Tuesday is the big day for prospective alligator hunters in Mississippi — the day that the 920 available permits for the public waters season go on sale through an online process.

At 9 a.m., the process begins at https://www.ms.gov/mdwfp/alligator.

Bookmark the page. It includes a countdown clock, and when it hits “zero” Tuesday morning the agency said the page will switch to a new look  to begin the application process.

“I have already told everyone I know, friends, family and business, to not bother me from 8:45 Tuesday morning through noon,” said Paul Townsend of Jackson. “I will not answer.”

When reminded that noon seemed a little extreme, since last year’s draw took less than 40 minutes to completely deplete the 920 permits, Townsend nodded and then laughed.

“Yeah, I know, but I figure I will need a couple of hours to either celebrate my luck at getting drawn, or to work out the misery of missing out for another year,” he said. “I will either be elated or extremely bitter.”

The public waters season is set for Aug. 26-Sept. 5 statewide, with the state divided into seven zones: Barnett Reservoir (Pearl River), Southeast, South Central, Southwest, West Central, Northeast and Northwest. Each applicant can purchase only one permit.

The MDWFP reminds applicants that they must have a valid hunting/fishing license and their MDWFP Customer ID number (printed on license) to participate in the drawing. After entering that ID number, the customer’s information should automatically appear on the screen.

The agency said to verify that the information is current (name, address, phone, email address) to insure that, if drawn, there will be no delays in distribution. 

Purchasers must provide a valid email address.

A credit/debit card is necessary to complete the purchase, and a card that is declined will void the transaction.