Enough big ol’ good ’uns to go around

All regions of Mississippi have big alligators, but for the truly big ones like this it’s best to be close to the Mississippi River or its backwaters and tributaries.

Every alligator region in Mississippi is capable of producing a giant reptile for hunters, as statistics from the 2016 season show. Only the Northwest zone, which has the least habitat and the fewest gators, failed to produce a 12-footer and it did have a respectable 11.25-footer taken.

The most productive zones were the Southwest and West Central zones, which was not a surprise. These zones, which include the Mississippi River and its tributaries and backwaters, and the Pearl River, have the best habitat and the most and largest gators.

A total of 203 gators were taken in the Southwest, including the 13.58-footer that was the largest of the year and a new state record. The West Central saw 201 killed with a 13.08 the largest.

The only other region to yield a 13-footer last year was the small Pearl River/Barnett Reservoir zone, which Flynt believes has the most-dense population in the state.

Records for the public lands alligator season are:

Longest male: 13 feet, 7 7/8 inches, Tiffany Wienke (Vicksburg), Southwest Zone, Aug. 28, 2016.

Heaviest male: 822 pounds, Clayton Gibson (Natchez), Southwest Zone, Aug. 28, 2015.

Longest female: 10 feet, Brandon Maskew (Ellisville), Southeast Zone, Aug. 31, 2013.

Heaviest female: 319 pounds, Craig Jones (Mendenhall), West Central, Aug. 30, 2015.

About Bobby Cleveland 1342 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.

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