Applications for alligator hunting to open June 7
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Kyle Hamrick
A species as old and ferocious as the dinosaurs will be the target of hunters from Bridgeport to Bayou La Batre when the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reopens registration for alligator hunting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7.
Alabama residents and lifetime license holders age 16 and older may register once per zone after paying a $22 fee.
With 260 tags available across five hunting zones in south Alabama, the state will dole out the non-transferable tags at random by computer program, with each tag good for one reptile per person.
One’s likelihood of receiving a tag increases with with each application, and with each year the person has participated in the process.
Registration closes at 8 a.m. on July 13, and selections will be published after noon. Those selected must confirm their acceptance by 8 a.m. on July 20, and complete an online Alligator Training Course.
Hunting may take place from sunset to sunrise in the Southwest, Coastal, Southeast and West Central zones, and all day and night in the Lake Eufala Zone. Alligators caught in the former four zones may be of any length, but those caught in the Lake Eufaula Zone must be longer than 8 feet.
Hunters must have valid hunting licenses and observe state boating laws. Bait cannot be used.
The largest reptile in North America, the American alligator can grow to more than 14 feet from teeth to tail and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Over-hunting the species for meat and leather in the early half of the 20th century threatened it with extinction, until the state of Alabama regulated the harvest in 1938. Other states and the nation followed, until the American alligator was no longer considered endangered in 1987.
For more information, check out the agency’s website.