MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Alligator hunting season is more than a month away but permits to bag a gator got snapped up in no time.
Some people that live near the reservoir are worried about the pre-historic predators.
“That’s kind of scary you know. I mean, I love my dogs; I play with them every day. I’m terrified that the alligators will hurt my dogs.”
Nikita Whalen brings her two dogs, Hershey and Twinkey, to The Rez for a morning swim.
She says gators have already been seen in the water.
“I came across what looked to be a rotted out mangrove. So went passed it, let the dogs swim. When we came back, that rotten mangrove had suddenly disappeared,” said Whalen
“I’m afraid of the alligators that are lurking around. Several mornings we have been at the harbor and seen pretty good size alligators swimming around the harbor,” said Pam Butts, who lives near The Rez.
“We have 920 permits distributed among seven alligator hunting zones across the state. Some of the zones have as many as 70 permits,” said Ricky Flynt with the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries Department.
Each permit allows hunters to catch two gators over four feet but only one larger than seven feet.
In 2015, Kenny Creachale and a friend broke the record for the longest and biggest male gator. It was 14 feet long and 826 pounds.
“Alligators are a renewable resource out there that has rebounded very well since being taken off the endangered species list in 1987,” said Flynn.
Whalen says for the time being, she will continue to keep close eye on her dogs at The Rez.
“I’m definitely scoping out everything before they go into the water or any sort of ditch or canal. I’m terrified,” said Whalen.
Hunting season starts Friday, August 26, 2016 and it runs until Monday, September 5, 2016.