Mississippians will enjoy the same statewide opportunities afforded last year under the proposed 2014 alligator season regulations posted on the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks website (MDWFP.com).

The posting, which includes two versions, one of which lists the 2013 regulations with changes marked by strike-throughs, has one major change noted by program coordinator Ricky Flynt.

“There is only a one-week application period this year instead of two,” the biologist said, adding that the public lands hunting regulations lack many of the specifics included in past years, which will make things easier in the future. They include:

* The application period opens on the first Monday in June and closes on the second Monday in June — this year, June 2-9.

* The public waters season will open on the final Friday in August and close 10 days following — this year noon on Friday, Aug. 29 through noon on Monday, Sept. 7.

* The number of permits available in each of the seven regions is excluded — but this year’s allocation, Flynt said, will be the same as in 2013. That means 70 for Barnett Reservoir, 100 for the Northwest Zone and 150 each in the Northeast, West Central, Southwest, South Central and Southeast zones. 

“We have adjusted a lot of (the regulations) so that it does not necessarily have to be presented to the Commission each year, such as standardizing the opening day as ‘open for alligator hunting from 12 noon on the last Friday in August and ending at 12 noon on the Monday, 10 days thereafter,’” Flynt said, adding that when the final regulations are posted on the agency’s website in May, the specific information (dates and permits) will be included.

Most of the regulations remain unchanged:

* It costs nothing to apply, but the permits will be $100.

* Only Mississippi residents, 16 and older, may apply, and they must have a valid hunting/fishing license to apply.

* The permit holder must also purchase a $25 alligator hunting license, and all of his assistants aged 16 and over must purchase a $25 license. Assistants do not have to be residents of Mississippi, but must have a valid Mississippi hunting/fishing license.

* Each permit will allow its owner to capture two alligators, both of which must exceed 4 feet in length and only one of which can exceed 7 feet.

For more information on the public waters season and the private waters seasons, click here