Deer Forecast-South

Mississippi Delta floodplain

Five seasons after the implementation of a statewide four-points-or-better regulation, Mississippi hunters are seeing the payoff with bigger bucks throughout the state. Three regions in the central portion consistently are producing big bucks-the Mississippi Delta floodplain, the Upper Thick Loess area adjacent to the Delta and the east-central Blackland Prairie. Common denominators there are good soils and abundant forage. "As far as one specific county standing out, it doesn't exist," state deer specialist Larry Castle says. "The bottom line is we have three regions that produce exceptional animals when compared to the rest of the state. The only problem with the Delta is there just isn't that much public land." That's okay, since a healthy population of between 1.5 and 1.7 million deer is spread from Tunica and Tishomingo counties in the north to the state's narrow span of Gulf Coast. Hunters in the state take about 300,000 deer a year, and Castle says that shouldn't change this season. "If there's no drought, there is no reason we shouldn't have another outstanding season," says Castle.