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State to open applications for alligator hunting

It’s gator season.

Usually, in this state, that carries a sports connotation. But this time it’s for the four-legged variety.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced Friday it will issue permits next month to hunt alligators in certain areas of the state.

The application process opens 8 a.m. June 6. The department said 260 permits, costing $250 each, will be issued, all to Alabamians with few exceptions.

The permits will be for those who are Alabama lifetime license holders ages 16 years or older. They must hold a valid game or small game Alabama hunting license. Alabama lifetime license holders may apply for an Alligator Harvest Permit, even if they have moved out of the state.

Hunters will be randomly selected by computer entry. Those who have applied multiple years and not yet received a permit, will get a favorable status in the selection system. If a hunter has been selected for two or more locations they must pick just one of those areas to hunt in.

Each person receiving a permit will be allowed to harvest one alligator during the season. An 8-foot minimum length requirement is in effect for alligators harvested in the Lake Eufaula AMA. There is no minimum length for hunts in the other management areas.

The use of bait is prohibited. All alligator harvests must be immediately tagged with the temporary Alligator Possession Tag and reported as directed for each Alligator Management Area. The permanent Alligator Possession Tag will be distributed after the hunt by ADCNR Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division personnel.

Applicants can check their selection status at the link listed above after 8 a.m. July 12. Those selected to receive a harvest permit must confirm their acceptance online by 8 a.m. July 19. After that date, alternates will be notified to fill any vacancies.

  • SOUTHWEST MANAGEMENT AREA – 100 Harvest Permits
    Locations: Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile counties north of interstate 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. 2023 Dates: Sunset Aug. 10 until sunrise Aug. 13; sunset Aug. 17 until sunrise Aug. 20.
  • COASTAL MANAGEMENT AREA – 50 Harvest Permits
    Locations: Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile counties south of Interstate 10. 2023 Dates: Sunset Aug. 10 until sunrise Aug. 13; sunset Aug. 17 until sunrise Aug. 20.
  • SOUTHEAST MANAGEMENT AREA – 40 Harvest Permits
    Locations: Private and public waters in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Russell counties (excluding public Alabama state waters in Walter F. George Reservoir/Lake Eufaula and its navigable tributaries). 2023 Dates: Sunset Aug. 12 until sunrise Sept. 4.
  • WEST CENTRAL MANAGEMENT AREA – 50 Harvest Permits
    Locations: Private and public waters in Monroe (north of U.S. Highway 84), Wilcox and Dallas counties. 2023 Dates: Sunset on Aug. 10 until sunrise Aug. 13; sunset Aug. 17 until sunrise Aug. 20.
  • LAKE EUFAULA MANAGEMENT AREA – 20 Harvest Permits
    Locations: Public state waters only in the Walter F. George Reservoir/Lake Eufaula and its navigable tributaries, south of Alabama Highway 208 at Omaha Bridge (excludes Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge). 2023 Dates: Sunset Aug. 18 until sunrise Oct. 2.

To apply for a permit, click here.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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