8/26/2017 10:58:01 AM
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.