Florida Alligator Application Process Changes Begin June 1

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will use new permit-application procedures this year to resolve past permit issuance problems for the highly popular statewide alligator harvest program.

In Phase I of the new process, applications will be accepted for a random drawing from 10 a.m. (EDT) June 1 through 11:59 p.m. (EDT) June 15. Approximately 6,000 alligator harvest permits will be available.

During the Phase I random drawing, each person may submit only one no-cost application, which provides the option of prioritizing up to five hunt area and period choices. All people seeking a harvest permit must be at least 18 years of age by Aug. 15, 2009. A permit allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated area.

Applications can be submitted at any county tax collector's office, license agent (retail outlet that sells hunting and fishing licenses), and at MyFWC.com/License. Drawing results will be posted at MyFWC.com/Hunting no earlier than June 17. Fee payments must be made at the locations referenced above by June 29.

Any permits remaining after this period will be offered during Phase II on a first-come, first served basis from 10 a.m. (EDT) July 1 through 11:59 p.m. (EDT) July 6. People who purchased a permit during Phase I may not apply. Applicants in Phase II are limited to one permit.

If permits are available after Phase II, they will be offered during Phase III on a first-come, first served basis from10 a.m. (EDT) July 7 until all permits are sold. People who purchased a permit in Phase I or II may apply for additional permits during Phase III.

Successful applicants must submit payment for an alligator trapping license and two alligator harvest tags, or provide proof of a valid alligator trapping license (must be valid through Nov. 1, 2009) and pay the fee for two harvest tags. No other hunting licenses are required.

The cost for an alligator trapping license and alligator harvest tags is $271.50 for Florida residents, and nonresidents pay $1,021.50. The cost for each additional alligator hunting permit is $61.50, regardless of residency. All fees are nonrefundable.

An alligator trapping agent license is also available for $51.50, which allows the license holder to assist permitted trappers take alligators.

The alligator hunting season will run 11 consecutive weeks from Aug. 15 through Nov. 1.

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

For more information about these exciting alligator hunts, visit MyFWC.com/WildlifeHabitats/Alligator_index.htm,.