Starting Tuesday hunters across Florida can submit their applications for one of the 45-hundred permits available for the 2007 alligator hunting season.
Permits are issued on a first come, first serve basis for the 11 week alligator harvest…which begins August 15th and runs through the 1st of November.
Permits cost about 270 dollars and allow hunters to kill two alligators. Non-residents are eligible, but at nearly 4 times the cost.
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman – Gary Morris – says there are 2 different kinds of permits…
“One is for an alligator harvest unit that’s a specific body of water. We only allow a certain number of alligators be taken out of certain bodies of water, and that has to do with managing the population. There’s also countywide harvest permits that allow you to go into public lakes, NOT in incorporated municipalities and cities and harvest gators from those public water bodies.”
First declared an endangered species in 1967 because of demand for their hides…the large reptiles made a comeback and were de-listed in 1987.
More than 64-hundred alligators were killed during the 2006 season…up from about 34-hundred the year before. Once on the brink of extinction, there are now more than a million ‘gators in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Georgia.
The state began accepting applications yesterday for alligator hunting permits for the 2007 season. The 270-dollar permits are issued in the order they were received. They allow hunters to kill 2 alligators…but only in specific bodies of water chosen during the application process.
And Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman – Gary Morris – says these permits have nothing to do with nuisance alligators.
“The nuisance alligator program is entirely different from the public waters hunt program. It deals with nuisance alligators you’d find in your swimming pools, your backyard, or ones that are threatening your pets, people or property. And generally that occurs in urban and suburban areas where the public waters alligator hunt does not occur.”
Morris says the FWC receives nearly 20-thousand calls on its nuisance alligator hotline each year. Killing an alligator in Florida without a permit is a third degree felony. The nuisance gator hotline is 866-FWC-GATOR.
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:00
Gator Hunting PermitsWritten by WGCU Newsroom