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Public Waters Alligator Hunting Info

2012 Alligator Hunting picPermits for alligator hunting are by Special Permit only.  Applications for an opportunity to hunt alligators may be submitted electronically from June 2-9 only, via this website. (REQUIRED: applicants must have a valid MS hunting license to apply). 

Each person who gets drawn for a permit must attend (or have previously attended) a MS Alligator HUNTING TRAINING COURSE in order to qualify for their Permit to hunt and harvest an alligator in MS.  Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and a resident of MS (MS Lifetime License holders are eligible to apply, as well).


2014 Season - Harvest Summary

2013 Season - Harvest Summary 

2012 Season - Harvest Summary



Public Waters Season: 12:00 noon August 28 - 12:00 noon September 7, 2015

Private Lands Season: 12:00 noon August 28 - 6:00 am September 21, 2015

NOTICE: Some procedures and the permitting process, compared to the information provided in the 2014 links above, are subject to change for 2015.

Stay tuned for updates by April 2015.



2014 ALLIGATOR HUNTING GUIDE (Download here) 

How to Apply for Public Water Alligator Permits

  • DEADLINE for Applications:  JUNE 9, 2014
  • Applications may ONLY be submitted via this Website 
  • Applications are FREE and each applicant may apply only once in each zone.
  • Applications will only be available from June 2-9, 2014
  • Applicants must be MS residents and at least 16 years of age.
  • An email address is required. Drawn applicants will be notified via email.
  • Applicants must possess a valid MS Hunting License in order to apply (Exempt License holders may also apply).

Regulations and Hunting Zone Map

How does the drawing work?

Where can you hunt on a public waters permit?

Each permit is limited to a specific hunting zone.

There are 7 geographical public water alligator hunting zones.

  1. NORTHEAST (excluding all portions of the Pearl River/Ross Barnett Zone) 
  7. PEARL RIVER/ROSS BARNETT (see Regulations for complete description) 
  • ONLY "public waterways" within each zone, as defined by MDEQ, will be open to hunting. No other public water will be open to alligator hunting, except the lakes within the Northeast, Northwest, West Central, and Southwest Zone, listed specifically below.   To view which "public waterways" in each zone are open to hunting, view the maps below.
  • Including:
    • **NEW** Crystal Lake (Rankin Co.) in the Northeast Zone
    • Okatibbee Lake (Lauderdale Co.) in the Northeast Zone
    • Lake Ferguson (Washington County) in the Northwest Zone
    • Beulah Lake (Bolivar County) in the Northwest Zone
    • Lake Whittington (Bolivar County) in the Northwest Zone
    • Eagle Lake (Warren County) in the West Central Zone
    • Chotard Lake (Warren and Issaquena Counties) in the West Central Zone
    • Albemarle Lake (Issaquena County) in the West Central Zone
    • Tennessee Lake (Issaquena County) in the West Central Zone
    • Lake Washington (Washington County) in the West Central Zone
    • Bee Lake (Holmes County) in the West Central Zone
    • Little Eagle Lake (Humphreys County) in the West Central Zone
    • Dump Lake (Yazoo County) in the West Central Zone
    • Lake George (Yazoo County) in the West Central Zone
    • Lake Mary (Wilkinson County) in the Southwest Zone


To hunt a lake listed above, you must be drawn in the zone in which the lake resides.


For those permitted in the following MS Pubic Water Zones:

  1. Northeast
  2. Northwest
  3. West Central
  4. Southwest
  5. South Central
  6. Southeast

Clarification of Open Waterways:

  1. Legal public water for public water alligator hunters include any public waterway, as designated by MDEQ, and all associated portions of each drainage that are not privately owned and have navigable access from the designated waterway.
  2. For those who hunt on or near state borderline waters, such as the Mississippi River, lower Pearl River (in Pearl River and Hancock Counties), Eagle Lake, Chotard Lake, Albermarle Lake, Tennessee Lake, Lake Ferguson, Lake Whittington, and Lake Beulah, BE ADVISED, to cross the state border while pursuing alligators into any water that is not part of Mississippi will be considered illegal alligator hunting by the adjoining state (i.e. AR & LA). It shall be the hunter's responsibility to be aware of state borders.

NOTICE Public waterways VS. Public Water - Do not confuse the two terms, in regards to the 2014 Public Waters Alligator Season. ONLY the public waters of the state designated as "Public Waterways" by the MS Dept. of Environmental Quality are open to alligator hunting.  The only exceptions are the lakes listed above.  Hunters must become familiar with the rivers designated on the MDEQ website (see link above).  Not all "public waters" are considered as "public waterways." 

NOTE:  State Boundary Line Waters: There are NO reciprocal license agreements with adjacent states (AR & LA) for alligator hunting. Therefore, anyone licensed to legally hunt alligators in MS may only hunt in MS waters.  It is the hunters responsibility to know his/her location in regards to state boundaries.  Reciprocal license agreements allow hunters/fishermen to legally hunt/fish in adjacent stateline waters with either state's license when both states have concurrent seasons or creel limits. THIS IS NOT APPLICABLE WITH ALLIGATOR HUNTING.

  • Each zone will have 150 permits available to applicants, except the Pearl River/Ross Barnett Zone will have 70 permits and the Northwest Zone 100 permits available.  A total of 920 alligator harvest permits will be available in 2014.
  • All zones open from August 29 - Sept 8, 2014
  • Each permit has a 2 alligator bag limit. Must be  4 feet long or longer, only 1 may exceed 7 feet long.
  • Each hunter issued physical tags for each alligator.
  • Harvest Reporting is Mandatory (via on-line harvest report and survey)

Search MS Public Boat Ramps (click on below link): 




Each person drawn for a public waters permit must attend a mandatory MS Alligator Hunting Training Course for their permit. Also, anyone who is issued a private lands permit must also attend.  Each training course has limited attendance, therefore, limited to permitted hunters for that year only.  However, each permitted hunter is allowed to bring one (1) guest to the training course. Registration for the classes is an electronic process and instructions for registration are included within the email notification to all drawn public water hunters and permitted applicants for private land hunts.  There is no charge for attendance to the training courses. The training courses provide information on alligator history, biology, MDWFP Alligator Program, all alligator hunting regulations, capture methods, capture gear, harvest methods, processing meat and hides, harvest reporting and documentation, how/where to purchase licenses and possession permits, and much more.

Course Schedule for 2014:

August 2 - 9:00am- 12:00 Noon, Roosevelt State Park (Morton, MS)

August 9 - 9:00am- 12:00 Noon, Delta State University (Cleveland, MS)

August 16 - 9:00am- 12:00 Noon, Jones County Junior College (Ellisville, MS)

Training Course Directions and Instructions

ROOSEVELT STATE PARK Instructions Letter (Click Here)

DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY Instructions Letter (Click Here)

JONES JUNIOR COLLEGE  Instructions Letter (Click Here)

Obtaining CITES Tags after the harvest

Obtaining CITES Tags:A federal CITES tag is required to be attached to the hide near the end of the tail if being sold to a licensed alligator parts dealer/processor or prior to transportation across state lines. A CITES tag(s) will be mailed to you upon receipt of your harvest report.  CITES tags may also be obtained from Regional Offices in person, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.

  • The wildlife agencies of Arkansas and Louisiana have specifically approved that properly licensed hunters with legally harvested alligators with properly attached
    temporary possession tags are legal to transport through their respective
    states for the purpose of processing.


  • Jackson Main Office, Wildlife Bureau - (601) 432-2217
  • North Region Office, Enid - (662) 563-6224
  • Central Region Office, Canton - (601) 859-3421
  • South Region Office, Magnolia - (601) 783-2911

Record Alligator Certification Procedures

Hunters who wish to certify an alligator as a potential state record of harvest should contact the MDWFP at 601-432-2217 or (after business hours) 601-432-2170.  Hunters should be prepared to provide the following information at the time of your call:

  1. Total length (feet - inches)
  2. Belly girth (inches)
  3. Tail girth (inches)
  4. Weight (lbs) (only needed if a potential weight record, plus length and girth measurements)

The Alligator Program Coordinator will return the call ASAP, usually within 24 hours.  If deemed a potential record by the program coordinator, arrangements will be made to meet with MDWFP personnel to obtain an official weight or length measurement.

Regarding Weight Records: Since weights are so difficult to estimate and vary greatly, hunters must pre-weigh their alligator before contacting the MDWFP. If certified scales are not available, then efforts should be made by the hunter to obtain a weight from a reputable source of scales. Weight certification must be on certified scales or other MDWFP approved scales and witnessed by a MDWFP officer or biologist.

Measuring tips:

  1. Lay the alligator on a flat surface with the carcass laying completly flat and straight. Using a cloth measuring tape, measure along the dorsal side (top) of the alligator from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail following the dorsal contour of the alligator.
  2. Measure to the nearest 1/8 inch. 
  3. For weight, be sure the alligator is completely suspended from the ground. 
  4. For weight, be sure to "zero tare" the scales when chains or straps are used to hoist the alligator before hoisting the alligator for measureing the weight. Chains and straps should not be included into the weight measurement.

The current length records are:

  • Male - 13 feet 7 inches  (weighed 687.5 pounds, belly girth 62 in., tail girth 43 in.)
  • Female - 10 feet 0 inches  (weighed 295.3 pounds, belly girth 50 in., tail girth 32 in.)

The current weight records are:  

  • Male - 792 pounds (13 ft. 5 in., belly girth 69 in., tail girth 51 in.)
  • Female - 295.3 pounds (10 ft. 0 in., belly girth 50 in., tail girth 32 in.)