The Mississippi legislature recently passed HB 1035, sponsored by Rep. Scott Bounds [R], establishing an early season velvet buck hunt in the Magnolia State. The bill was signed by Governor Tate Reeves on April 15.
HB 1035 requires the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to establish and regulate a velvet buck season in Mississippi. The hunt will take place annually within the season framework dates of September 10-20. The actual hunt dates in any given season will vary, lasting at least three days, but no longer than five. The velvet hunt will be open for archery equipment and crossbows only on both private lands and any WMA deemed appropriate by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. There will be a special permit required for the hunt, and only bucks that meet the antler criteria for their respective deer management unit may be harvested.
At their recent April 21 meeting, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks established specific rules and regulations for the Special Velvet Hunting season.
2022 Velvet Buck Hunt Details
- Hunt will take place September 16-18, 2022
- All bucks harvested must be reported by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest and submitted for CWD sampling
- The hunt is on private land only, archery equipment only, and buck only
- A special permit is required for the hunt that is $10 for residents and $50 for non-residents
- The special velvet season has a one-buck limit, and bucks must meet the minimum antler requirements for the deer management unit
- Bucks DO NOT have to be in velvet to be legal
Future velvet buck hunts could be longer and include public lands, but for this first season the MDWFP is being conservative to gauge the level of participation and success.
“States have varying degrees of success. Some states have a small percentage of buck harvest come from this season,” said Assistant Deer Program Coordinator Kamen Campbell in a recent interview with the Natchez Democrat. “We don’t want to provide too much opportunity out of the gate not knowing how it will impact the population. We could change it in future seasons if we think it won’t have a negative impact on the resource.”
At this point, these are PROPOSED regulations for the new velvet buck hunt. There will be a 30 day comment period beginning April 21, 2022 and, based on those comments, the regulations will be finalized at a future MDWFP Commission meeting. We’ll keep you posted throughout the process.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this new velvet buck hunting opportunity in the comments section below.