Alligator Hunting Season in Alabama – Applications are Open!

Want a chance to harvest an alligator? The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources offers an alligator season across five specific areas in Alabama, with each zone having a designated number of allowed tags each year.  

The American alligator was once an endangered species, primarily due to unregulated harvesting by past generations. However, decades of protection have allowed their population to rebound, leading to their removal from the endangered list. In fact, their numbers have grown to a point where regulated hunts are now necessary to manage and control their population, ensuring they do not pose a threat. This year marks the seventeenth consecutive year that Alabama has reinstated an alligator harvesting season.

**Application Process**

Applications for Alabama alligator season tags must be submitted online through the Outdoor Alabama website. The application period opens on June 4th and will close at 8:00 a.m. on July 9th. Applicants must be at least 16 years old, possess government-issued picture identification, and hold a resident hunting license. Preference points are given to those who have applied previously and consecutively. 

The drawing for tags will take place after registration closes on July 9th, and applicants can check their status at 8:00 a.m. on July 11th. Those selected must accept their tag by July 17th at 8:00 a.m., or it will be given to the next applicant on the list. Results can be checked on the same website where registration was completed. The hunts will commence in mid-August for those randomly chosen. All successful applicants are required to complete an online training course and pay a $250 fee for the Alligator Harvest Permit.

**Hunting Zones and Tag Allocation**

– **SOUTHWEST ZONE (100 tags)**: Includes private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile Counties north of I-10, and private and public waters in Washington, Clarke, and Monroe Counties east of U.S. Highway 43 and south of U.S. Highway 84.

– **COASTAL ZONE (50 tags)**: Covers private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile Counties south of I-10.

– **SOUTHEAST ZONE (40 tags)**: Encompasses 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)**: Includes private and public waters in Monroe County north of U.S. Highway 84, as well as Wilcox and Dallas Counties.

  – **LAKE EUFAULA ZONE (20 tags)**: Covers 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.

**Additional Information**

– **Multiple Zones**: If selected for more than one zone, you must choose only one to hunt.

– **Bag Limit**: Each person receiving an Alligator Possession Tag is allowed to harvest one alligator. In the Lake Eufaula Zone, the alligator must be a minimum of eight feet in length.

  – **Harvesting Methods**: No baiting is allowed. Alligators can be captured and released or dispatched immediately upon capture using 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 the designated check station during a specific time and tagged according to protocol.

For a full list of details, including registration requirements, reporting, and tagging, visit the Outdoor Alabama website.

Good luck and happy hunting!