Mississippians wishing to legally hunt alligators during the 2018 public waters season take note: The application period begins Friday (June 1) and will end on June 7.

Mississippi residents, ages 16 and up and in possession of a valid hunting/fishing license, must apply during that period for a chance to be drawn for one of the 930 permits available over seven zones for the Aug. 31-Sept. 10 season.

The electronic drawing will take place on or around June 13.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will accept electronic (internet) applications for Mississippi’s 2018 public alligator season via its mdwfp.com website. Applications can also be submitted at any location where hunting/fishing licenses are sold. 

Alligator program coordinator Ricky Flynt of the MDWFP said the allocation of permits has been changed since last year. To hear more from Flynt about the process, click here.

The new allocation numbers:

* Northwest Zone: 40 permits

* Northeast Zone: 130 permits

* West Central Zone: 180 permits

* Pearl River/Ross Barnett Zone: 90 permits

* Southwest Zone: 180 permits

* South Central Zone: 150 permits

* Southeast Zone: 160 Permits 

The process for issuing permits will remain the same as in 2017, beginning with the application process. To be eligible to apply for an alligator hunting permit you must be a resident of Mississippi, at least 16 years of age at the time of application and must possess a valid and unexpired hunting/fishing license. Applications will be free, but electronic processing fees will be required.

Applicants may only apply in one alligator zone of their choice. Applications require an email address so that those selected in the random computer drawing can be notified.

Drawn applicants will be notified by email with a link to purchase their permit with a 48-hour deadline. Upon the purchase deadline, any unclaimed permits from the first drawing will be entered into a second drawing of available applicants. Drawn applicants from the second drawing will also be notified by email with a link to purchase their permit with a 48-hour deadline. A credit card or debit card is required to complete the online permit purchase.

A private lands alligator hunting season is available to landowners whose properties meet specific qualifications within 34 open counties. Grenada County has been added for the private lands season for 2018. Applications and instructions for private lands permits are available online. Applications with all required documents are accepted by mail to the Jackson Central Office beginning May 1 and must be submitted by July 1.