Deer Hunting in Mississippi

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  • B
  • 1,475,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 96,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $25 and Up

    All game hunting license is $25. A $14 permit is required for archery, primitive weapon or crossbow during certain special seasons. A WMA permit is $15.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $300 and Up

    All game annual hunting license and deer permit is $300. A $75 permit is required for archery, primitive weapon or crossbow during certain special seasons. A WMA permit is $30. There are three-day and seven-day licenses available, but check regulations for applicable use.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 184 6/8"

    Taken by James L. Saunders in Adams County in 2011.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 114

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 295 6/8"

    Taken in Winston County by Tony Fulton in 1995. It's ranked No. 8 all-time.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 71

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Mississippi has come on strong in the last few years. (Bruce McQueen photo)

Season Dates (2020):

Mississippi is divided into five hunting zones. Season dates vary in each one. Read the regulations for specific rules on private and public lands, as well as antlered and antlerless deer, that apply within each of the individual seasons. Please check the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDFWP) website to confirm.

The Grade: B

Unlike many other states, Mississippi has a lot of deer compared to its number of hunters. The ratio of deer-to-hunters is extremely favorable. Plus, there are many older-age-class deer roaming the Magnolia State. According to the MDWFP, a recent report indicated Mississippi ranks No. 1 in the nation for the percentage of 3 1/2-year-old and older bucks in the deer harvest. Some 74% of the harvest is over 3 1/2 years old. That’s stunning.

It isn’t all good, though. Major flooding for consecutive years has impacted herd health and overall deer density in Mississippi’s South Delta. That’s roughly 750,000 acres affected. The discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) doesn’t help its grade, either. This disease is established in several northern counties. As a result, CWD zones with special restrictions are in place. Supplemental feeding and carcass transport rules are in play. This year, there will even be mandatory CWD sampling for certain weekends and certain counties. All factors weighed, Mississippi gets a B.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

Want a big Mississippi buck? It has logged approximately 200 Boone and Crockett animals, and there have been plenty of other quality bucks taken that either fell a little short or simply didn’t get measured and entered. Focus on the western third of the state, especially counties closest to or bordering the Mississippi River. Of course, the more fertile regions tend to produce quality deer at a higher rate. The best soils in the state are found in the Batture and Delta regions, followed by Loess and Blackland Prairie.

Fortunately for DIYers, the state also has approximately 2 million acres of public land available. Most of that is under the Forest Service. Around 700,000 acres are in WMAs. There are also National Wildlife Refuges and Army Corps of Engineers lands. There are excellent opportunities for quality bucks through the WMA draw hunts on properties such as Black Prairie, Canemount, Charles Ray Nix, Great River Road, Mahannah, Natchez State Park and Twin Oaks. Others to consider include Copiah County, Lake George, O’Keefe and Sunflower. Find a tract of public land that checks your boxes.

Mississippi Harvests

  • Layla Hall

    Carrollton, Mississippi

  • John Mark Skinner

    New Albany, Mississippi

From the Realtree Trophy Den