Mississippi Deer Population:  An estimated 1.6 million deer in 2015, 1.7 in 2014, and 1.75 to 1.8 million from 2011 through 2013.  The 2016 population is trending higher from good rainfall.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Mississippi deer harvest data and news archive.

Mississippi Deer News

Illegal deer carcass import cases mounting November 30, 2016 MIssissippi CT Post
... A new regulation adopted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks bans the importation of certain deer parts into Mississippi from areas with chronic wasting disease ...

MSU researchers map genetic deer structure in Southeastern U.S. November 18, 2016 Mississippi State Newsroom
... Stocking efforts occurred in the early 1900s, when deer were scarce on the southeastern landscape—mostly due to habitat loss and unregulated hunting. In order to repopulate the popular game species, state agencies obtained deer from around the Southeast, but also as far as Michigan and Mexico, and released them throughout the region...

Buck captures on schedule for MSU Deer Lab study November 7, 2016 MIssissippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... The capture of the deer is part of a study to collect data on how mature buck movement is affected by hunting pressure. Once captured, the deer are fitted with ear tags and GPS tracking collars and released. The target number of bucks to be included in the study is 55...

Youth deer season opens Saturday November 3, 2016 Mississippi, Meridian Star
..."The abundant late spring and early summer rains have resulted in above average antler growth and fawn production," said William McKinley, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) biologist. "We are expecting a better than average season in both number and quality."... 

Manage for age, not antlers October 28, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
...  a yearling buck will have a thin body, thin neck and his legs will appear too long for his body... At 4 years old, a buck's stomach, neck and chest are fully developed, and the waist will drop down even with the chest. The legs will appear too short for the body ...

... I estimated heritability for six antler characteristics and quantified the influence of maternal factors such as parturition date and litter size on the predictability of antler size. All antler characteristics were highly heritable. Yearling antler size was a moderate predictor of antler size later in life, but accounting for maternal factors greatly improved predictability. The influence of maternal factors decreased with increasing male age suggesting that compensation for the negative influence of maternal factors may occur after an individual’s first year of life....

Deer archery season in South Mississippi begins next weekend October 9, 2016 Mississippi, The Sun Herald
... The acorn and persimmon crops look good on all the trees ... The relatively mild and wet summer has produced some great antlers and a prolific fawn crop...

No does allowed in Sunflower WMA gun seasons October 6, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... "There's just not the deer out there that there should be," ... fawn recruitment is lagging and the overall population is not increasing.  "The does are in great shape," Fleeman said. "They should be dropping two to three fawns a year... "We don't know what's causing it,"...

Squirrel, deer seasons forecast September 23, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... In the 2010 season, Mississippi hunters took an estimated 322,287 deer. Since that time, the numbers fell to 263,705 in 2013, 253,728 in 2014 and 254,246 in 2015... High fawn numbers were noted in 2011 and in 2012 ...

Aging deer? There's an app for that September 21, 2016 MIssissippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
...  the app is designed to help hunters have an idea of how old a deer is when it's alive and after it has been harvested... The MSU Extension Service Deer Aging app is available for free from the App Store ... only for Apple," ...

Deer sightings are declining September 15, 2016 MIssissippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... In an online poll taken by The Clarion-Ledger Outdoors following the 2015-16 deer season, the majority of responders indicated they were observing fewer deer while hunting.... The 2015-16 survey showed the harvest was ... 254,246 ... Those totals represent the lowest estimated harvests in 25 years and according to MDWFP Deer Program biologist William McKinley, they are a part of a recent trend...

MSU Deer Lab: Don't shoot this buck September 9, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... hunters in Madison and Yazoo counties is if they see a tagged or collared deer ... don't shoot it for the next three years." ... 55 white-tailed bucks will be fitted with ear tags and GPS collars during the 2016-17 deer seasons for a two-year study... data will provide a much clearer picture of how deer react to hunting pressure...
... Three Purvis men have plead guilty to importing white-tailed deer into Mississippi ...  spent over $100,000 to purchase live white-tailed deer for delivery from Texas to Mississippi...

Starkville, Class at MSU to survey deer January 6, 2016 MIssissippi, WTVA
... Many cities in Mississippi are seeing an increase in the amount of deer ... Dr. Steve Demarais with Mississippi State University got the approval by the city to conduct a study in the area with one of his classes...
     MSU asks to study deer population in Starkville September 5, 2016 Mississippi, WTVA
... The Mississippi State University Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture is asking Starkville leaders to allow then to take a census of the number of deer in the city... and look for possible management actions...

... to protect the state from chronic wasting disease. ... It is unlawful to import, transport, or possess any portion of a cervid carcass originating from any state, territory or foreign country where the occurrence of CWD has been confirmed ...
     Mississippi bans imports of deer carcasses to fight disease September 2, 2016 mySanAntonio.com
... The Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks passed a rule in May banning the importation in hopes of keeping chronic wasting disease from infecting Mississippi's deer herd...

EHD deaths in deer could climb this year August 26, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... Deer die from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease every year in Mississippi ... McKinley said he's found nine dead deer in the past two weeks and the suspected cause is EHD ... "It literally causes the tongue to lose enough blood it turns blue," ..."It's very important people report it so we can monitor it,"  ...

Men to plead guilty to transporting deer April 21, 2016 Mississippi, Hattiesburg American
... pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges connected to the live transportation of white-tailed deer from Texas to Mississippi, a violation of state and federal laws...

Ear and Tail Lesions on Capitive White-Tailed Deer FawnsTL Ferguson, S Demarais, J Cooley, S Fleming… - Journal of Zoo and Wildlife …, 2016
... During the 2008–2011 time period, undiagnosed lesions were observed in 21 of 150 white-tailed deer fawns (Odocoileus virginianus) that were part of a captive deer herd at Mississippi State University. Clinical findings in healthy and diseased fawns from 0 to 90 days of age included bite and scratch marks followed by moderate to severe ear and tail necrosis. Gross necropsy findings of necrotizing ulcerative dermatitis correlated with histopathologic findings that included focally severe multifocal vasculitis, vascular necrosis, and thrombosis. This article is a clinical description of these previously unreported lesions associated with tissue necrosis in young captive white-tailed deer...

... ordered to serve two years probation and pay $7,450 in fines ... 

Interesting facts about deer you may not know July 29, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... "Everybody always thought the big dominant buck would tend the doe and that was it," Strickland said. "In reality, there are additional copulations going on. On average, about 25 percent of the twin litters have two dads." ...

Experts share tips on managing for more fawns July 14, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... Brian Murphy, president ... Quality Deer Management Association, said age and sex ratio of a herd can affect how vulnerable fawns are to predation ... if there aren't enough antlered bucks in the population, mature bucks in particular, the breeding season is prolonged because it takes longer for the bucks to breed the available does...

Deer Management Workshop - Newton  Mississippi State University Extension Service
... Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 8:30am to Friday ...

Meet the challenge of public land deer June 24, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Mississippi has a large amount of public land. .. 1.2 million acres of national forests ... many hunters shy away from public land because they feel there is too much pressure to expect any degree of success... 

Deer carcass import ban proposed May 19, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... "It will make it illegal to bring in carcasses from CWD-positive (chronic wasting disease) areas," ...  the result of a recent outbreak of CWD among white-tailed deer and elk in northwest Arkansas ...

Convicted deer poacher fined $11k, loses hunting rights May 16, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... A Mississippi man found guilty of five counts of shooting deer with the aid of a light has been ordered to pay $11,174 ... 

Oxford deer management program working May 16, 2016 Mississippi, Hamilton Journal News
... city officials are counting the number of deer that will not be born as a gauge to the success ... projection is based on the fact a doe will typically give birth to one fawn in her first year, one or two in her second year and two or three in her third year, with three each year after. [using that math, the earth will soon be covered by deer] ...

... purchased and transported live white-tailed deer from January 2009 to December 2012 from Texas to Mississippi... 

Oxford holds controlled hunts to lower deer population March 10, 2016 Mississippi, Daily Mississippian
...  the city’s development has caused its deer population to overflow into urban areas.  “The city has annexed and inside the annex, they’ve built and inside that, they’ve built,” McCutchen said. “For centuries, that’s been the deer’s land and their place of rest and now we’re kind of pushing them out. This makes them generate more movement, so it definitely raises a concern.” ...

Chronic wasting disease moves closer to Mississippi March 3, 2016 Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... recent confirmation of the disease in Arkansas ... "Even if she [elk] was the lone-wolf carrier, that area could be infected for decades,"  ...  it kills slowly. The time period from infection to death could be one to two years ...  during that time, infected animals are shedding and sharing the prions ...

Deer herd getting by in post-flood habitat February 26, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... The recent flood of the Mississippi River displaced thousands of deer from the batture ... "They're eating vines, sticks and whatever they can get a hold of," Rose said. "It's incredible what they'll eat when they're forced to. " ... The clover didn't look so spiffy ...

Deer and turkey tagging bill passes House committee February 23, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... House Bill 1164, authored by committee chairman Scott Bounds, R-Philadelphia, states that the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks must implement a system of mandatory tagging and harvest reporting for wild turkeys and deer...

Dogfight over deer in Mississippi February 19, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
...  "I've had dog hunters around me since I bought my property." ... he would like regulations put in place that would require hunters with dogs to have a minimum amount of acreage, and it's an idea that has at least some support on both sides of the fence...

Tagging program proposed for Mississippi deer, turkeys February 15, 2016 Mississippi, NOLA.com
...  introduced HB 1164 last week, which would require the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks to "develop, implement and regulate a tagging and reporting program for white-tailed deer and wild turkey, to collect harvest data and monitor bag-limit compliance." ...

Flood causes high number of deer-vehicle collisions February 11, 2016 Mississippi, Mississippi News Now
... "We have just come off a recent flood event in the south delta.  Deer are moving back from the higher ground back to the normal habitats," ...

Miss. ranked No. 1 for deer hunting in 2016 February 3, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... Hunters in Mississippi harvested an estimated total of 253,728 deer. Field & Stream pointed out that's almost two deer per hunter...

Early deer season closures put businesses in a bind January 28, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledge
... when the Mississippi River flooded and closed the season early in some areas, business owners felt it... "There's nowhere to hunt. Everything's under water." ...

Mississippi No. 1 for mature buck harvests January 25, 2016 Jackson Clarion Ledger
...  Mississippi hunters harvested the highest percentage of mature bucks during the 2014-15 season of any state in the nation... Since QDMA was founded in 1988, we’ve watched the harvest pressure on yearling bucks decline steadily from the extremes seen after restoration ...

Only 10 days left to bag a trophy buck January 21, 2016 Mississippi, Hattiesburg American
...there was quite clearly a slow start to the 2015-16 deer seasons. It seemed the deer had disappeared. And even as optimistic as I am, I began searching for reasons why so few deer were being taken. “Maybe the season is too long. Maybe the liberal bag limits have taken a toll...

Supplemental feeding for deer concerning flooding January 20, 2016 Mississippi, MS News Now 
... if a supplemental feeding program is started, biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks recommend a specific feed mixture... Mixing corn or soybeans with protein pellets will improve acceptance by deer and will increase energy intake.  If you want to feed the deer, you must use an above ground covered feeder or stationary spin cast feeder...

... "There's deer ...That's one of the unfortunate victims of these river floods. They're very close to the bank now to be able to get out," said Pace.  They keep an eye out for poachers ...

... We are picking up a lot of deer from north of here and from south of here,” Gilbert Rose, President of Tara Wildlife said. “Not only just on the other side of that levee which is about 7,000 acres. They are coming across the level when the river rises” ...

Illegal hunting on the rise because of rising flood waters January 13, 2016 Mississippi, Mississippi News Now
... Right now thousands of deer are displaced from Tunica south along the Mississippi River into Warren County due to the high water... numerous cases of illegal deer hunting due to the displacement...

Officer euthanizes deer in Vicksburg for public safety January 13, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... a scene near the Port of Vicksburg on Jan. 7. A deer was swimming to shore, only to be spooked back in the water by spectators who had gathered to watch the buck. When the buck came to shore again, it was said to be exhausted and laid down on the bank... spectators were asked to back away and the deer was shot three times and killed by a conservation officer...

Rising Miss. River leads to wildlife violations arrests January 12, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Deer are fleeing floodwater from the rising Mississippi River and some hunters have allegedly tried to take advantage of the situation.... "They found three dead does, one buck and one buck head," ...

Wildlife fleeing wilderness to escape flooding January 11, 2016 Mississippi, Vicksburg Post
... “The deer and other animals that are being displaced by the water, typically they’re not going to travel great distances ... They’ll go find food and shelter until the water recedes ...

South MS wildlife management areas reopen January 7, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Three wildlife management areas in south Mississippi have reopened this week as river levels continue to fall...
     Hunting season cut short in some parts of Mississippi January 6, 2015 Mississippi, mpbonline.org 
... As the Mississippi River continues to rise above the flood stage of 43 feet, the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is closing wildlife management areas that are at risk...

Deer season impacted by river floods January 1, 2016 Mississippi, Picayune Item 
... Gov. Phil Bryant issued a State of Emergency for areas affected by the threat of major flooding in counties along the Mississippi River ... This order also authorizes the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to monitor the situation and adjust closings accordingly ...

Shooting deer with the aid of lights on the rise December 31, 2015 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger 
... We've had 27 cases in the last three weeks ...  fines can reach $5,000, the hunter can lose his weapon ... lose hunting privileges for three years ...

... because of the rising Mississippi River  ... “What you’re dealing with is a lot of big-money clubs, and they don’t want people running around shooting ‘their’ deer ... When (deer) leave their property and get on the other side of the levee, they don't want ‘their’ deer being shot.” ...

6 States for Late Season Bowhunting December 29, 2015 Mississippi, Bowhunting.Com 
... Mississippi’s deer population is estimated to be 1.75 million, with hunters harvesting approximately 280,000 deer annually...

Tracking the deer rut December 21, 2015 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman
... The first phase is called the “seeking” phase, which occurs about two weeks or so prior to peak breeding... The second phase is called the “chasing” phase, occurring about a week or so before peak breeding... typically starting on my hunting property a few days after Christmas ...

How the Southern Whitetail Rut Differs from the Rest of the Country December 19, 2015 Mississippi, Outdoor Channel
... how critical it is to keep buck-to-doe ratios in optimal balance, like one adult buck per two to four adult does. When the doe ratio gets higher than four, the rut hunting will likely be very weak because bucks don’t have to travel far to find a hot doe, and it takes longer for the bucks to breed all of the does...

MDWFP adopts change to wildlife feeding rules December 16, 2015 Mississippi, Chickasaw Journal
... The adopted change removes the “line of sight” prohibition from the rule ...

Primitive weapon season for Deer now open December 5, 2015 Mississippi, The Sun Herald
... "The rut is occurring now in most of the Delta and just beginning in northern parts of the state," ... Pre-rut activities are also picking up in central Mississippi...

Opening weekend of gun season for deer holds promise November 18, 2015 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... “It was the spring of 2012,” former MDWFP Deer Program leader Lann Wilf told The Clarion-Ledger in an earlier interview. “That was when spring sprung in January.  “The deer were in phenomenal shape. It looked like fawns fell out of the sweet gum trees. They were everywhere.” ... could mean more mature bucks ...

Opening weekend of gun season for deer holds promise November 18, 2015 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... White oaks ..., experienced a wet spring which negatively impacted pollination. Red oaks, which take two years to grow mature acorns, struggled to produce viable acorns in much of Mississippi due to stress from the drought. The lack of rain also affected the already lean white oak acorn crop...

Spotlighting Deer: Illegal in MS and potentially deadly November 16, 2015 Mississippi, 7 WDAM
... Spotlighting is the practice of shining a light source at the animal, which usually makes it freeze, making it that much easier to kill... arrested six people just in Rankin County ...

No Special Primitive Weapons Season for deer in Southeast Zone November 14, 2015 Mississippi, The Sun Herald
... Mississippi's special primitive weapons season for white-tailed deer will not take place in the Southeast Deer Management Zone because of lower deer numbers... the habitat isn't as good in the Delta and Hills ...

Doe-only primitive season opens Nov. 9 November 7, 2015 Mississippi Sportsman
... All other primitive weapon seasons in Mississippi allow hunters on private lands to use weapon of choice, including modern centerfile rifles and shotguns. This early season is to give hunters additional opportunities to manage their antlerless deer herd...

More big bucks in Mississippi than ever before November 2, 2015 NOLA.com
... the state implemented a 4-point restriction in 1995, but that had an unintended and undesirable effect. Many hunters shot any legal buck, which left inferior deer in the woods and removed those with the best potential... Biologists discovered better management techniques ... leading to the current regulations that are based on measurements rather than numbers of points...

Shooting deer over feed has stipulations October 30, 2015 Mississippi, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
... Beginning this deer season, since the Oct. 1 archery opener in fact, hunters on private land in Mississippi have been allowed to shoot deer while in clear view of shelled corn or other assisting feed ... does not apply to public land ...

Harvest does early October 24, 2015 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... In the search for big antlers, hunters often pass on opportunities to harvest does because they think a trophy could be trailing her. That can lead to does being taken toward the end of the season and a lower than intended harvest ...

Deer on the move in Mississippi October 22, 2015 7 WDAM
... The deer population is extremely healthy in our state. Walker [of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks] said figures show there are nearly 1.8 million deer in the state...

2015 Trophy Deer Forecast October 21, 2015 Mississippi, Game & Fish
... the fertile Mississippi Delta.  “The abundance of very fertile river bottoms found in this region, like the Big Black, Bayou Pierre, St. Catherine Creek and the Homochitto River, create a more diverse habitat ... And the abundant agricultural crops that are found along these river bottoms are excellent supplemental food sources for the deer.” ...

Facebook hoax concerns Miss. deer hunters October 20, 2015 Missippi, USA TODAY
... it includes a picture of three white-tailed deer with a headline that says, "2015 Mississippi Deer Season Cancelled." Below that, it reads, "Deer Season in Mississippi cancelled due to..."

ES Michel, S Demarais, BK Strickland, JL Belant… - Brill, 2015 Mississippi
 ... Dominance is a behavioural mechanism that allows individuals to access and monopolize resources which should ultimately improve their fitness. Hierarchy strength should be strongest when resources are limited ... We demonstrate that hierarchy strength was weak in the presence of abundant food resources and suggest the possibility that dominance is a plastic behaviour that may vary with resource abundance...

Top MDWFP deer biologist quits amid baiting controversy October 3, 2015 Mississippi,  Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Deer Program leader has resigned amid recent controversy over the legalization of hunting deer over bait...

... While deer did affect soybean height, soybean yield remained unaffected during both years of my study. Given the results of this study, the perception of deer damage may be greater than the physical damage and other environmental factors such as field margin effects may be the reason for spatial variations in soybean yield throughout fields. Hinder® also improved soybean height and decreased deer damage but soybean yield remained unchanged...

Motorists need to be mindful of deer on Mississippi highways September 30, 2015 leecountycourier.net
... “The parkway is the largest stand of hardwood forest in Mississippi ...The biggest problem is acorns are starting to fall so deer migrate to the parkway to eat them.”  According to Atkins, the advent of deer hunting season also prompts deer to the relative safety of the parkway, where hunting is not permitted...

MSU Rolls Out New Deer App September 23, 2015 Mississippi, WCBI
... Deer Hunt enables hunters and wildlife managers to use mobile technology to easily collect critical deer observation information.  It allows hunting club members to record observations and harvest data ... allows state deer biologists to have real-time access to what hunters are seeing and harvesting at the county or regional level...

Deer season: Looking back and going forward September 20, 2015 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... “The total harvest for the (20)14-15 season was 253,728 — estimated,” said Lann Wilf, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Deer Program leader. “That was a 4-percent decrease from (20)13-14, which was 263,705.”...

Wildlife panel gives deer baiting final OK September 16, 2015 MIssissippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... Mississippi Wildlife Federation Executive Director Brad Young also spoke in opposition and was unhappy with the final decision. Young, a wildlife biologist, told the commission that no biologists supported the change and he questioned why it ever came up...

... The state ranks 8th nationally in deer collisions with the odds that drivers will hit a deer at 1 out of 88... the state ranked 6th nationally last year ...

MDWFP Commission Proposes Change to Wildlife Supplemental Feeding Rule September 5, 2015 Mississippi, SunHerald.com
... voted unanimously in favor to amend supplemental feeding of wildlife regulations to allow hunting deer over bait...

Mississippi data:  The population is up in 2016 from abundant late spring and early summer rains.  About 1.6 million deer in 2015; estimated 1.7 million deer in 2014; 1.75 to 1.8 million deer in 2011 through 2013 - a downward trend since 2010.  Hot summer in 2015 stressed does reducing fawn weights and survival.  A peak of about 2 million in 2000. Estimated 1989 population 1.7 million. The recent somewhat lower deer population attributed to floods, changes in land use, cold weather, and - in the southwest - increased numbers of swine and coyotes. Bag limits have been reduced to encourage herd growth and antler criteria have generally been increased to encourage taking of fewer young bucks. In east-central and southeast Mississippi lower fertility soils and poor fawn recruitment have kept the population down.  The southwest and lower Delta have high deer densities.  State buck-to-doe ratio about one-to-three.  Most of the state has 30 to 40 deer per square mile.  Goal in 2015 to maintain population or reduce in some areas.
     Hunter success in 2014 was 66 percent. A 4 percent decline in the deer harvest from 2013, a moderate downward trend since 2010. About 138,000 hunters in 2015. Estimated $1 billion economic impact on state. Annual deer harvest about 280,000.  Hurricane Isaac reduced many wildlife populations in 2012, but an early spring produced many fawns that year.  Good rainfall in 2013 benefited the deer herd, hunters were limited to five does and three bucks per license.  Legal deer include either-sex on private lands and legal bucks only on open public lands.  The buck to doe ratio is about one to three. 
    In order to allow more bucks to reach maturity, the state implemented a 4-point antler restriction in 1995, later modified to be based on measurement, not the number of points.  The number of mature bucks in the state has increased markedly as a result. 

Report poaching and wildlife violations, Hotline: 1-800-BE SMART
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Deer Management Goals: Department wildlife biologists continue to inform and educate sportsmen relative to deer management needs and issues. Our goals are to provide insight into current deer management needs while providing the leadership to identify and guide future issues. from Deer Program Report