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MDWFP Clarifies Confusion Around Deer Bag Limits for 2023/2024 Season

Due to an influx of inquiries, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is responding to any confusion surrounding 2023/2024 deer harvest limits. 

MDWFP has not increased the bag limit on white-tailed deer in 2023. 

This year, our state is seeing a record high in the deer population. Photo from MDWFP

This year, our state is seeing a record high in the deer population. This number will continue to increase if the harvest continues to decrease.

On average, a hunter harvests less than two deer annually. Thus, we are encouraging hunters to utilize their bag limits and harvest one more deer this season to contribute to a healthier deer population. 

Additionally, localized deer populations vary across the state. Some regions may not see the effects of overpopulation as much as other regions, as certain soil regions are better suited geographically for deer to thrive. 

MDWFP biologists evaluate deer population size by obtaining data through statewide surveys, DMAP harvest reporting, WMA harvest reporting, and collaborations with Mississippi State University researchers.

Using the estimated population total, they can utilize population reconstruction models to determine potential growth and density for the state as a whole.

Additionally, when harvest percentage is applied to the population size, MDWFP’s biologists can determine the potential growth for the next generation of deer and the impact they will have on Mississippi’s landscape.

MDWFP encourages hunters to utilize Game Check to report deer harvest and aid biologists in their research.   

Bag Limits and Restrictions:2023-2024-hunting-seasons.pdf (mdwfp.com) 

Antlered Buck Deer: The statewide bag limit on antlered buck deer is one buck per day and three per annual season. One of these three may have hardened antlers that do not meet the unit legal antler requirements on private land and Holly Springs National Forest. For youth hunters 15 years of age and younger, hunting on private land and authorized state and federal lands, all three of the three buck bag limits may be any antlered deer. Antlered buck bag limit in the North Central Deer Management Unit (DMU) is one buck per day and four per annual season. No antler restrictions apply to this DMU. All four bucks may have any-sized hardened antlers.  

Antlerless Deer: Private lands: The statewide annual bag limit on antlerless deer is five (5). The antlerless bag limitfor private lands in the North Central DMU is 10 antlerless deer per season. Antlerless deer are male or female deer that do not have hardened antlers above the natural hairline. Only two antlerless deer may be harvested from the Southeast Unit. There is no daily bag limit on antlerless deer in the North Central, Hills and Delta units. Only one antlerless deer per day may be harvested in the Southeast DMU. U.S. Forest Service National Forests: The bag limit is one per day, not to exceed five per annual season except in the Southeast Unit, which is two per annual season. 

Provided by MDWFP

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