Commission sets date on Mississippi's alligator season

 Alligator season in Mississippi starts on Aug. 26.
WILLIAM COLGIN/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD Alligator season in Mississippi starts on Aug. 26. SUN HERALD

The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks recently finalized regulations for the state's upcoming alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands. The statewide public-waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. A total of 920 permits will be available within seven hunting zones across the state for the 10-day season, which runs from Aug. 26 through Sept. 5. The permitting process for public-waters hunting was changed. The permits will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-serve basis. Permits will be available only electronically through the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks' website beginning at 9 a.m. July 19. Permits will remain on sale until they're sold out. Possession-permit prices are $150 and the alligator hunting license is $25. A private-lands possession permit is $100 for residents, $200 for non-residents. The fee isn't refundable or transferable. To purchase an alligator hunting permit you must be a Mississippi resident, at least 16 and possess a valid prerequisite resident license prior to July 19: 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 Lifetime License. An alligator-hunting training course will be provided to permit holders, but is no longer mandatory.

The private-lands alligator hunting season from Aug. 26 to Sept. 19 will be available to landowners whose properties meet specific qualifications within 31 open counties. Three new counties -- Lowndes, Noxubee, and Oktibbeha -- were added for the private-lands season for 2016. Applications and instructions for private-lands permits are available online and must be submitted by July 1.