6,000 Gator Hunters To Be Given Permits
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will begin accepting applications on May 4 for a chance to obtain highly coveted permits to participate in the statewide alligator harvest.
Applications submitted in Phase I will be entered in a random drawing to assign permits. Applications will be accepted from 10 a.m. (EDT) May 4 through 11:59 p.m. (EDT) May 17. More than 6,000 alligator harvest permits will be available.
During Phase I, each person can submit only one no-cost application, which provides the option of prioritizing up to five hunt area and period choices. All those seeking a harvest permit must be at least 18 years of age by Aug. 15. A permit allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated area.
People can submit applications online at www.fl.wildlifelicense.com, at any county tax collector's office or license agent (retail outlet that sells hunting and fishing licenses). Drawing results will be posted at MyFWC.com/Hunting (click on "Limited Entry Hunts," then "Drawing Results"). Successful applicants must make their trapping license fee payments at the locations listed above by June 6.
Any permits remaining after June 6 will be offered during Phase II on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 a.m. (EDT) June 8 through 11:59 p.m. (EDT) June 13. Those who purchased a permit during Phase I may not apply. Applicants in Phase II are limited to one permit apiece.
If permits are available after Phase II, the FWC will offer them during Phase III on a first-come, first-served basis, while they last, beginning at 10 a.m. (EDT) June 15. People who purchased a permit in Phase I or II may apply for additional permits during Phase III.
The combined cost of a resident alligator trapping license and alligator harvest tags is $272, and nonresidents pay $1,022. The cost for each additional alligator hunting permit is $62, regardless of residency. All fees are nonrefundable. Tags and permits are nontransferable.
An alligator trapping agent license is also available for $52; it allows the license holder to assist permitted trappers to take alligators.
The alligator hunting season will run 11 consecutive weeks from Aug. 15 through Nov. 1.
To educate participants on the how-to's and rules and regulations of the hunts, the FWC offers a no-cost, three-hour training and orientation program, which is held at various locations throughout the state. Permit recipients are not required to attend, but the FWC strongly encourages first-time participants to go. Courses will be offered in July and August, and permit holders will receive, by mail, permit packages listing dates and locations.