Alabama Alligator Hunting Season Expanded
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) announced today that Alabama's second regulated alligator hunting season will expand to include more dates and two hunt locations.
"Last year's first-ever regulated alligator hunt in Alabama was a tremendous success," said Commissioner M. Barnett Lawley. "By allowing hunters to hunt in two areas of the state this year and on more dates, we hope that even more alligators will be taken."
Forty-six hunters participated in the 2006 hunt. The 40 harvested alligators from that hunt ranged in size and weight from 7'7"to 12'4" in length and from 77 to 461 pounds at weigh-in. Hunters traveled from all over the state to participate.
Hunters will be randomly chosen by computer to receive one Alligator Possession Tag. Applications will be accepted online at www.outdooralabama.com. The cost is $6 to apply and individuals may register multiple times. Only Alabama residents age 16 years or older may apply for an Alligator Possession Tag. Permits are non-transferable. Selected hunters and their assistants are required to have in their possession a valid 2007-08 hunting license. Each selected hunter is required to complete the Alligator Training Course provided by Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division personnel. Each person receiving an Alligator Possession Tag will be allowed to harvest one alligator six feet in length or longer. Hunting hours will be from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. each day. All Alabama hunting and boating regulations must be followed.
The story of the American alligator is one of both drastic decline and complete recovery, it is a story of Alabama and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and it is one of the more prominent success stories of the nation's endangered species program.
The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest reptile in North America. A fully mature alligator may grow to 14' in length and weigh as much as 1,000 pounds. Known for its prized meat and leather, the species was threatened with extinction due to unregulated harvest during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. No regulations existed in those days to limit the number of alligators harvested.
In the early 20th century, the American alligator was threatened to become extinct due mainly to unregulated alligator harvesting throughout the South. In 1938, it is believed that Alabama was the first state to protect alligators by outlawing these harvests. Other states soon followed and in 1967 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the American alligator on the Endangered Species list. By 1987, the species was removed from the Endangered Species list and the alligator has continued to grow in population.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama's natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.