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.
Private lands alligator hunting opportunities are offered in 36 counties. 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.
Alligator Hunting Information
- PUBLIC WATERS Alligator Hunting Information
- Public Water Season: 12:00 Noon August 26 until 12:00 Noon September 5, 2022
- How to apply for Public Water hunting permits?
- PRIVATE LANDS Alligator Hunting Information
- Private Lands Season: 12:00 Noon August 26 until 6:00 AM September 19, 2022
- How to apply for Private Lands hunting permits?
The Permit Application period for the Pelahatchie Bay Alligator Hunting Season (May 2023) opens at 10:00 a.m. February 1 and ends at 10:00 a.m. February 8, 2023.
Permits are a two-person partnership application.
Read instructions carefully in order to prepare in advance to submit an application for you and your permit partner.
- 1st Drawing will take place on Feb. 14 and email notifications will be sent to winner at 12:00 Noon.
- A 2nd Drawing will take place on Feb. 21, if needed.
Pelahatchie Bay Hunt Dates:
HUNT #1: 12:00 Noon May 5-12:00 Noon May 8 (12 Permits total for 6 Hunting Parties)
HUNT #2: 12:00 Noon May 12-12:00 Noon May 15 (12 Permits for 6 Hunting Parties)
How does the Pelahatchie Bay Hunt differ from normal alligator hunting season?
- The hunt permit is a 2-person partnership. Both permittees must hunt from the same vessel at all times. If for some reason one of the permittees is not available to participate, it is allowable for the other permittee to hunt, but if both permittees are participating then both permittees must be in the same vessel at all times.
- The bag limit for each permittee is two (2) alligators six (6) feet in length or longer (both alligators may exceed six (6) feet in length).
- Hunters are encouraged to harvest mature female alligators in the interest of reducing the population of breeding age females in the vicinity.
- There are specific residential areas of Pelahatchie Bay that are closed to hunting and hunting activity. Do not venture into these areas in the act of hunting alligators. (See map below).
- Bangsticks are NOT allowed.
- AIRBOATS are restricted to IDLE-SPEED ONLY at all times.
- Each permit holder must be complete the online Harvest Report prior to leaving the hunt zone each day of hunting effort.
Make special note to the following regarding discharge of firearms:
- No firearm may be discharged within 100 yards of any residence, building, boat ramp, boat house, public or private pier, bridge, road, or occupied campsite.
- Firearms used for dispatching an alligator are restricted to long-barreled, shoulder-fired shotguns with only shot size #6, #7, #7.5, #8, or #9 ammunition. No other ammunition may be in possession. No bangsticks are allowed.
Pelahatchie Bay Season FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
Can my permit be transferred to another person? NO
Can alligators be hunted in the Main Lake of Ross Barnett Reservoir? NO. The hunting area is specifically restricted to Pelahatchie Bay between Northshore Parkway and Hwy 471 Excluding the described closed areas (See map below).
Can hunters access the hunting area from any location? NO. All hunting parties must access the area via Pelahatchie Shore Park Recreation Area Boatramp.
Can a second vessel assist in the hunt with the permit holder vessel? Yes. Provided the assisting vessel is in the immediate vicinity (“rock-throwing-distance” at all times). License requirements apply to anyone 16 years of age or older who assists in the act of hunting or assisting the permit holder.
What are the allowed hunting hours? Hunters may hunt during any hour of their permitted weekend (Opens at 12:00 Noon on Friday and closes at 12:00 Noon on Monday). There are two hunt permit periods, May 5-8 and May 12-15. Check your orange paper Permit for your permit dates.
Who is required to have an Alligator Hunting License ($25)? Everyone in the hunting party age 16 or older.
Where can the Alligator Hunting License be obtained? Anywhere that sells MS hunting and fishing licenses, including on-line, or by calling 1-800-5GO-HUNT.
Is the permit holder the only person who can capture or kill the alligator? No. Anyone who has an Alligator Hunting License and is assisting a permit holder may partake in any part of the alligator hunting experience, including children under 16 YOA.
What are the temporary possession tags? These tags must be attached to a leg of your alligator immediately after harvest and prior to moving or transporting. It is illegal to transport and possess an alligator that has not been tagged. The tag must be signed.
How do I report my harvest? An on-line report is required and is only available at www.mdwfp.com/alligator . The report is required of ALL permitted hunters even if you did not harvest or participate in the hunt.
What is the purpose of the harvest report card? It is provided for your convenience so that you will have a standard location to document all necessary information needed for the mandatory on-line Harvest Report. Do not return it to the MDWFP.
Alligator Hunting Training Course
The MS Alligator Hunting Training Course is now available online through a series of 11 video segments. They may be viewed at anytime at your leisure. The training course provides 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.
Please click on the link below for the NEW Online Alligator Hunting Training Course on YouTube. There are 11 video segments including a FAQ segment that is very helpful.
Alligator Articles & Video Clips
- Alligator Hunting Season Report 2021
- 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 2005-2021
- 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!
Nuisance Alligator Information