Always wanted to harvest an alligator? Well if you’re lucky, you may just get to do so. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will offer an alligator season for five specific areas in Alabama; with each zone having a designated number of allowed tags.
The American alligator had been an endangered species for decades due to unregulated harvesting by our forefathers. However, after decades of protection, their population has grown to a point where they have been removed from the endangered list. In fact, these reptiles have rebounded to a point locally that regulated hunts are necessary to control and manage their numbers so they will not pose a threat. This marks the fifteenth year Alabama has reinstated an alligator harvesting season.
Applications for Alabama alligator season tags must be made online through the Outdoor Alabama website (Outdoor Alabama Alligator Hunt Registration link). The application period opened June 1st and will close at 8:00 a.m. on July 14th. Applicants must be at least 16 years old, pay a $22 administrative fee per zone, have a government issued picture identification and a resident hunting license. Applicants may apply once per zone. Preference points are given to those who have applied previously and consecutively. The drawings will be held after registration closes (noon) on July 14th for all zones. Those selected must accept by the following Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. (July 21st) or their tag will be given to the next applicant on the list. Applicants may check for their results on the same website they registered (Outdoor Alabama Alligator Hunt Registration link). The hunts will begin in mid-August for those randomly chosen. All successful applicants will be required to complete an online training course.
Good luck and happy hunting!
What are the Alabama alligator hunting zones and how many tags for each?
• SOUTHWEST ZONE (100 tags) -Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile Counties that lie north of I-10 and private and public waters in Washington, Clarke, and Monroe Counties that lie east of U.S. Highway 43 and south of U.S. Highway 84
• COASTAL ZONE (50 tags) – Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile Counties that lie south of I-10
• SOUTHEAST ZONE (40 tags) – Private and public waters in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Russell Counties (excluding Alabama state public waters in Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula) and its navigable tributaries).
• WEST CENTRAL ZONE (50 tags)- Private and public waters in Monroe (north of U.S. Highway 84), Wilcox, and Dallas Counties
• LAKE EUFAULA ZONE (20 tags) – Alabama state public waters in the Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula) and its navigable tributaries, south of Hwy 208, Omaha Bridge (excluding Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge)
What if I’m chosen for more than one zone?
If selected for two or more locations you must choose only one to hunt.
What is the bag limit?
Each person receiving an Alligator Possession Tag will be allowed to harvest one alligator (If in the Lake Eufaula Zone it must be a minimum of eight feet in length).
What do I use to harvest a gator? No bait is allowed. Alligators can be captured & released or dispatched immediately upon capture by shotguns with a shot size no larger than #4 or bang sticks chambered in .38 caliber or larger. All harvested alligators must be validated at your designated check station during a specific time and tagged in accordance with the protocol.
(Visit http://www.outdooralabama.com/ for full list of details including registration requirements, reporting, tagging, etc.)
Lindsay Schumacher is the marketing director for Great Southern Land. She is an Independent Marketing & Public Relations Consultant, Freelance Writer, and Outdoors Enthusiast. She can be reached at Lindsay@greatsouthernland.com