Primitive weapon season for Deer now open

 Primitive weapon deer season started this week.
SUN HERALD FILE Primitive weapon deer season started this week.

Primitive-weapon season for deer opened this week for all three Deer Management Zones.

Antlerless deer and zone-legal bucks are eligible for harvest.

"The rut is occurring now in most of the Delta and just beginning in northern parts of the state," Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Wildlife Bureau Assistant Director Chris McDonald said in a statement.

"Pre-rut activities are also picking up in central Mississippi. Hunters can expect to see increasing buck movement as the rut progresses across the state. Also, food plot use should be good this year due to geographical differences in acorn production and vegetative stress caused by the late summer drought."

On private lands only, deer hunters can any firearm during all open primitive weapon seasons after Nov. 30. Hunters required to have a hunting license must possess a valid primitive weapon license, Sportsman's License, or Lifetime Sportsman's License on private lands.

Additional legal weapons for the primitive weapon season are primitive firearms and archery equipment. Primitive firearms, for the purpose of hunting deer, are defined as single- or double-barreled muzzle-loading rifles of at least .38 caliber; OR single shot, breech loading, metallic cartridge rifles (.35 caliber or larger) and replicas, reproductions, or reintroductions of those type rifles with an exposed hammer; OR single or double barreled muzzle-loading shotguns, with single ball or slug.

All muzzle-loading primitive firearms must use black powder or a black powder substitute with percussion caps, #209 shotgun primers or flintlock ignition. If the hunter is required to have a hunting license, the hunter must possess a valid Primitive Weapon License, Sportsman's License, or a Lifetime Sportsman's License.

The season closes Dec. 15.