Mississippi Gator Hunters Get New Zone

Alligator hunting has been expanded to Pelahatchie Bay on Ross Barnett Reservoir due to overpopulation.

Mississippi Gator Hunters Get New Zone

Mississippi has opened a new hunting zone for alligators in a population reduction effort. Photo: iStock/DeSid

Following a vote on April 21, 2022, of the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks commissioners, alligator hunting will be expanded in the Magnolia State. MDWFP alligator specialist Ricky Flynt told the Associated Press that up to 450 hatchlings are being produced in Pelahatchie Bay each year. Residents on the big lake near Jackson, the state’s capitol, have expressed concerns about the gators. More than 300 have been removed by the agency since 2006. 

“We get tons of alligator complaints,” Flynt told the AP. “It’s chronic during the months of June and July.” He said the hunting season would be a “population reduction effort” in comments to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, adding that, “We’re trying to control the adult breeding population. The adult females are what we’re trying to get out. This is not a recreational hunt, but we want to offer an opportunity and allow recreational hunters to help us.” 

The hunt will take place May 5-7 and May 12-14, 2023, with 24 permits allocated and issued via random drawing. The bag limit per person will be two alligators of more than 6 feet in length.

Flynt said the hunts are scheduled during the breeding season and before the lake’s vegetation gets too thick. He told the Clarion-Ledger that at least 18 nests were found this past year in the area that resulted in 350-450 alligators.


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