MDWFP Alligator Program
Alligator Program Coordinator
1505 Eastover Dr.
Jackson. MS 39211
Alligators may be found all across Mississippi. They are most prevalent in the southern two-thirds of the state (south of Hwy 82). While alligators typically avoid humans and human activity, occasionally they do cause conflicts with humans. Juvenile alligators often disperse into new territories in the late spring and early summer months. During this dispersal, they occasionally find themselves in unusual locations near human development, such as; farm ponds, road ditches, highways, parking lots, yards, swimming pools, neighborhood water landscape pools, and even buildings. It is illegal and very dangerous for the public to capture and remove or kill an alligator without a special permit from the MDWFP. As human developments (residential and commercial) continue to encroach into more rural areas of the state, increased interaction and conflicts with wildlife are subject to occur. To report a nuisance alligator please see Nuisance Alligator Information below.
Mississippi offered its first public alligator sport hunting season in 2005. From 2005 until 2011, opportunities expanded gradually to include 480 permits on portions of two major waterways, one coastal and one inland. In 2012, Mississippi expanded sport hunting opportunities on public waters to over two-thirds of the state and in 2013 alligator hunting on public waters was opened statewide. The State was divided into 7 geographical zones with a 10-day season total of 920 available in a web-based application/drawing and permit sales process. An alligator hunting training course is provided by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks. Permit holders may harvest 2 alligators over 4 feet long, only one of which may exceed 7 feet long. The bag limit restrictions are intended to distribute harvest among adults and juvenile alligators. Alligators over 7 feet long comprised 50%, 47%, 48%, and 43% from 2014-2017, respectively. Total alligator harvests were 682, 982, 784, 741 on public waterways from 2014-2017, respectively. Females comprised 30%, 35%, 31%, and 31% of the harvest from 2014-2017, respectively. The average length of all harvested alligators from 2014-2017 were 7.77 feet (Males 8.28 ft. and Females 6.55 ft.). Alligators that were 10 feet or longer comprised 23%, 27%, 28%, and 26% of harvest from 2014-2017, respectively.
Private lands alligator hunting opportunities are offered in 36 counties. In 2017, there were a record of 126 landowner applications approved for permits that totaled 307 available harvest vouchers on 23,278 acres of alligator habitat. There were 84, 115, 95, and 117 alligators harvested on private lands from 2014-2017, respectively. Properties in the open counties must contain a minimum of 20 acres of privately owned permanent surface water to qualify for an alligator harvest voucher. Additional vouchers are issued for each additional 100 acres of privately owned permanent surface water. Each voucher allows the harvest of 2 alligators over 4 feet long, only one of which may exceed 7 feet long.
2020 Permit Application Period June 1-8
There are no changes for the 2020 Public Waters Alligator Season application and drawing process compared to 2019. A total of 960 permits are available within seven hunting zones across the state for the 10-day season. The 2020 Public Waters Alligator Hunting Season in Mississippi will be open at 12:00 p.m. on August 28 and continue through 12:00 p.m. September 7. Permits are limited by a random drawing and an application is required. There is a $2.34 electronic processing fee. Applicants may only apply in one alligator hunting zone of their choice. Applications will be available beginning at 10:00 a.m. June 1 through 10:00 a.m. June 8. Applications are accepted on-line at www.mdwfp.com or at any point of sale location where Mississippi hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Applicants may only apply once in one zone of their choice. The first drawing will take place on June 15 at 12:00 p.m.. Winners will be notified by email and will have until 12:00 p.m. June 17 to purchase their permit via an electronic link in their winning email notification. Any unpurchased permits from the first drawing will be entered in a second drawing of remaining available applicants. The second drawing will take place on June 23 at 12:00 p.m.. Winners will be notified by email and will have until 12:00 p.m. June 25 to purchase their permit. A credit card or debit card and a valid email address is required to complete the online application and permit purchase.
To be eligible to apply for an alligator hunting permit you must be a resident of Mississippi, at least 16 years of age at the time of application. Nonresidents with a Mississippi Lifetime License are eligible. Applicants must have one of the following licenses to be eligible to apply: a valid Mississippi Sportsman License, All-Game Hunting/Fishing License, Small Game Hunting/Fishing License, Apprentice Sportsman License, Apprentice All Game License, Apprentice Small Game License, Senior Exempt License, Disabled Exempt License, or Lifetime License.
Alligator Hunting Training Course CANCELLED
Due to restrictions and complications due to COVID19, as well as an abundance of caution, the MDWFP has cancelled the in-person course on July 11 at the Museum of Natural Science.
However, the MDWFP is working now to produce an Alligator Hunting Training Course that will be viewable on-line. We hope to complete production ASAP and prior to August 1.
The online course will be a complete course covering all topics and will include video links that you can watch at your leisure. We will send an email to all permit holders when the on-line Training Course is available. In the meantime, Alligator Permit Packets are in the mail. Please take time to read the letter in the packet as well as the 2020 Alligator Hunting Guide or visit the Public Waters Information Page https://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/alligator-program/public-water-alligator-hunting-info/ for more information.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are confident that the on-line course will accommodate permit holders with the vital information you need.
Alligator Hunting Information
- PUBLIC WATERS Alligator Hunting Information
- Public Water Season: 12:00 Noon August 28 until 12:00 Noon September 7, 2020
- PRIVATE LANDS Alligator Hunting Information
- Private Lands Season: 12:00 Noon August 28 until 6:00 AM September 21, 2020
Nuisance Alligator Information
Alligator Articles & Video Clips
- Alligator Awareness (Pamphlet)
- Range Map - Alligators in MS
- Alligator Nest Hatch Videos
- Alligator Tagging and Tales - (The tagging and release program)
- Alligators in Mississippi Then & Now
- The Recovery of the American Alligator in Mississippi
- Mississippi's First Alligator Hunting Season - 2005
- Alligator Hunting & Harvest History in Mississippi 2005-2019
- Public Water Harvest Summaries - 2012-2016
- MS Alligator Hunting Records
- Alligators - Neighbors or Nuisance Pest?
- Feeding Alligators: "It Could Cost You an Arm and A Leg"
- What's the Problem With Alligators? PEOPLE!