We recently posted about the Mississippi legislature approving an archery velvet buck season for September that created a lot of buzz. That same legislative session also resulted in the passing of another hunting bill that has gotten much less attention. Senate Bill 2010 (SB 2010), sponsored by Sen. Kevin Blackwell [R], allows hunters to use air bows, air rifles, and pre-charged pneumatic weapons during the primitive weapons season for deer after November 30 on private lands.
While air rifles have long been accepted as legal to use during Mississippi’s firearms deer season on private lands, it wasn’t specifically addressed in the regulations. Air bows, due to their unique configuration and use of an arrow, were even more of a gray area.
Many of you may remember an attempt in 2020 to allow the use of air bows in the archery deer seaason, which failed to pass under a cloud of controversy. SB2010 drew much less attention.
While this bill may raise some eyebrows among Mississippi deer hunters, a representative with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) was quick to point out the bill really doesn’t change anything. It only clarifies existing laws on the use of air rifles and air bows.
“In looking at our regulations, nothing prohibited it,” said Russ Walsh, Wildlife chief of staff in an interview with the Clarion Ledger. “Our regulations say there is no caliber or magazine restrictions in open gun season.”
Another part of SB 2010 gives the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks authority to establish special deer seasons within or outside the established open seasons to collect CWD samples.
We’d love to hear what you think of the use of air rifles and air bows during Mississippi’s deer season in the comments below.