October kicks off serious hunting in Mississippi

If you looked around any sporting goods store in Mississippi in late September, you likely saw a lot of smiling faces and felt an unmistakable air of optimism in the entire place.

The happiest folks were likely archers — and the store owners selling them all the equipment and accessories — looking forward to the Oct. 1 opening of bow season for deer in all but the Southeast Zone.

“Danged right, we’re happy, and if you aren’t optimistic, then you aren’t taking the right approach to bowhunting,” said Phillip Ray of Brandon. “I’ve been a bowhunter for 25 years and a deer hunter for 30 years, and I still get just as excited about opening day as I did those 25 and 30 years ago. I’m also just as optimistic about how great a season it will be. The day or year that I lose that giddiness and optimism will be the time I quit hunting. I’m 40 now, and I don’t see that happening in the next 25 or 30 years. Not anytime sooner.”

You’ll also notice other smiles from scores of small-game hunters, since squirrel season opens Oct. 1 and rabbit season follows on Oct. 12.

Yessirree! October is a great month to be a Mississippi sportsman.

It’s also a good month to read Mississippi Sportsman, the magazine. If you like hunting and fishing in the Magnolia State this month’s issue is loaded with entertaining information from our writing staff about October’s outdoor opportunities.

  • Bowhunters will enjoy Sammy Romano’s story on how to properly choose effective archery stands during the early deer season.
  • Mike Giles will help hunters find more deer in the opening weeks of the season.
  • A story that no hunter should miss is Kinny Haddox’s piece on hunting safety, in which he speaks with a duck hunter whose unfortunate accident involved a loaded gun, an ATV and a very active retriever.
  • For fishermen — no let’s not forget the outstanding angling action available in the fall — long-time contributor Phillip Gentry offers expert tips on finding crappie in the changing seasons.
  • We’ve even got a recipe from Jerry Dilsaver’s Cooking on the Wild Side column that all deer hunters will want to cook: bacon- and cheese-stuffed venison burgers. I can almost taste it — and smell it — as I type the words.

I’m optimistic it would be good and that I will have the opportunity to cook it several times, as well as squirrel and dumplings, rabbit sauce picante and grilled venison steaks.

Bring it on!

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

And, have a great month.


South Delta bow season opens Oct. 1

Some confusion exists over the opening date of the archery season for deer in the 2-year-old South Delta Zone, which includes parts of Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo counties. In the 2019-20 season, archery hunting opened Oct. 15, the same as in the Southeast Zone. For the 2020-21 season, it has been returned to Oct. 1 in all zones except the Southeast.

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Bobby Cleveland
About Bobby Cleveland 1298 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.

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