Alligator Hunts Provide Unparalleled Hunting Adventure

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering hunters a great opportunity to take part in its annual statewide alligator harvest, which runs Sept. 1 through Oct. 8. Since 1988, Florida has offered these alligator hunts, which provide a thrilling, hands-on, face-to-face hunting adventure that is unlike any other hunting experience imaginable.

This season, more than 4,000 Alligator Harvest Permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Permit holders are authorized to take two alligators from designated areas during specific harvest periods.

Sale of these permits begins at 10 a.m. (EDT) July 6. Applicants have their preference of applying at any county tax collector’s office, license agent (retail outlet that sells hunting and fishing licenses), online at MyFWC.com/license or by calling toll-free 1-888-HUNT-FLORIDA (486-8356) from anywhere in the United States or Canada.

To reserve a permit, applicants must submit payment for an Alligator Trapping License and two alligator-hide validation tags, or provide proof of a valid Alligator Trapping License (must be valid through Oct. 8) plus pay the fee for the two hide validation tags. No other hunting licenses are required.

The cost for a Resident Alligator Trapping License and hide validation tags is $272, and non-residents pay $1,022. Any hunter who takes an alligator must complete and send in an Alligator Harvest Report Form. The information gathered from these forms enables FWC biologists to monitor population trends and impacts of the annual harvest.

An Alligator Trapping Agent License is also available for $52, which allows the license holder to assist a trapper in taking alligators, but only in the presence of the permitted trapper. All persons seeking a harvest permit must be at least 18 years of age by Sept. 1, 2005, and only one harvest permit per person will be issued.

To educate participants on the rules and regulations of the hunts, the FWC offers a no-cost, three-hour training and orientation program, which is held throughout the state. Permit recipients are not required to attend, but first-time participants are strongly encouraged to do so. Courses will be offered in July and August, and permit holders will receive, by mail, permit packages listing exact dates and locations.

For more information on how to get involved in these exciting alligator hunts, visit MyFWC.com/alligator and click on “Statewide Hunts.”