SuperTalk Mississippi

Officials urge safety as deer season begins

A deer before chronic wasting disease, which has an incubation of 16-20 months, sets in. Deer with CWD only look sick for the last six to eight weeks of their lives. (Submitted photo)

While archery season had begun in September along with primitive weapon season, firearm deer season has officially begun in Mississippi.

According to the department of wildlife, Mississippi’s deer population is estimated to be 1.75 million, with hunters harvesting approximately 280,000 deer annually.

Hunting is a popular tradition in the state and Deer program coordinator, William T. McKinley, said that there is no better place in the country for deer hunting and this year should be no different according to early numbers.

“Hunting is a tradition in Mississippi, and we boast one of the best deer herds in the nation; the numbers and the stats back that up,” McKinley said.

With a warmer winter and a heavy mass crop, deer did not move much last year, but McKinley said early indications are that those numbers are already increasing for this year.

McKinley said that there have been several reports of hemorrhagic disease (“bluetongue disease”), he said that it not unusual for the disease to pop up every 3-5 years and there is no cause for major concern. McKinley said that if a deer appears sick do not eat any of its meat and to call the department or a local officer so they can test the animal.

Along with the hope for a productive deer season for hunters, McKinley and his staff value one thing above all

“Wear an orange vest, wear that 500 square inches of blaze orange, wear a safety harness if you’re using a climbing stand. If you’re getting in an already established stand; make sure you check it before you get in, and that it’s still secure. We don’t like having to work those hunting accidents,” McKinley said.

There are five regions designated for hunting which can be seen below:

Delta Zone: Areas west of I-55 and north of I-20 plus areas south of I-20 and west of U.S. Highway 61.

Northeast Zone: Areas east of I-55 and north of U.S. Highway 82.

East Central Zone: Areas east of I-55, east of U.S. Highway 49, south of U.S. Highway 82, and north of U.S. Highway 84.

Southwest Zone: Areas east of U.S. Highway 61, south of I-20, west of U.S. Highway 49, and west of MS Highway 35.

Southeast Zone: Areas south of U.S. Highway 84 and east of MS Highway 35.

For more information, visit the Deer Program’s website – Department of Wildlife – Deer Program




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