Alligator hunting season begins - - Jackson, MS

Alligator hunting season begins

By Bert Case - bio | email

ROSS BARNETT RESERVOIR (WLBT) - During the past six seasons, the experts say 297 alligators have been killed on the reservoir, or about 59 per year, with a low of 30 in 2005 and a high of 96 last September.

The limit is two. You have to get one between four and seven feet before you can take a bigger one. No injuries have been reported in those hunts. Ricky Flynt is the alligator program coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

"I expect with favorable conditions we may have as many as 100 alligators, this year alone. Hunting hours actually start at 6 p.m. and go to 4 a.m. Friday night and Saturday night, this weekend and the following weekend, said Rickey Flynt, alligator expert.

 Flynt has spent a lot of time on the big 33,000 acre lake in an airboat in river backwaters. He says a large portion of the alligator population cannot be reached by most hunters who don't have an airboat. Flynt says hunting is a tool to control the population.

"It's certainly an opportunity we have to help manage the resource. Ah they have been basically unchecked, for decades. In the area that is open to hunting there is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 to 4,000 alligators," Flynt added.

 If you don't want to shoot an alligator but want to see one up close, then come to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, which is at Riverside and Highland Drives, at the site of the old Riverside Park in Jackson.

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