Mississippi’s First Velvet Buck Deer Season Set for September 16-18, 2022

Last Updated on July 6, 2022 by Brian Grossman

The Mississippi legislature recently passed HB 1035, sponsored by Rep. Scott Bounds [R], establishing an early velvet buck deer season 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 Deer Season 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 their May 19 meeting, the Commission on Mississippi Wildlife ,Fisheries and Parks voted unanimously to approve the September velvet deer season, along with the remaining 2022-2023 deer season dates.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this new velvet buck hunting opportunity in the comments section below.

43 thoughts on “Mississippi’s First Velvet Buck Deer Season Set for September 16-18, 2022”

    1. It’s a 1 buck special hunt how is that messing with the population it will give you a chance to kill a big mature deer early when they are moving in the day more and kill a buck in velvet I’m sure the mdfp knows what they are doing many states have been doing this for a long time now and they are some of the best and most sought after states to hunt

  1. I hunt South Mississippi and I’m in the Southeast Zone and it doesn’t open until Oct 15th, so I’d love to get drawn for this. Early season is when I do the best. It use to open Oct 1st and they pushed it back to the 15th. I think that’s good for the eastern section of the southeast zone but not the western section of the southeast zone which I’m in. Hope I get drawn this year. Thanks for the info.

  2. The Mississippi legislature and Commissioners are what’s wrong in Mississippi now. What does the MDWFP think about it? These rich guys makes the rules and push them down the throats of all the sportsman of Mississippi. Let the biologist and MDWFP make the rules not a bunch of self serving rich folks.

  3. Tyler Tramonte

    Rather have the season extended on the back end to February 15th. Can create a late season permit to be the “money grab”.

  4. Why? If anything it should be an early mature doe hunt or spike hunt to regulate the deer overpopulation and to harvest mear not antlers.

    1. Disagree. All our does here in Onward MS are still feeding the youngsters. They still milk up to mid bow season which is why we don’t shoot mature does til after.

    2. No it’s about the health of the population. You could have 10 does to one buck and that it fine because one mature buck could do that. But now it’s almost 10 to 10 and the bucks aren’t getting big and causing health problems in the buck herd

    1. This has to be one of the best things for Mississippi. Bowhunters use to have the first two weeks of October to ourselves until squirrel season was opened on the same day as the archery open day. This is a great opportunity for bowhunters in Mississippi to get that buck of a lifetime in velvet without having to go out of state plus give us time in the woods to ourselves for a little while before the big deer get spooked by the squirrel hunters

  5. I’m very pleased that this is going to happen. Velvet bucks are so beautiful. I would love to see a gun season open in the future.

    1. I too would like to see an early gun season for velvet bucks. I am 73 years of age. I have hunted in South Mississippi all my life. I love being in the woods. A early gun season for velvet bucks would be a huge blessing for us old timers and younger hunters as well. I’m considering purchasing a new bow to hunt this early season, As I said, I love being in the woods.

      Jerry

  6. Just another way for state of miss to get more money we don’t manage wildlife in this state anymore they manage people

  7. Brandon chapman

    I think it’s a cool idea. But i think their should be a lot of monitoring on what’s killed. If they get it mounted, they have to show their permit. So everyone is kept accountable. And only one buck per person.

  8. Way too much to enforce season should start in mid October and go through mid February and leave everything else alone.

  9. Any extra time for hunting is always great, and not to sound ungrateful for it, but, I have to agree with others who have said and/or feel that an extended “permit” to be able to hunt into February would be better. September in Mississippi is still way to hot to even enjoy hunting, of course that’s my opinion. If signed and confirmed velvet hunting may be something of interest, but getting an extra week or two at the end of the season would be something I know I’d be interested in.

  10. I think this is a wonderful idea! Always dreamed of an opportunity to take a mature buck in full velvet! One of the best ideas yet!!!! ???

  11. I personally would love to hunt a velvet buck in September. If you don’t want to hunt them….then don’t put in for the permit.

  12. For All The Idiot’s Out There That Don’t Like This Bill Go Move Up to a Northern State’s That Only Has TWO Weeks of Deer Season! Sounds Like The Ones That Don’t Like this Bill Doesn’t No How To Hunt! Suck It Up Buttercup! For the Hunter’s That Do We Get to Enjoy The GREAT OUTDOOR’S MORETIME TO HUNT! The reason for the One’s that dose not no the Buck’s Breed doe’s Late into Feb. That ‘the reason Why They Stop Deer Season Feb.15 Where The Buck’s Can Breed The Late Does Coming Into Heat!

  13. In my opinion, if it’s a velvet buck hunt, only a mature buck in velvet should be legal. Not any mature buck. That’s where the problem will be.

  14. William Johnson

    How do you submit for CWD testing? It’s hot in September and preserving the carcass for an inspection could be impractical.

    1. You don’t have to save the Whole deer Just the Head. Just Cut the Horns Off and use another Cape if you want to Mount It!

  15. Jason Notariano

    Well as a non-resident hunter (just across the state line), the $50 license for those 2 days is too much ! I’ve been paying over $400 every year to hunt in Mississippi and have been for several year and have been bringing my son hunting since he was 5. This year he will be 16 and last year y’all decided to do away with the discounted non-resident youth license, so now I’ll have to pay over $400 a piece for both of us to hunt !!! Can y’all at least bring back the discounted youth license price ??? When does it stop ????

  16. Great idea can’t tell you how many bucks I get on camera during daylight hours while in velvet. Once it shed the velvet there a different animal. Thank you for adding this opportunity

  17. I was excited about this opportunity at first, but now, not so much! I do European mounts on all my bucks and would love to do one on a velvet buck, but won’t be able to if the head has to be submitted for CWD testing. I don’t want to cut off the antlers, and can’t afford a taxidermist. So, a few questions:
    What exactly does “reporting” mean? Is this the first step to requiring reporting (and tagging) all deer killed during any season?
    If the buck is taken in a non-CWD area why does the head have to be submitted for testing?
    This was initially sold as a unique opportunity to harvest a velvet antlered buck, so why are non-velvet bucks going to be allowed?
    Is the true purpose of this hunt to reduce the herd, get more CWD samples, increase tourist dollars for the state, or to give us another hunting opportunity? Based on the rules already set above, the latter is definitely not the reason.

  18. I’m 65 yrs old,do we get the permit with the senior license,I can’t afford much more with the price of gas,I can put the ten dollars in my truck to travel to a MDWFP refugee👍

  19. Why do we have to pay for a extra permit we are already paying for deer license. It should be included with our deer license just because your calling it a different name. (Velvet buck) just another license we have to pay for and another situation wardens can write up We have to many license to buy. With permits for wildlife management, duck stamps local and federal and all the individuals is just getting so out of hand. With fishing the state is starting to do the same thing. We will have special license for each kind of fish we want to catch. To confuse everyone one one yet again more situations. Sounds like a money scenario either way. Hunting is hunting and fishing is fishing. All in between is just for the money.

  20. LOVE IT! it will be hot,the mosquitoes will be hungry and snakes still out,but, I can hunt a weekend 1 month before regular season in south ms and at least be in the woods.
    Would love to get drawn for Mahanna or one of the other good wmas next year and make a special time of it before any hunting pressure is applied.
    It is NOT mandatory so if you disagree with it please be true to your heart and stay home .
    Can’t wait to try for that buck behind the skating rink this year.

  21. i am a armed forces veteran i would like to know where we are suppose to hunt dont have no club dont have no private land we hunt the wma/as in south ms if youre going to open it up on private land open it up on public land for us to hunt .

  22. Not paying the $50.00 even though I can afford it. On principle. As an out of state hunter I already spend a fortune in Mississippi annually. License, food plots, usual stuff. $50.00 is greedy.

  23. I think this is a good opportunity although a little late for velvet on bucks in my area. I would only add that if they want to offer early buck season why not make muzzle loader season legal to shoot a buck. I have always struggled with this as we are in the land of Davie Crockett and Daniel Boone two muzzle loading pioneers.
    To me this is another grad at CWD and that over reach as it is mandatory to test you deer. My reason to shoot a velvet buck is to have it mounted but I do see you can take to a local taxidermist as well. Lastly to charge $10 for hunters to do their work of testing CWD again is not good in my opinion. They went up 30% on license fees a few years ago and this should be included in those fees.
    One more thing for bow only it is very difficult to get close to a deer with the heat and sweating in your stand or walking to and from. Open it to rifles if you are serious about CWD like Tennessee did…

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