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Mississippi Whitetail Deer Hunts

Mississippi Whitetail Deer Hunts


To further enhance the deer hunting, we are making a radical change in the food plots:  Where the stand is high enough overlooking the food plot or pipeline, we are mowing alternating lanes in a serpentine pattern, leaving remaining lanes uncut.  The serpentine pattern limits the deer's line of sight and the uncut lanes add a sense of protection for the deer. The whole idea is to get the mature bucks to expose themselves while thinking they are safe.  

In our bottom lands overlooked by hillsides, we are adding more feeders that can be easily seen by the hunter; however, the area surrounding the feeder is not completely cleared, leaving odd-shaped lanes, so the bucks feel protected by the brush. 

Our other feeders are placed to be seen by the hunter, but still located where the deer feel safe as well.  Example: the feeder may be placed at the edge of the tree-line near, but not in, the clearing.  

At McKenna Ranch, we can use black powder and center fire rifle to hunt for whitetail deer. We follow the Mississippi Wildlife guidelines for harvesting game. The minimum antler restriction for buck harvesting is ten inches of inside spread. This generally means taking a basket 8 point at least. We also harvest doe, but hunters are restricted to taking doe in the morning hunts.

Mississippi Deer Hunting

Mississippi Deer Hunting

Two important actions to harvesting deer are: practice shooting and leave your cell phone in your pocket. That's right, you read that right: leave the cell phone in your pocket. When we first started offering hunts, there were no cell phones. Back then, we told the hunters the most important thing to take a deer was to practice with your rifle. We know bullets may cost $1.00 a round, but please practice before you arrive. Even the best marksman gets out of practice. We have a target range to site your rifle in, but please practice before you come. We know about "buck fever," how the rifle shakes more upon seeing antlers. The bigger the antlers, the more shaking. But we want to be respectful of the deer. We are good about trailing shot deer and we have blood trail dogs, but we need the hunters to do their part. If we find blood, even if we don't find the deer, it's your deer. Therefore, please take time to practice shooting. Shot placement is everything. We prefer calibers .243 and up, but don't assume if you shoot a cannon and hit a deer in a toe that the deer will drop. A good, clean, well-placed shot and the deer may still run 50 - 60 yards. But if the trail is past 100 yards, that is not a good sign. It means a poor shot. I know a hunter who can kill a doe at 500 yards, but wounds bucks at 50 yards. Get excited after your kill; be prepared before.  Practice, practice, practice. 

When is the best time to hunt? The answer is, of course, the rut. The second-best time is opening weekend. The deer don't know they are being hunted then; however, between opening weekend and the rut time (mid-December), the hunting can get slow because the deer have become aware that it is hunting season.  

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Deer Stands and Hunting

Our Deer Stands

Our hunters ask how we choose the stands to hunt. Several factors decide where the stands are placed. We try to put our stands where the hunter can get in and out of the stand without disturbing any deer on a food plot or pipeline. The majority of the time during deer season, an easterly wind only happens right before a rain. Therefore, we place our stands on the eastern side of a shooting area. We also build our food plots considering wind direction, stand placement, travel to stand, and how the tractor gets into the field. We have several stands where the box or tripod is on one side of the creek and a food plot or acorn area is on the other side. Of course, this frustrates a hunter if he shoots a deer and he can't go across the creek to check on his deer. I had rather have this happen than scaring deer away. Years ago, I moved all of our stands 30-50 yards off the shooting area. We cleaned the small trees out of the way. We left the larger trees for cover. You get to shoot between the trees. If I burp or fart, I don't want the deer to run off. The trail leading to the stand is well off the food plot also. When we are hunting acorn areas, we still are thinking of how to be silent and scent free. Wherever the stand is located, on the side of a hill or in a bottom, stealth is very important to success.

We have thinned several areas of timber, which allows us to move the stands even further from the food source. Yes, this means longer shots, another reason to practice shooting. We want to get those older bucks waiting in the wings to come out and perform. You know the older bucks wait til near dark to do their thing. We have placed the stands to catch them in their act.

We hunt food plots, pipelines, acorn bottoms, crossings and wherever the deer are moving. We have tripods, ladder stands, ground blinds and elevated shooting houses. Many of our shooting houses have steps to walk into the shooting house. Most of our hunters prefer to hunt in shooting houses when it's raining. No problem. Most of our fathers with young hunters prefer to hunt from shooting houses, so all of our shooting houses accommodate 2 - 3 people.

We DO NOT offer refunds, mainly because your deposit is invested in the labor, planting, and maintenance of the deer stands.

For the 2024-25 season, we have added some stands, moved and improved some stands, and set up additional cameras and feeders.  Additionally, we are mowing and planting our hunting areas to give you a better advantage.

Deer Hunting Outfitters

Deer Hunting Outfitters

We use our vehicles to transport hunters, and they ain't new. In the truck, I tell you about the type of stand, how far a walk, where the deer generally come from and any other helpful info. I only drive up to a stand if you are not able to walk. Hunters have spotted game while getting into the stand. You hunt till dark, then walk back out to where we dropped you off. If you have a deer, we will go back and get the deer. If you kill a deer early in the hunt you can call or text us. Most of the time we have a great signal here, but some areas are still out of signal range. Many times, we can't drive out to retrieve a deer immediately because we could disturb another hunter.

Just because you shot your rifle, that does not mean the hunt is over. We have had plenty of hunters shoot a buck and a doe in the same hunt, occasionally a deer and a hog or a bobcat.  Sometimes, when you shoot a doe, a buck may be right behind her.  So we ask you to wait in the stand until sunset. 

Also, do not walk around the plot or feeder area during your hunt.  (We can see you on the game cameras!)  When you get out of your stand, your scent is spread wherever you step, which alerts the deer to danger.  You increase your chance of success the longer you sit in your stand.    

Book a Hunt

Typical Hunt

A Typical Hunt

We ask that you show up around 1:00 the afternoon of your hunt, after you have had lunch.  Laurel (south of us on I-59), Meridian (north of us on 1-59/20), and Waynesboro (east on Hwy 45) have various restaurants.  Please - do not arrive before noon.  We want to be ready for you and give you our full attention.  

You MUST present your hunting licenses at check-in.  Hunters age 12 - 15 must have a Hunter Education Card.  You can obtain a hunting license at 1-800-5GO-HUNT  or 1-601-432-2400.  Their website is  https://www.mdwfp.com/

When you get here, we will have a safety meeting, get to know your needs and expectations, and have you sign liability papers, all standard. This form says if my ladder breaks while you are climbing, I'm at fault, but if you jump off, you are at fault.  During the safety meeting, we discuss any health problems which may prevent you from climbing or walking far. We talk about any special needs to help with your hunt. Then we assign your room. Before your hunt, you may perform a rifle accuracy check. Everything from your physical abilities to your type of rifle to what kind of boots you brought determine which stand you go to. That's right: if you've got on tennis shoes or knee high rubber boots, that helps me decide where you go. If you are a long-range shooter or a brush hunter, that tells me where you can hunt. If you can't walk more than a few yards, then I know where to take you. We have been doing this for more than 25 years. There is not much we have not seen. 

Your afternoon hunt will begin as soon as everyone is loaded up, before 2:00 PM, and you will hunt til dark-thirty.  We provide transportation to and from the stands. Our staff will help load the deer and will clean it for you.  Please bring coolers for your game.  

The next morning, we get up before daylight, eat breakfast about 4:30 AM, and head out within the hour. We hunt till 10:30 AM. Some hunters want to hunt all day in the same spot. No problem. We can pack a lunch and drinks. The other hunters come in and eat lunch, served at noon. Our staff will help retrieve and clean deer from the morning hunt. We leave about 1:30 for the afternoon hunt. We'll pick you up after sunset where we dropped you off.  We serve supper about an hour after pick up, approximately 6:30 PM. 

Here at the Ranch, we have a walk-in cooler to hold the cleaned deer. We skin, clean and quarter the deer. We like to put the quartered deer into your ice chest and place the ice chest, with the lid open, into the cooler. If for some reason you don't want the deer meat, we can use the meat. We are experts at skinning a deer for mounting. Sometimes the hunter wants us to take his trophy head to our taxidermist for mounting. Our taxidermist will UPS your mount to your home. Call us or email for any questions about this.  

Many years ago, our Founder (Father, Steve McKenna, Sr.) said that we should never allow doe to be shot on the pipelines.  He wanted the pipelines and powerlines to be a doe haven.  We still follow his guidelines.  My Father had many sayings.  One was "the 1, 2, 3 rule:  1 - the doe runs into view; 2 - aim your rifle from whence the doe came; 3 - shoot the buck following the doe."  Another of his sayings was, "If the deer keeps moving, keep shooting."  This second saying may seem like overkill, but every year, a buck gets away because this advice was not followed.  Another of my father's sayings: "No binoculars!"  Each season, hunters tell us they did not get a shot at a buck because of the lost time putting the binoculars down and finding the buck in their rifle scopes. 

Another word about doe:  when taking a doe, make every effort to be sure it's a doe.  During the early season, generally you will see a mature doe with one or two younger deer.  It's easy to see the mature doe.  Once the rut starts, the mature doe runs off her buck fawn(s).  During the rut, don't shoot an antlerless deer by itself; many times this is the young buck abandoned by its mama.  If more than one antlerless deer are seen, it's best to take the largest.  ALWAYS check the head for antlers.  Never shoot antlerless deer in low light..

Contact Us

Deer Hunting Rates and Dates

Deer Hunting Rates and Dates

Rates and Dates

2024 - 25 Deer Hunting

Call for booking:  Mark 601-692-3224 


Most of our hunters visit for only 2 or 3 days.  All hunters 15 and under are half-price, but to get this rate, the young hunter must be accompanied by at least one full-pay adult hunter. All non-hunting guests coming with paid hunter (wives, grandparents, littles) are $150 per day

Your hunt includes: lodging, meals, transportation to & from stands, and game cleaning.  

We require a 50% deposit.  We can invoice you upon request.  Send via PayPal, personal check, money order, or cashier's check. 

The balance is due upon arrival, during our safety and paperwork meeting.  PayPal, cash, money order, or cashier's check for the balance.    

If you have sent your deposit and it turns out you will not be able to hunt with us, we will NOT return your deposit.  We will put your deposit toward next season's hunt or a turkey or hog hunt of your choice.

There are no trophy fees.  We do charge fines for illegal dear.  There is a $250 fine for shooting bucks below the Mississippi rules of ten-inch inside spread.  Please take the time to judge a buck and let the small ones walk.  Bring an extra $250 in cash just in case.

2 day hunts: 1 buck, 1 doe, 1 hog  $1600; $800 child; $300 non-hunter


Opening Weekend: 11/23 - 11/24  2024

Arrive Friday night for supper, November 22; The hunt starts Saturday, November 23; Depart Sunday evening or early Monday morning.

Friday, 12/13 - Sunday, 12/15   BOOKED

Friday, 12/20 - Sunday, 12/22

Friday, 12/27 - Sunday, 12/29

Friday, 1/3 - Sunday, 1/5   BOOKED

Friday, 1/10 - Sunday, 1/12

Friday, 1/17 - Sunday, 1/19

Friday, 1/24 - Sunday, 1/26

Arrive noon on Friday; Hunt Friday afternoon thru Sunday noon; Depart Sunday afternoon.


3-day hunts: 1 buck, 2 doe, 3 hogs  $2200; $1100 child; $450 non-hunter


Opening Weekend: 11/23 - 11/25  2024

Arrive Friday night for supper, November 22; The hunt starts Saturday, November 23; Depart Monday evening or early Tuesday morning.

Thursday, 12/12 - Sunday, 12/15   BOOKED

Thursday, 12/19 - Sunday, 12/22

Arrive noon on Thursday; Hunt Thursday afternoon thru Sunday noon; Depart Sunday afternoon.

Friday, 12/27 - Monday, 12/30

Arrive noon on Friday; Hunt Friday afternoon thru Sunday noon; Depart Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, 1/2 - Sunday, 1/5   BOOKED

Thursday, 1/9 - Sunday, 1/12

Thursday, 1/16 - Sunday, 1/19

Thursday, 1/23- Sunday, 1/26

Arrive noon on Thursday; Hunt Thursday afternoon thru Sunday noon; Depart Sunday afternoon.


4-day hunts: 2 bucks, 2 doe, 4 hogs  $2800; $1400 child; $600 non-hunter


Opening Weekend: 11/23 - 11/26  2024

Arrive Friday night for supper, November 22; The hunt starts Saturday, November 23; Depart Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, 12/11 - Sunday, 12/15   BOOKED

Arrive noon on Wednesday; Hunt Wednesday afternoon thru Sunday noon; Depart Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, 12/19 - Monday, 12/23

Arrive noon on Thursday; Hunt Thursday afternoon thru Monday noon; Depart Monday afternoon.

Friday, 12/27 - Tuesday, 12/31

Arrive noon on Friday; Hunt Thursday afternoon thru Tuesday noon; Depart Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, 1/2 - Monday, 1/6      BOOKED

Arrive noon on Thursday; Hunt Thursday afternoon thru Monday noon; Depart Monday afternoon.

Wednesday, 1/8 - Sunday, 1/12

Wednesday, 1/15 - Sunday, 1/19

Wednesday, 1/22 - Sunday, 1/26

Arrive noon on Wednesday; Hunt Wednesday afternoon thru Sunday noon; Depart Sunday afternoon.


Single Day Hunts:  1 buck or doe & hog  $700, lunch included, no lodging; $800 w/lodging

Thursday, 1/30

Friday, 1/31

Arrive 4:30 AM; depart dark-thirty after the hunt

We must follow all MS Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries regulations.  For the last week of deer hunting, hunters can use a regular BOLT-ACTION rifle, but each hunter must buy an extra endorsement from MDWF: a "Primitive Weapon" permit. 

Deer Hunting in our area of Mississippi ends on Friday, January 31, 2025.

We do not take hunters between opening rifle and the beginning of the rut (mid-December).  We do this because once the deer realize they are being hunted, they are cautious during this time and become weary by the rut; however, once rutting activity begins, the bucks will throw most caution to the wind, which enables a higher success rate for our hunters. 

Some hunters want to come between the posted hunting dates.  No can do.  Sure, we'd like more money, but we feel it's unfair to the next hunting group.  We spread the dates out in an effort to keep the pressure on the deer low.  As a result, hunters comment on how some deer don't run off after a rifle has been fired.  

All hunters age 15 and under are half price, but must be accompanied by a full-paying adult hunter.  An adult can bring more than one child. Hunters twelve and under must be accompanied by a parent on the deer stand. Older children may hunt by themselves if the parent thinks they are responsible enough to do so. Of course, the child and parent will be close to each other. Each child must have a Hunter Ed card.

A non-hunting guest will be charged $150 per day.

On all hunts, we require a 50% deposit. We can take a personal check, money order or cashier's check for the deposit or we can send an invoice via email so you can pay electronically. 

N0 REFUNDS on deposits.     If necessary, we can apply your deposit toward a future hunt.

Upon arriving, please pay balance with cash, cashier's check, money order or PayPal.

Make checks payable to:
McKenna Ranch Outfitters
680 County Road 313
Pachuta, Mississippi (MS) 39347

Hunting Details

Father and son / daughter hunts are our specialty, and we enjoy having grandparents join us for family hunts. Husbands and wives have enjoyed our facilities for many years.  Bring your fishing pole and your hiking shoes for relaxation! 

Meals and lodging are included in all hunts.  

We have a 6 bedroom 6 & 1/2 bath guest house for hunters.   Another bunk area will accommodate 2 - 4 hunters.  We do our best to put families together with their own bathrooms.  We do what we can to provide as much privacy as possible. Most of our hunters enjoy getting to know their fellow hunters in the common areas:  lifetime friendships have been forged in the game rooms and at the dinner tables.   We have recently added two camper sites for hunters.  Contact us for availability if you want to bring a camper for your group.  Meals and other services are still provided.  

Meals are served in the Dining Hall - the large red building you will see as you pull up.  Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or preferences.  Typically, we serve:

Breakfast - hot grits, sausage & biscuits, or microwavable breakfast sandwiches,  fruit, danish items, cereal, coffee & juices

Lunch - homemade soup or chili, sandwiches, burgers or sausage dogs

Supper - salad or cole slaw, ham, turkey, or roast beef, pork chops, chicken or spaghetti with vegetables, and dessert

Beverages include coffee, sweet and unsweet tea, soft drinks, and water.   

AGAIN - we would like to know if you have special dietary needs before you arrive, if possible.  


We provide transportation to and from stands.  Please make sure your weapons are UNLOADED before entering any vehicle.  

Take what you need to the stand and be sure to bring it back with you - clean your trash out of the stands when you leave. 

We do not take hunters between the opening weekend and the beginning of the rut.  We also give the deer a break between group hunts to increase the likelihood of success.  See this year's schedule.  Call early (Mark: 601-692-3224) or email (mckranch.mark@gmail.com) to book your preferred dates.   Check out our facebook page: McKenna Ranch  Sports & Recreation, Pachuta, MS

What to Bring

What to Bring

  • orange vest (Mississippi state law for rifle deer hunters)
  • Mississippi hunting license  www.mdwfp.com
  • Hunter Ed card for hunters ages 12 - 15
  • knee-high insulated rubber boots (not needed everywhere, but just in case)
  • Flashlights or headlamps
  • range finder (makes judging distances accurate) 
  • firearms & ammunition
    • It's good to have 2 options in case one develops problems.
    • Our insurance will not allow us to loan rifles or provide ammunition.
  • snacks, thermos, water containers
  • personal clothing 
    • rainwear
    • comfortable waterproof boots
    • warm gloves
    • toiletries (we have a few extras in case of forgotten items)
  • sleeping bags (On those extra cold days, take the sleeping bag to the deer stand to step into and zip up to the chest.)
    • We provide sheets, blankets, towels,  etc.
  • ice chest for harvested game
  • extra-large ziplocks or plastic bags (unscented) for game transportation

Meals and lodging are included in all hunts.  We provide transportation to and from the stands.  

You may email Mark:  mckranch.mark@gmail.com  if you have questions or need more information.  

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