Alligator hunting permits go on sale in Florida this week, and they're available to everyone.
Whether you're a resident or a nonresident of the Sunshine State, your ability to fill the freezer using the state's venerable and healthy alligator population just got a whole lot better!
Maybe the brightest part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's permit announcement is that folks with a Florida Resident Persons with Disabilities Hunting and Fishing License can obtain one for only $22.
These permits allow Florida residents and out-of-state folks who are at least 18 years old to take up to two gators per permit. According to the FWC, permits are $272 for Florida residents and $1,022 for out-of-state hunters. Anyone who already has a valid alligator trapping license only has to pay a mere $62.
With the alligator population being so healthy, the harvest should be just as great this year. Alligator season runs in four harvest periods starting in mid-August and going until the first of November.
According to the FWC, hunters can access public bodies of water by using public boat landings. Hunters can try their hand on any private ponds or lakes within that county, too, as long as they have the landowner's permission. There are 69 different harvest units where you can apply for a permit, each of which has a specific number of permits available, but you get one, you can only hunt that particular body of water.
Now that you're ready to do some Florida alligator hunting, you have to ask yourself how you're going to do it. You could hunt with a bow and arrow, a crossbow, gigs, harpoons, spears or spearguns. Some people use fishing poles with a weighted treble hook or artificial lures. Baited wooden pegs that are less than 2 inches long may be used. You may use a fishing pole or handheld line, handline snatch hooks, handheld catch poles. You could however use handheld snares and bang sticks, which are the only legal firearms you can use.
Since alligator meat is one of the tastiest things you can put in your mouth, many people want to try to hunt gators. If you're one of those folks, there are many good alligator hunting guides available online to help make it happen.
Will you be ready for the start of alligator hunting season?
Cover photo via Sarasota County Sheriff/Facebook