Over the past several hunting seasons, Mississippi deer hunters have harvested some of the largest white-tailed deer on record. Mississippi is beginning to be acknowledged as one of the top white-tailed deer states in the nation. This was recently highlighted in the June/July issue of Outdoor Life magazine. Outdoor Life ranked Mississippi seventh in the nation for producing large bucks. This ranking was based on four criteria for each state: number of bucks qualifying for the Boone and Crockett records program, hunter density, cost of guided hunts, and hunter friendliness in terms of laws and regulations. The top ten states were ranked as follows: Kentucky; Kansas; Indiana; Iowa; Minnesota; Illinois; Mississippi; Nebraska; Ohio; and, Oklahoma.

The top ten ranking is not a surprise to Lann Wilf, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Deer Program Biologist. “MDWFP biologists work with many landowners and hunting clubs that practice sound deer management on their property,” Wilf said. “A management objective for many of these properties is to produce older-aged bucks, and these older-aged bucks simply equal bigger deer.” In addition to strong deer management in Mississippi, the state has some of the most fertile soils in the nation, which aids in growing bigger deer. Some of the best deer come from along the Mississippi and Big Black Rivers.

Mississippi hunters and land managers should take pride in their state’s ranking. They are the ones responsible for implementing management practices that result in healthy deer populations. To view the full Outdoor Life article, visit www.outdoorlife.com/whitetailscale.

Logo courtesy Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks

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