Application period for alligator hunting June 1-15

JACKSON — Mississippi sportsmen will have 15 days, beginning June 1, to apply for the 260 alligator hunting permits available for the 2010 Mississippi public hunting seasons.

Only two areas will be open:

— Pearl River within Barnett Reservoir, 120 total permits, with 60 each on the weekends of Sept. 10-11 and Sept. 17-18.

— Pascagoula River in Jackson County, north of U.S. Highway 90, 140 total permits, with 70 each on the weekends of Sept. 24-25 and Oct. 1-2.

Only Mississippi residents aged 16 and over can apply for the alligator permits, and must do so between June 1-15 at any (point of sale) location where hunting/fishing licenses are sold. There is a $5 nonrefundable application fee.

Each applicant is restricted to one application per location, and will be asked to specify which weekend. Duplicate applications will be eliminated electronically. It is OK to apply once for the Pearl and once for the Pascagoula seasons.

Persons drawn for the hunts will be notified by mail. The website of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks also offers a way to see if applicants were selected.

Once selected, hunters will be directed to an alligator hunting class, which is mandatory before purchasing the $100 permit. The permits will be good for two alligators, both of which must exceed four feet and only one of which can exceed 7 feet. Hunters must catch and kill the smaller gator (4-7) feet before taking one over 7 feet.

Each permit holder and his assistants must also have, in addition to either a valid hunting, fishing or combination hunting/fishing license,a $25 alligator hunting license and a valid $15 WMA Hunting Permit.

The MDWFP also allows private land alligator hunting in 17 counties: Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Leflore, Madison, Rankin, Sharkey, Sunflower, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson and Yazoo.

Only those landowners in those counties who have a minimum of 20 acres of permanent surface water can apply for permits, and must apply between June 1 and June 30. Hunting will be allowed between 6 p.m. Sept. 10 to 6 a.m. on Oct. 3.

Bobby Cleveland/The Clarion-Ledger