The Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks recently approved proposed regulation changes for the upcoming 2016 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi. Warm weather means these large reptiles are on the move and so is the regulatory body that sets the annual hunting season for them.
Mississippi Alligator Permits
The Mississippi statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. As proposed, a total of 920 alligator hunting permits will be available within 7 hunting zones across the state for the 10 day season, August 26 – September 5, 2016. All public water permits will be available for purchase on a first-come-first-serve basis. Permits will only be available for purchase electronically through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks website beginning July 19, 2016.
To be eligible to purchase an alligator hunting permit you must be at least 16 years of age and possess one of the following valid resident licenses prior to July 19 to be eligible: 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 a Lifetime License.
Alligator Hunting Course
An Alligator Hunting Training Course will be provided to permit holders, however, the course is no longer mandatory. This means hunters that have not ever hunting alligators may want to check out the how-to hunting course, while more experienced hunters can opt out. It’s a good course though, even for those that have hunted gators in the past.
The proposed private lands alligator hunting season will be available to landowners whose properties meet specific qualifications within 31 open counties. Three new counties, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Oktibbeha, were proposed for the private lands season for 2016. Applications and instructions for private lands permits will be available online in June and must be submitted by July 1. There are no proposed changes from the 2015 season to the private land season or the permitting process.
Chime in on Alligator Season Dates
To view a copy of these proposed hunting rules, visit the Mississippi DWFP web site. The proposed changes for these rules have been filed with the Secretary of State’s Office and will begin a 30-day period of public comment by interested parties. Sportsmen and women’s opinions are encouraged during this evaluation period.