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Ducks, deer, rabbit: Take your pick

By By Mike Giles/The Meridian Star
Jan. 5, 2001
Whether you're after ducks, deer or rabbits, the prime hunting time is here. If the weather cooperates, the duck season should get better throughout the month of January.
The Mississippi duck season runs through the 28th of the month. Results on ducks have been varied so far. Hunters are reporting plenty of wood ducks as usual. Most of these have been taken in backwater sloughs, creeks and around beaver ponds.
Although this area is not in the main flyway for the ever-popular mallards, areas that have plenty of water and food available have seen good concentrations of ducks. Scott Pringle of Meridian is one hunter who has been having some success with ducks. Although he and his partners have been shooting a few mallards, he reports that many have been skittish coming in to the decoys. The duck hunting should get better as the season continues due to the extreme cold weather of late.
Deer season
If you're still looking for that big buck, the last week or two of the season has traditionally found a lot of bucks in full-blown rut. Hunters are already seeing a lot of small bucks chasing does.
Most of this activity has been observed in and around green fields and food plots.
The Mississippi deer season with guns runs through January 17. However, hunters who have bows or muzzleloaders will be able to deer hunt through the end of the month.
This is the first time that hunters will be able to hunt deer with muzzleloaders during a late primitive weapons season. Traditionally, hunters have been able to use bows only for the last days of Mississippi's deer season.
During the late season, the leaves are gone from the trees and it is usually hard to draw a bow without being detected by deer.
Now that the muzzle-loading rifles are legal, many more hunters are getting ready to take advantage of the late season muzzleloader hunt.
This should be the best chance of the year to take a big buck due to a couple of factors. First, deer will be moving more in search of food.
Secondly, with the rut going on along with the increased movement of the does, many bucks will be at their most vulnerable time of the year. Once on the trail of a hot doe, most bucks will throw caution to the wind and do things they normally wouldn't do, thereby exposing themselves to hunters.
Rabbit hunting
Many area rabbit hunters are gearing up for the late season rabbit hunt.
Most rabbit hunting is traditionally done after the end of deer season to keep from interfering with deer hunters. Rabbit season runs through February 28 and should provide some of the best hunting of the year. With below normal temperatures, rabbit hunters are looking forward to one of their best years ever.
Whatever your choice may be, there is still plenty of time to get in on some of the best hunting of the year.
Mike Giles is an Outdoors writer for The Meridian Star.