Public Waters Alligator Hunting Info
Alligator season opens on the last Friday in August each year. Permits for alligator hunting are by Special Permit only.
(REQUIRED: permit holders must have a valid MS hunting license to apply).
Public Waters Season Dates:
12:00 Noon August 25 through 12:00 Noon September 4, 2017
The Permitting Process for the 2017 Alligator Hunting Season on Public Waterways is completed, as of June 28.
Regulations and Hunting Zone Information:
PERMIT AVAILABILITY FOR 2017 PUBLIC WATER HUNTING ZONES:
Alligator Season Harvest History
2016 Harvest Summary (View here)
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.
>>>> NO OTHER LAND LOCKED LAKES ARE OPEN FOR HUNTING <<<<
LEGAL WATERWAYS CLARIFICATION
For those permitted in the following MS Pubic Water Zones:
NOTICE Public waterways VS. Public Water - Do not confuse the two terms, in regards to the 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 state line waters with either state's license when both states have concurrent seasons or creel limits. THIS IS NOT APPLICABLE WITH ALLIGATOR HUNTING.
SPECIAL NOTIFICATIONS for HUNTING ZONES:
West Central Zone Hunters: Be aware that alligator hunting access is allowed to permitted hunters at the Panther Swamp NWR boatramp located at Lake George on Callihan Road. Federal agents will enforce a no alligator hunting restriction north of the Callihan Road bridge. Be certain that all ammunition is stored separately.
Northeast Zone Hunters: Be aware to consult U.S. Army Corps of Engineer (USACOE) regulations regarding hunting activities and boatramp use prior to hunting USACOE regulated waterways. Special permits from the USACOE may be required. Some USACOE refuge areas are closed to all hunting. For complete information, go to their website at http://www.sam.usace.army.mil Then click on "Wildlife", then click on "Hunting Permit Program". You may also call (662) 327-2142. Additionally, the Pearl River/Ross Barnett Zone IS NOT open for Northeast Zone Permit holders. No portion of Ross Barnett Reservoir or Pelahatchie Bay is open for Northeast Zone Permit holders.
Pearl River/Ross Barnett Zone Hunters: The only area open for hunting is as follows: The public waters of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District only within the area north of a line from Fannin Landing to Channel Marker "A" to the Natchez Trace Overlook on the main lake of Ross Barnett Reservoir, and south of Lowhead Dam on the Pearl River (excluding all areas of the main lake that are west of the Natchez Trace, i.e. North Bay and Twin Harbors). The area south of a line from Fannin Landing to Channel Marker "A" to the Natchez Trace Overlook on the main lake of Ross Barnett Reservoir and Pelahatchie Bay is closed to alligator hunting.
ALL ZONES: Only lakes that are described specifically within each Zone are open to alligator hunting. NO other lakes are open.
Search MS Public Boat Ramps
TRAINING COURSE INFORMATION:
The MS Alligator Hunting Training Courses offered to each person who is issued a Public Waters Permit or Private Lands Voucher. The 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 that is available after permits have been issued. 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.
The only course offered for 2017 will be at Roosevelt State Park on July 15, 2017.
Only an afternoon course will be offered that will start at 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM.
Obtaining CITES Tags after the harvest
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.
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:
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.
Alligator Skinning Slide Show Instructions