Alligator season opens this weekend with flooding being a concern

Published 12:11 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2022

JACKSON — Mississippi’s alligator season begins this weekend, and the big beasts aren’t the only hazard officials are warning hunters about.

Days of heavy rainfall are likely to create flooding conditions in the state’s bayous and rivers that will make boating treacherous.

“Recent weather has brought widespread locally heavy rainfall with some areas experiencing over 10 inches. This could cause local flash flooding and dangerous waterway conditions,” said Ricky Flynt, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’ alligator program coordinator. “Hunters are encouraged to remain weather aware, delay hunting in dangerous conditions, and never go boating when there is a threat of lightning.”

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The 10-day public waters alligator season begins Friday at noon and ends Sept. 5 at noon. The private lands season also begins Friday at noon, but will continue until Sept. 19 at noon.

Permit holders may harvest two alligators over 4 feet long, only one of which may exceed 7 feet. The bag limit restrictions are intended to distribute the harvest among adults and juvenile alligators.

There were 776 alligators harvested in Mississippi during the 2021 season. Another 1,581 gators were caught and released.

Private lands hunting opportunities are offered in 36 counties including Warren, Claiborne, Hinds, Sharkey, Issaquena, Yazoo and Copiah.

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. The bag limits for private lands are the same as for public waters.

All persons 16 or older who are in a vessel with or assisting a permit-holder must possess an alligator license as well as a valid prerequisite hunting license. A training course, available online at mdwfp.org, is also required.

More than 7,000 people applied for permits during the application period in June, and a total of 980 permits were issued across the Mississippi’s seven hunting zones

MDWFP issued 190 permits in the Southwest zone which is south of I-20 and west of I-55. and 150 permits were issued in the Southcentral zone, which is south of I-20 west of MS-49 and east of I-55. 

If you are hunting alligators in Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Wilkinson, Lincoln, Pike or Copiah Counties we would love to share your story. Submit photos and contact information to hunter.cloud@dailyleader.com.