This weekend marks the beginning of archery season in the North East, East Central, South West, and Delta zones and the deer are looking healthier than they have been in years.
“They came out of winter not having to burn any fat reserves and they were in excellent shape,” said William McKinley head of the deer program at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks. “We then couple that with a mild, cool, wet summer and they never went through any summer stress which tends to decrease reproduction, which tends to decrease antler growth. The bottom line, we are set up for one of the healthiest deer herds that we’ve seen in many, many years.”
McKinley said that a recent study from MSU found that deer showed a drastic reduction in movement after opening day and said that early on, hunters should be seeing a lot of deer.
“We should see above average production, in other words we should see more fawns on the ground this year and healthier fawns on the ground. We have more vegetative component on the ground because of the wet summer, so the fawns were able to hide better from predators. So we are seeing a deer herd that has been declining in some areas and we think we might see an increase in the herd size.”
McKinley added that hunters need to make sure that they have a valid hunting license before heading out.