June 22, 2005
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,
and click on Statewide Hunts.