JACKSON – The Mississippi deer archery season opens Saturday, October 1st, 2011 for Zones 1 & 3 and Saturday, October 15th, 2011 for Zone 2.  The opening of archery season marks the beginning of the state’s 123 days of deer hunting opportunity.

As hunting season approaches, MDWFP would like to wish Mississippi’s hunters a safe and successful hunting season and reminds hunters to HUNT SMART, HUNT SAFE.  Take time before your hunt to be sure you have all the proper safety equipment.  Deer hunters should have the following:  a valid hunting license, hunter orange, a full-body harness for tree stands, an emergency signal device such as a whistle or cell phone, and a hunting plan that includes making sure someone knows where you’re going to be hunting.

For hunters utilizing Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) across the state, a fall-arrest system (full-body harness) manufactured to Treestand Manufacturers Association standards must be worn while installing, climbing, and hunting from a treestand on any WMA.  Since treestand-related accidents are the leading cause of hunting injury, MDWFP urges all hunters to purchase and understand how to use a full-body harness if hunting from an above ground treestand.  “Everyone needs to read the instructions and watch the video that come standard with today’s treestands and full-body harnesses,” says MDWFP Regional Deer Biologist Justin Thayer.  Thayer also urges hunters to practice suspending in their full-body harness at ground level and learn to use the supplied suspension relief device.  “Understanding how it feels to be suspended in the event of a fall will give you the confidence to recover into your stand or signal for help – it’s practice that can save your life,” Thayer says.

Hunt Smart, Hunt Safe…and visit www.mdwfp.com or call (601) 432-2400 for more information on deer seasons, regulations, or hunter’s education classes near you.  Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.

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