The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is now accepting applications for a chance to participate in this year’s recreational alligator hunting season.
For the Phase I random drawing, applications will be accepted through April 30. Approximately 5,700 alligator harvest permits will be available.
During Phase I, each person can submit one no-cost application with choices of up to 20 hunt areas and periods. To apply, a person must be at least 18 years of age by Aug. 15. A permit allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated area. Only one application per person will be accepted.
Hunters can submit applications at any county tax collector’s office, license agent (retail outlet that sells hunting and fishing licenses) and at License.MyFWC.com.
The drawing will be held shortly after the end of the application period, and results can be checked by logging in to License.MyFWC.com. Successful applicants must pay for their permit at the locations listed above or online by the end of May 14, or the permit will be made available to others for Phase II.
Any permits remaining after May 14 will be offered during the Phase II random drawing. Applications for Phase II will be accepted beginning 10 a.m. May 18 through May 28. Those who were awarded a permit during Phase I may not apply during Phase II, even if the awarded permit was not purchased. Applicants in Phase II are limited to one permit.
Successful applicants must submit payment for an alligator trapping license and two alligator harvest tags, or provide proof of a valid alligator trapping license (must be valid through Nov. 1) and pay the fee for two harvest tags. No other hunting licenses are required.
The cost for the resident alligator trapping license and accompanying alligator harvest tags is $271.50, and nonresidents pay $1,021.50. The cost for each additional alligator hunting permit is $61.50, regardless of residency. All fees are nonrefundable, and tags and permits are nontransferable.
An alligator trapping agent license is also available for $51.50, which allows the license holder to assist permitted trappers in taking 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 free training and orientation sessions, which are held at various locations throughout the state. Permit recipients are not required to attend, but the FWC strongly encourages first-time participants to go. These courses will be offered in July and August, and permit holders will be mailed permit packages with listing dates and locations.