Press Release

Monday, April 09, 2012

Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Phone: 601-432-2400

Court Date Set for Alleged Illegal Alligator Hunting

JACKSON - Two alleged illegal alligator hunters are scheduled to appear in Rankin County Justice Court on May 1, after being arrested for attempting to take an alligator without a permit on March 23.

"If convicted, the hunters also face fines up to $5,000 and mandatory jail time of five days," said arresting officer, Lt. Randy Newell of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

On the night of March 23, the alleged suspects were seen by witnesses firing high-powered weapons from a boat on Kennedy Lake in Brandon (off Shiloh Road). They also utilized set line hooks, baited with chicken - just as they admitted to watching on television. Newell, now in his 21st year as a conservation officer stated that, "Mississippi has laws that are set not only to protect citizens, but also to protect the future of alligators and alligator hunting opportunities for our sportsmen and sportswomen,"

"Most methods andactivities depicted in many alligator reality television shows are not onlyillegal in Mississippi, but also overly dramatic and unsafe. Unfortunately,some people are influenced by these false depictions, regardless of the law," said Ricky Flynt, who serves as alligator program coordinator for MDWFP.

"While alligators are potentially dangerous," Flynt added, "no serious injuries have been reported to the more than 1,500 permitted Mississippi alligator hunters, dating back to the start of hunting opportunities in the state (2005)."  Alligator hunting in Mississippi is by special permit only, and typically takes place during themonth of September via a lottery drawing process. A mandatory alligator hunting training course is required of all persons receiving alligator hunting permits in Mississippi.

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