignition. 

The special primitive weapons season will not occur in the Southeast Deer Management Zone due to lower deer numbers. Additionally, this season will not occur on Wildlife Management Areas due to higher hunter numbers and unique management objectives for these areas.