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Wildlife & Hunting

MDWFP Alligator Program

Ricky Flynt
Alligator Program Coordinator
(601) 432-2217
rickyf@mdwfp.state.ms.us

 

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 33 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.

 

How to Prepare for the Alligator Hunting Permit Application Process-June 1-7, 2018

Applications will be available for purchase online via the MDWFP Website beginning June 1 and will be available through June 7, 2018.  The application is free.  There is a processing fee ($2.39) for all applications.  A credit card or debit card is required for online purchases.  Applications may also be purchased over-the-counter at any location that sells MS Hunting/Fishing Licenses. Applicants may apply in only one the seven alligator hunting zones of their choice.  Applicants must be at least 16 years of age prior to June 1 and must possess a valid resident pre-requisite hunting license or a Lifetime License at the time of purchase (See list of eligible licenses below).

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.

  • There is a processing fee ($2.39) for all applications.
  • A valid email address is required to apply.
  • Notifications to drawn applicants will be sent via email, therefore, make sure you have a valid email address that you will check regularly.
  • Check your current MS hunting license to be sure it is an eligible license (See list above).
  • If your license is eligible, check to make sure your that it will not be expired on the day of application purchase.
  • If your license is not eligible or if you do not possess a license, purchase an eligible license at least 24 hours prior to the day that you plan to purchase the application to allow processing and data updates in the license system. 
  • If you have an eligible license, but it will expire prior to June 1-7, then renew your license in advance of June 1-7.
  • If you are a full time college student in MS, but are a non-resident, you are eligible for a resident license, and  therefore eligible to apply, if you possess the resident license prior to the application period. 
  • If you are full-time military and a non-resident stationed at a Mississippi military base, you are eligible for a resident license, and  therefore eligible to apply, if you possess the resident license prior to the application period. 
  • Email notifications will be sent to winners on or about 12:00 Noon on June 13.
  • Winners will have until 12:00 Noon, June 15 to complete the purchase of their Alligator Hunting Possession Permit ($200).
  • Any unpurchased permits will revert back into a 2nd drawing that will occur on or about June 25.
  • Winners of the 2nd Drawing will be notified in the same manner and have until 12:00 Noon, June 27 to purchase their Alligator Hunting Possession Permit.

 

Alligator Hunting Season and Permit Process Approved for 2018

April 19, 2018

JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks approved rule changes for the 2018 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi on April 18th.  The statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways.  A total of 930 permits will be available within 7 hunting zones across the state for the 10-day season, August 31 – September 10, 2018. The process for issuing permits will remain the same as in 2017, an electronic application process followed by a random drawing of applicants. Applications will be accepted from June 1-7, 2018 via the MDWFP website. The first drawing will take place on or about June 13. Drawn applicants will be notified by email with a link to purchase their permit with a 48-hour deadline. Upon the purchase deadline, any unpurchased permits from the first drawing will be entered into a second drawing of available applicants. Drawn applicants from the second drawing will also be notified by email with a link to purchase their permit with a 48-hour deadline. A credit card or debit card is required to complete the online 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.  Applications will be free, but electronic processing fees will be required. Applicants may only apply in one alligator hunting zone of their choice.  Applications will be accepted on-line or at any point of sale location where Mississippi hunting and fishing licenses are sold. 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. A voluntary Alligator Hunting Training Course will be offered for permit holders on July 14th at 9:00 AM at Roosevelt State Park, Livingston Center. 

A private lands alligator hunting season is available to landowners whose properties meet specific qualifications within 34 open counties.  Grenada County has been added for the private lands season for 2018. Applications and instructions for private lands permits are available online. Applications with all required documents are accepted by mail to the Jackson Central Office beginning May 1 and must be submitted by July 1.

  

PUBLIC WATERS Alligator Hunting Information

PRIVATE LANDS Alligator Hunting Information

Nuisance Alligator Program Information

Alligator Articles & Video Clips

Mississippi Processors Information

Alligators legally harvested and properly tagged by permitted alligator hunters may only be sold to:

  • A licensed MS Agent Alligator Trapper
  • A person who possesses a MS Fur Dealer's License.
  • A person who is licensed to purchase alligators in another state.

The following contacts are MDWFP approved buyers and processors.  They have CITES Tags on hand for your convenience.  They will not receive any alligator or hide that is not properly tagged with a MS Temporary Possession Tag.

MEAT PROCESSING:

  • B and L Taxidermy and Processing, MEAT PROCESSING ONLY, Danny Boler, 73 Standard Hill Rd., Vicksburg, MS  39183, PH. (601) 634-6338 or (601) 218-9378 

 

  • Woodrow (Woody) Cain,  MEAT PROCESSING ONLY, 2133 Old Hwy 61 N., Port Gibson, MS  39150, PH (601) 618-8261

 

  • Dewayne Denton, MEAT PROCESSING ONLY, 338 Denton Rd. Holcomb, MS  38940. PH (662) 310-3337.

ALLIGATOR CARCASS and HIDE BUYER:

  • Tab and Yvette Pitre, WHOLE CARCASS and HIDE BUYERS, will receive alligators Aug 25 - 28 at B & L Processing in Vicksburg. Call for more information on prices and pickup times call Tab Pitre (985) 258-0355 or Yvette Pitre (985) 258-0354.

 

Download the 2017 Alligator Hunting Guide

 

2017 ALLIGATOR HUNTING SEASON NEWS AND UPDATES:

 

August 24 -

Alligator Hunting Season opens at 12:00 Noon on Friday, August 25 and will remain open until Monday, September 4, 2017 at 12:00 Noon. 

EFECTIVE August 24: Per MDWFP Administration, Lifetime License Holders are NOT required to purchase/possess an Alligator Hunting License ($25)(Priv# 754).  However, any Lifetime License Holder participating in alligator hunting activities with a permit holder is required to have their Lifetime License in their possession.

Lifetime License Holders are NOT exempt from either the Public Waters Alligator Possession Permit or the Private Lands Alligator Possession Permit.

Any Lifetime License holder who has been charged for an Alligator Hunting License, since June 14, 2017, may contact the MDWFP License Bureau to request a refund by calling (601) 432-2055.

August 25 -

Opening day of the public water alligator season was greeted with very comfortable weather conditions and cloudy skies which resulted in many hunting parties finding success early before sunset in several zones.

Numerous hunting parties were successful with numerous reports of alligators in the 10-12 foot range being harvested.  At this time, no reports of any potential record breaking alligators harvested. No accidents reported, however, we know of two hunters who fell overboard while hunting last night. Neither were wearing their PFD. One had to be thrown a throwable flotation device to be rescued after the trolling motor shaft broke after hitting a submerged stump.  The operator, who was standing in the front of the boat at the time, fell overboard. Neither of the hunters were injured.

We encourage everyone to wear their life jackets at all times. Law requires that a PFD (personal flotation device) is on board for every occupant on board and a throwable flotation device is required for all vessels 16 feet long or longer.

Here are a couple of pics of successful hunters in the Pearl River/Ross Barnett Zone on opening night.

The hunting party above harvested an alligator (Orange 80) that was previously tagged and released by the MDWFP Alligator Program.

 

A hunting party (above and below photo) is preparing to safely release a 7 foot 3 inch alligator.  As instructed in the MS Alligator Hunting Training Course, the mouth is taped shut  while a rope is tied to the tape underneath the bottom jaw, then the alligator is place overboard.  The rope is then pulled to remove the tape from the alligators mouth while it is safely overboard.

AUGUST 28 -

New Mississippi Alligator Length Record

8/28/2017 12:30:32 PM
From MDWFP

NATCHEZ - A new alligator length record was certified August 28, 2017 by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Alligator Program Coordinator, Ricky Flynt. The alligator was taken in the Southwest Alligator Hunting Zone by the hunting party of Bryan Burnside of Brandon, MS near Natchez, MS. 

The alligator was certified as the “longest male alligator taken by a permitted hunter in Mississippi.” The alligator’s length was 14 feet ¾ inch, which broke the previous record by ½ inch. The alligator weighed 766.5 pounds. The belly girth was 69 inches, and the tail girth was 43 inches.

HUNTING PARTY PHOTOS (L-R) Colby Acy, Stephen Brady, Anthony Acy, and Brian Burnside  

 

 

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