The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will begin the second application phase for a chance to obtain highly coveted permits to participate in the statewide alligator harvest.
Alligator harvest permits are issued during this phase on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 a.m. (EDT) June 8 through 11:59 p.m. (EDT) June 13. Applicants in Phase II are limited to one permit apiece. Those who purchased a permit during Phase I may not apply. Payments for permits awarded in Phase I will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on June 6.
Anyone 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 at any county tax collector’s office, license agent (retail outlet that sells hunting and fishing licenses) and at www.fl.wildlifelicense.com.
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 a resident alligator trapping license and alligator harvest tags is $272; nonresidents pay $1,022. All fees are nonrefundable. Tags and permits are nontransferable.
An alligator trapping agent license is available for $52; it 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.
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. Anyone who purchased a permit in Phase I or Phase II may apply for additional permits during Phase III. The cost for each additional alligator hunting permit is $62, regardless of residency.
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 will be 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.
For more information about these alligator hunts, visit MyFWC.com/Alligator.
Tony Young, 850-488-7867