Alligator hunting could be coming to Pelahatchie Bay

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Due to an abundance of alligators in Pelahatchie Bay, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has proposed a hunting season to reduce the population.

According to the department’s Alligator Program coordinator, Ricky Flynt, the bay is producing 350-450 hatchlings per year and some residents are upset about the negative impacts the gators have on the area.

“We get tons of alligator complaints,” Flynt told the Associated Press. “It’s chronic during the months of June and July.”

Although alligator hunting has been allowed on the Ross Barnett Reservoir—which Pelahatchie Bay is a part of—since 2005, it has never been allowed in the bay as hunting in or near residential areas is prohibited in Mississippi.

If approved by MDWFP during its April meeting, two proposed hunts will take place during the weekends of May 5-7 and May 12-14, 2023. Hunters will be able to apply in pairs for the 24 possession permits that will be decided through a random drawing. The bag limit will be set at two alligators over six feet in length.

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