Alligator Harvest Permits Available

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Permits are still available for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) 2003 alligator harvest. The FWC expanded the alligator hunt this year to allow hunting in areas that were previously off-limits. But interest hunters must hurry, because only about 400 permits remain.

In past years, the odds of obtaining one of the popular harvest permits were less than one in 15. This year the FWC established countywide alligator management units which made 750 additional permits available. A person permitted for a countywide harvest unit will be allowed to take two alligators from any lands that they could legally access in the specified county, including public and private lands and waters, but excluding specific water bodies established as Alligator Management Units, private wetlands permitted for alligator management, and other protected public properties.

Alligator harvest applications are available at all FWC regional offices and on the FWC Web site at www.wildflorida.org/gators/Default.htm. That site also shows which areas still have permits available.

“Interested hunters should apply soon, because permits are being issued every day, and when they’re gone, that’s it for a whole year,” said Harry Dutton, head of FWC’s Alligator Management Section.

Applicants can check their selection status daily after 5 p.m. on the Web site. People who do not receive a permit through the selection process will have their fees refunded.

Alligator harvest permits allow hunters to take two alligators. To be eligible for a permit, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Sept. 1 and must have not been convicted of violating wildlife laws relating to alligator trapping within the past five years nor laws relating to endangered crocodilians within the past 10 years.