Proposed Hunting Season Guidelines Released

State wildlife officials are taking public comment through May 30th on proposed 2002-to-2003 hunting seasons and limits.

All but two of the seasons proposed by the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks follow state law enacted by the Legislature.

Those include most small game and big game seasons, including deer and turkey. Not included are seasons for migratory birds, which are set by federal law, and the youth weekends and seasons for most public areas, which are set by the commission.

Except for calendar dates, no changes in the deer seasons have been made. The limits are unchanged from the 2001-to-2002 seasons.

The existing deer season gives hunters a long archery season, 47 total days of regular gun hunting and a 14-day statutory muzzleloader season.

Migratory bird seasons can not be set until federal guidelines are established. No migratory bird hunting of any kind is allowed before September 1st. That means dove season can NOT open at its traditional time the Saturday before Labor Day, in 2002 since that day falls on August 31st.

While no duck data has been released, private waterfowl organizations are expecting a lower population from 2002 surveys, which could lead to a reduction in either bag limit, season length or both.

Find out more online at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks web site,

New 2002-2003 hunting seasons proposed by the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Public comments are being taken through May 30. All seasons are set according to state law.

Specifics on antlerless deer seasons, youth weekends and public hunting areas will be announced later.


  • Zone 1, Sept. 28-Feb. 28
  • Zone 2, Oct. 12-Feb. 28
  • Zone 3, Oct. 26-Feb. 28
  • Limit (all zones): Eight daily, 16 possession.


  • Statewide, Oct. 12-Feb. 28
  • Limit: Eight daily, 16 possession

Bobwhite quail:

  • Statewide, Nov. 28-March 1
  • Limit: Eight daily, 16 possession


  • Archery, Oct. 1-Nov. 22
  • Gun, dogs, Nov. 23-Dec. 1 and Dec. 24-Jan. 22
  • Primitive weapon, Dec. 2-Dec. 15
  • Gun, no dogs, Dec. 16-Dec. 23
  • Primitive weapon, private lands only, Jan. 23-Jan. 31
  • Limit: One buck with minimum four antler points per day, three per license year; one antlerless deer per day, three per license year, with two additional if taken by bow.

Spring turkey:

  • March 22-May 1
  • Limit: One male gobbler, or a gobbler with a minimum six-inch beard, daily, three per year.


  • Statewide, July 1-Oct. 1
  • Limit: One per party per night.

Opossum, raccoon, bobcat:

  • Statewide, Oct. 12-Feb. 28
  • Limit: Eight daily, 16 possession
  • Statewide, Nov. 1-Feb. 28. No Limit.
  • Trapping, Statewide, Nov. 1-Feb. 28. No limit.


  • Statewide, April 5-Sept. 21
  • Limit: 25 per person per night, 50 possession

Migratory birds:

  • Seasons, including for duck and dove, will be set after federal guidelines are established this summer.
  • Zone 1- Areas north of U.S. 82 plus those portions of Sunflower County and Washington County south of U.S. 82.
  • Zone 2 _ Areas between U.S. 82 and U.S. 84 plus portions of the state south of U.S. 84 and west of Interstate 55.
  • Zone 3 _ Areas south of U.S. 84 and east of Interstate 55.

Source: Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.