JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is accepting applications for alligator harvest permits this year starting May 17.
This year, 6,000 harvest permits are available for the annual statewide recreational alligator harvest from Aug. 15 to Nov. 1.
Hunters must apply at a designated harvest unit or county and must be 18 years old by Aug. 15 with a valid credit or debit card.
Applications are selected at random, so FWC's alligator program hunt coordinator, Steve Stiegler suggests planning ahead.
“Before you apply for alligator hunt permits, be sure to coordinate with everyone you plan to hunt with, regarding where you want to hunt and which harvest weeks work best with everyone’s schedule,” Stiegler said.
"The application process is a random drawing, so the more choices you make, the better your chances of getting drawn. You also can increase your odds of being drawn by choosing more areas during the fourth harvest week,” Stiegler said. “However, you shouldn’t apply for any areas you feel are too far away or during weeks you’re unable to hunt.”
For those looking for the best spots from last year's season, harvest data is available at MyFWC.com/Alligator under “Statewide Alligator Harvest Program.”
Successful applicants will know they got a permit when their card is charged for the license and they will receive their alligator trapping license/harvest permit and two alligator tags in the mail within six weeks of payment.
The applications cost $62 and can be submitted to county tax collector's offices, license agents (most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies) or online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.
The total cost for an alligator trapping license/harvest permit and two hide validation tags cost $272 for Florida residents, $22 for those with a Florida Resident Persons with Disabilities Hunting and Fishing License, and $1,022 for nonresidents.
Applicants can also update or change information until the application period closes.
The Phase I application period runs from May 17 at 10 a.m. to May 27. Phase II is from May 31 until June 10. Phase III is from June 14 to June 24.
Those who are awarded permits cannot apply for more licenses in later application phases.
A fourth phase period will be held if any leftover permits after phase III and anyone can apply, even those that already have permits.