Alligator Hunting in Alabama: Season, Licenses and Requirements

Hunting the American alligator in Alabama is restricted to a 145 permits statewide. Residents are selected to obtain alligator possession tags prior to the hunting season.

Alabama was the first state to protect the American alligator, 29 years before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the reptile on the Endangered Species List. Twenty years later, in 1987, the American alligator was removed from the Endangered Species List but remained a federally protected reptile. In certain areas of Alabama, the American alligator is considered a nuisance and a limited amount of alligator possession tags are distributed to help control the alligator population.

Season

Alligator may be hunted during the third and fourth weekends in August, in specially designated areas of Mobile and Baldwin counties and a group of counties in Southeast Alabama. Due to the attempt to control the alligator population, 125 Mobile and Baldwin county permits and 120 Southeast Alabama permits will be issued. Registering for an alligator possession tag will make residents eligible for the permit drawing. Alligator hunting applicants must also possess an Alabama hunting license.

Alligator Possession Tags

From the beginning of June to mid-July (June 1, 2010 to July 12, 2010), hunters may apply to be in the drawing for alligator possession tags. Applications may be submitted until 8 a.m. on the final day, which is followed by the drawing for permits. Accepted applicants have until 5 p.m. two days after application closing to accept the permit (July 14, 2010). If an applicant fails to accept the permit, a call will be placed to the next person on the Alternate’s List. That person then has 24 hours to accept.

The alligator possession tag allows a hunter to kill one alligator, six feet or longer. Alligator may only be hunted between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. To register for an alligator possession tag, applicants must be 16 years of age or older, residents of Alabama, and successfully complete the two-hour Alligator Training Course. Hunters that receive notification of selection for an alligator possession tag must register with the checking station at the District 5 office, where the temporary alligator possession permit will be issued. Southeast Alabama alligator hunters will receive their temporary permits at the training session.

Hunting Equipment

The use of bait while alligator hunting in Alabama is illegal. Hunters must restrain and bring the alligator next to the boat or dock before shooting or dispatching the reptile. Legal hunting equipment includes hand-held snares, snatch hooks, harpoons, bowfishing equipment, shotguns and bangsticks. When shooting, hunters must be at least 100 yards from any residence, building, boat ramp or occupied campsite.

Alligator Hunting Assistants

Non-residents and residents that were not chosen to receive an alligator possession tag may still participate in the hunt. Anyone in the boat with the hunter is considered either an alligator hunter permittee or an alligator hunting assistant. Assistants over the age of 16 must possess either a resident or non-resident Alabama hunting license.

Sources:

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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Kathleen Murphy
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Posted on Oct 16, 2010