Predators & Small Game
Realtree's Antler Nation takes a look at whitetail hunting in Mississippi
Season Dates: Depending on the zone, archery seasons open in early to mid-October, and are then followed by a series of primitive weapon and firearm seasons that open in mid-November. Some gun seasons allow dogs, and some do not. Closing dates range from mid-January to mid-February, again, depending on the zone. Bag limits vary from season to season—be sure to check regulations for the area you plan to hunt ahead of time.
The Grade: A-
Antler Nation Knowledge: When it comes to deer management in the Southeast, one word jumps to mind for the Magnolia State: progressive. An astounding 48 percent of Mississippi’s 126 Boone and Crockett bucks have been killed since 2000. That’s no doubt due in large part to the antler restrictions that have been in place for several years now. Bucks in the Hill and Southeast zones must have a minimum inside spread of 10 inches or a main beam length of 13 inches. Bucks in the Delta Zone must have an inside spread of 12 inches or a main beam length of 15 inches. Hunters are allowed three bucks per season. Youth hunters ages 15 and younger are exempt from the antler restrictions. We think that’s pretty cool.
Of course, if you’ve kept up with Antler Nation and the grading criteria at all, you know it’s not all about antlers. We give good scores based on opportunity as much as antler size. Mississippi has nearly 2 million acres of public land in the form of WMAs, national forests, national wildlife refuges and ground managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. With such a massive deer population and a bag limit of eight deer per season (three bucks, three does), hunters should have no problem filling the freezer. License fees for residents are a steal. Non-resident fees are steep, but competitive for the region. Three-day licenses are available to alleviate some of the cost.
Record B&C Typical
Taken by James L. Saunders in Adams County in 2011
Total B&C Typical Entries
Record B&C Non-Typical
Taken in Winston County by Tony Fulton in 1995. Ranked No. 5 all-time.
Total B&C Non-Typical Entries
Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Deer to Hunter Ratio
Resident license and permit
This price is for a Resident Sportsman’s license, which includes an archery permit and fall turkey permit.
This is for an All-Game Hunting license. A $75 Archery Permit is required for bowhunting. These are annual licenses. Short-term licenses and permits are also available for non-residents.