Have you ever wondered how it would be to catch and bring into the boat a 10-foot gator? Well, here’s your chance. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has more than 5,000 permits available to participate in the 11-week alligator season, which runs Aug. 15 – Nov. 1.
The application process is conducted in three phases and begins by submitting a no-cost application at any tax collector’s office, license agent or online at http://license.myfwc.com.
During the Phase I application period, alligator permits are issued by random drawing. Phase I ends May 12, and applicants are limited to being drawn for only one permit.
If selected, applicants have until June 3 to pay the cost of the permit. Otherwise, the permit will be placed back into the system, with the other remaining permits, to be sold in Phase II on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 10 a.m. June 7 and continuing through June 12. Those who received a permit in Phase I and paid for it cannot apply during Phase II.
Any permits remaining after June 12 will be issued during Phase III on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 10 a.m. June 14 until all are sold. Anyone can apply during Phase III – despite having already bought a permit in Phase I or Phase II.
Alligator trapping licenses and two hide-validation tags costs $272 for Florida residents and $1,022 for nonresidents. If you happen to buy an additional permit during Phase III, it will cost $62, regardless of whether you are a resident or not. No other hunting license or permits are required to participate in the hunts.
Each permit enables you to take two alligators from whichever county or body of water you were awarded during a specific harvest period. To purchase a permit, you must be at least 18 years old by opening day, Aug. 15.
If you don’t have all the gear necessary and you’d rather assist a friend who purchased an alligator trapping license, you can pay $52 for an alligator trapping “agent” license. You don’t even have to be 18 to buy one. This license entitles you to take alligators, but only when you’re with a licensed person.
Visit MyFWC.com/Alligator and click on “Statewide Alligator Harvest Program” for more information on these exciting gator-hunting opportunities.