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Heads up, hunters: Alligator hunting season kicks off in Florida

Participants are allowed to hunt until the morning of Nov. 1.

TAMPA, Fla. — For everyone in the Sunshine State ready to get their hooks and lines out to hunt some alligators, it's finally time.

Starting at midnight Aug. 15, hunters with the proper permit can head out to their designated areas during specific time slots to go after the scaly reptiles.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Statewide Alligator Hunt is a "highly sought after limited entry hunt...[with] often more than 15,000 applicants that will apply for approximately 7,000 permits." 

Only those who received an Alligator Trapping License, an area-specific harvest permit and two CITES tags allowing them to harvest two alligators are properly signed up.

FWC explains the harvest areas and hunt dates are specific for each permit, which also shows the boundaries and limitations of the harvest areas. The first months of the season are divided into four quota weeks with each permit assigned to one of them.

Participants are allowed to hunt through until the morning of Nov. 1.

The gator population in Florida is estimated at 1.3 million reptiles of every size, which has been stable for many years, according to the FWC. The statewide recreational alligator harvest was first started back in 1988.

"Recreational hunting is just one part of the FWC’s overall approach to managing the alligator population," the conservation agency explains on its website.

For more information on the hunting season, click here.

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