Ever dreamt of harvesting an alligator? You might just get the chance! Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is offering an alligator season in five specific areas, each with a designated number of tags.
The American alligator was once an endangered species due to unregulated harvesting, but after years of protection, their population has recovered. Now, regulated hunts are necessary to control and manage their numbers to prevent them from becoming a threat. This year marks the 16th alligator harvesting season in Alabama.
To apply for a tag, head to the Outdoor Alabama website and fill out the application between June 6th and 8:00 a.m. on July 11th. Applicants must be at least 16 years old, have government-issued photo identification, and possess a resident hunting license (administrative fees may apply). Preference points are given to consecutive applicants. The drawings will be held after registration closes, and applicants can check their status at 8 a.m. on July 12th. Those selected must accept by 8:00 a.m. on July 19th, or their tag will be given to the next applicant.
The hunts will begin in mid-August for those randomly chosen. Successful applicants will be required to complete an online training course and pay a $250 fee for the Alligator Harvest Permit.
Good luck and happy hunting!
What are the Alabama alligator hunting zones and how many tags for each?
• SOUTHWEST ZONE (100 tags) -Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile Counties that lie north of I-10 and private and public waters in Washington, Clarke, and Monroe Counties that lie east of U.S. Highway 43 and south of U.S. Highway 84
• COASTAL ZONE (50 tags) – Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile Counties that lie south of I-10
• SOUTHEAST ZONE (40 tags) – Private and public waters in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Russell Counties (excluding Alabama state public waters in Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula) and its navigable tributaries).
• WEST CENTRAL ZONE (50 tags)- Private and public waters in Monroe (north of U.S. Highway 84), Wilcox, and Dallas Counties
• LAKE EUFAULA ZONE (20 tags) – Alabama state public waters in the Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula) and its navigable tributaries, south of Hwy 208, Omaha Bridge (excluding Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge)
What if you’re chosen for more than one zone?
If selected for two or more locations you must choose only one to hunt.
What is the bag limit?
Each person receiving an Alligator Possession Tag will be allowed to harvest one alligator (If in the Lake Eufaula Zone it must be a minimum of eight feet in length).
What do you use to harvest a gator? No bait is allowed. Alligators can be captured & released or dispatched immediately upon capture by shotguns with a shot size no larger than #4 or bang sticks chambered in .38 caliber or larger. All harvested alligators must be validated at your designated check station during a specific time and tagged in accordance with the protocol.
(Visit http://www.outdooralabama.com/ for full list of details including registration requirements, reporting, tagging, etc.)