Mississippi Deer:  An estimated population of 1.75 deer in 2016, about the same in 2015.  The 2016 population benefited from good rainfall.  The large mast crop of 2016 left the does in good health, leading to good fawn production in 2017, increasing the population.  The population was estimated at estimated at 1.7 in 2014, and 1.75 to 1.8 million from 2011 through 2013.  MDWFP recommends reducing deer limits for the 2017-18 hunt.  The percentage of mature bucks taken in the 2015 hunt was higher than any other state.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Mississippi deer huntung data and news archive.

Mississippi Deer News

They smuggled deer to Forrest County September 14, 2017 Mississippi, Sun Herald
... White-tailed deer smuggled from Pennsylvania to a Forrest County ranch came from a herd that tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hattiesburg...  a federal charge of violating the Lacey Act ...

2016 Mississippi deer harvest lowest in 31 years September 8, 2017 Jackson Clarion Ledger
... hunters complained more loudly about low numbers of deer in the 2016 season than in any year ... The latest hunter survey estimates mirror what hunters are claiming with an estimate of 244,795 deer taken. That is roughly 10,000 fewer deer than the 2015 estimate ...

... a Purvis man who pleaded guilty to illegally transporting live white-tailed deer from Texas to Lamar County had managed to let some of those deer loose in the county... deer hunters are being asked to bring in the heads of their game so state wildlife officials can test ...
5 ways to see more deer this year August 11, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Supplemental feeding has become the norm as restrictions on feeders have been relaxed and the practice has become more widely accepted ...  many hunters responded that  supplemental feeding has had a negative impact... "Deer know that feed is there and they may be more apt to become nocturnal...

Hunter catches rare Bullwinkle deer on camera August 11, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... a buck with a very swollen snout... called Bullwinkle Syndrome ...  very rare... suspected it's a bacterial infection or inflammation of some kind." ...

Heavy fawn drop expected in 2017 August 7, 2017 Mississippi, Mississippi Sportsman
... Hard drought conditions that lasted well into the fall in most of the state had deer struggling to find healthy natural food sources. Then a huge acorn and other hard-mast crop started falling ...

Hunters' help sought amid fear of deer disease August 2, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... As a result of an enclosure breach on a property where illegally imported deer were found ...  imported deer from Texas and placed them in a high-fence enclosure on Coleman Virgil Slade's property in Lamar County ...

New deer regs, misinformation raise questions July 27, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Annual season bag limits for antlerless deer were reduced this season from five to three in the Delta, Northeast, East Central and Southwest zones. In the Southeast Zone, the bag limit for antlerless deer was reduced from one per day, not to exceed three per annual season, to one per day, not to exceed two per annual season...

Learn more about deer at Deer University June 28, 2017 MIssissippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Hosted by MSU Deer Lab professors ... Deer University is a series of podcasts which dig deep into topics like selective harvest, dealing with predators, and nutrition... Deer University podcasts, visit www.msudeerlab.com or iTunes...

... two Mississippi men and a Texas man conspired to illegally import white-tailed deer into Mississippi from Texas... an EF3 tornado bisected the property in question and destroyed thousands of linear feet of fencing that enclosed the 420 acre parcel ...  a federal judge calling for CWD testing...

Grow weeds for forage, fawns June 10, 2017 Mississipppi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... While food plots and mature forests with open understory have their place in a deer's life, so do weedy, snakey, brushy fields... You're providing food and cover. Food plots are just food...

Higher numbers of fawns expected this summer June 7, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... "We saw in our herd health observations we had very high fat indices. It's going to lead to a higher reproductive rate, we expect." ... caused by the exceptional mast crop we had last year ..,

Deer regulations finalized for coming season May 24, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
... In the Delta, Northeast, East Central and Southwest zones, the bag limit for does has been reduced from five to three per annual season. In the Southeast Zone, the limit has been reduced to one per day, not to exceed two per annual season..,

McKinley to head Deer Program May 22, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is pleased to announce William T. McKinley as the new Deer Program Coordinator... Wild hogs are proving to be a menace to deer management by threatening the herd through food competition ...

Wild hogs: Reservoirs of disease May 6, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection ...  Not only are wild hogs shedding the disease, they seem to be doing a lot of it. ...   "Multiple animals can get it including deer and humans. ... of leptospirosis in Mississippi wild hogs could be negatively impacting deer density in some areas ...

MDWFP calls for more moderate doe limits April 28, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... the rules would reduce the take of does from the current five per annual season to three in all zones except the Southeast Zone. In the Southeast, the harvest of does would be limited to one per day, not to exceed two per annual season...

MDWFP proposes new deer regulations April 22, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
...  In the Southeast Zone ...recommended reducing the limit from a total of three per season to one per day, not to exceed two per season. In all other zones, the antlerless bag limit will be reduced from five per season to three..,

MDWFP asking for deer hunter opinions, deer harvest April 7, 2017 MIssissippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... "We've been on a declining trend since 2010," ... Members of online hunting forums organized and began sending emails to legislators voicing their concerns over the population...

extension.msstate.edu
... Fawn recruitment could be down due to coyote or even wild hog predation. It is also possible that wild hogs in some areas are outcompeting deer for food. Hunter harvest data from the last five years shows that deer harvest in the state is trending downward ...

Deer, turkey harvest reporting dead? March 3, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... When HB 1028 was initially introduced, it included language that would require hunters to physically place a tag on deer and turkeys that were harvested. After, a substitute bill was introduced and tagging was removed, leaving only harvest reporting. But the bill's title still described it as a tagging bill...

3rd man sentenced in deer transport case February 4, 2017 MIssissippi, Hattiesburg American
... According to the indictmen ... conspired to purchase and transport live white-tailed deer in interstate commerce, a violation of state and federal laws... The Lacey Act, passed in 1900, makes it unlawful to import, export, buy, sell ...

Mississippi No. 1 for older bucks, again January 26, 2017 Jackson Clarion Ledger
... For two consecutive years, the Quality Deer Management Association has ranked Mississippi at the top for the 2015 deer season with 77 percent of the bucks harvested being 3½ years old or older...

State Rep. Morgan talks deer, turkey tagging January 25, 2017 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger... A bill calling for required tagging and harvest reporting of deer and turkeys has been introduced in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Rep. Ken Morgan (R-Morgantown), who authored House Bill 1028 ...

LA, MS hunters busted for headlighting deer January 12, 2017 MIssissippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... "They were being investigated by their employers for bringing contraband into the prison." ... the four admitted to killing 26 deer in Jefferson and Adams counties with the aid of a light ...

New sentencing date set for man charged with deer crime December 31, 2016 MIssissippi, Hattiesburg American
...  allegedly conspired ... to make the purchase of the deer and bring the deer to his "high-fence" enclosed ranch in Stonewall County, Texas. The deer instead were allegedly transported ... to Dewayne Slade's "high-fence" ranch in Lamar County  "... for the purpose of breeding and killing trophy white-tailed buck deer." ...

 High-tech collars used in deer study December 12, 2016 MIssissippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
...  collaring and tagging bucks in Yazoo and Madison Counties for a buck movement study. The intent is to determine how bucks react to hunting pressure and how it affects their movement patterns...

Officials warn drivers to watch out for deer on roadways December 4, 2016 MIssissippi, The Sun Herald
... Mississippi averages over 3,000 deer-related crashes per year ... 

How Northeast Mississippi farmers, scientists are adapting to rising temperatures December 4, 2016 Mississippi, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
... Envision a lactating white-tailed doe with fawns that has to feed herself and her young. She needs more energy, but the steady high temperatures zap her.  The animals, Barton said, count on a cool nighttime to reset...

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...

Mississippi data:  An estimated 1.75 million deer in 2016.   MDWFP reduced doe limits for the 2017-18 hunt to increase the herd. In 2016 the population benefited from abundant late spring and early summer rains.  An abundant mast crop in 2016 made for healthy deer and high fawn production into 2017.  About 1.75 million deer in 2015; estimated at 1.7 million deer in 2014; 1.75 to 1.8 million deer in 2011 through 2013 - a downward trend from 2010.  Hot summer in 2015 stressed does reducing fawn weights and survival, although flooding in winter of 2015-16 displaced many deer.  Also a poor acorn crop, reducing available nutrition.
     A peak deer population of about 2 million in 2000. Estimated 1989 population of 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.  Fertile river bottoms in these areas create diverse habitat and abundant agriculture crops provide supplemental food.  State buck-to-doe ratio about one-to-three.  Most of the state has 30 to 40 deer per square mile.  The goal in 2015 was to maintain population or reduce in some areas.
     The percent of buck 3.5 years or older taken in 2015 was 77 percent, the highest in the nation.  Also highest in 2014.  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.  
    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.  During antler restrictions hunters took out some of the best deer and left others behind.

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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