The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) opened online registration for the state’s regulated alligator hunts on June 1, 2021, at 8 a.m. Registration must be completed by 8 a.m., July 14.
A total of 260 Alligator Possession Tags will be distributed among five hunting zones. The administrative fee to apply for an Alligator Possession Tag is $22 and individuals may register one time per zone. While the tag is free, the selected hunters and their assistants are required to have valid hunting licenses in their possession while hunting.
Only Alabama residents and Alabama lifetime license holders ages 16 years or older may apply for tags. Alabama lifetime license holders may apply for an Alligator Possession Tag even if they have moved out of the state.
Hunters will be randomly selected by computer to receive one Alligator Possession Tag each (the tags are non-transferable). The random selection process will utilize a preference point system. The system increases the likelihood of repeat registrants being selected for a hunt as long as the applicant continues to apply. The more years an applicant participates in the registration, the higher the likelihood of being selected. If an applicant does not register for the hunt in a given year or is selected and accepts a tag for a hunt, the preference point status is forfeited.
Applicants can check their selection status on July 14, after 12 p.m., at https://publichunts.dcnr.alabama.gov/public. Those selected to receive a tag must confirm their acceptance online by 8 a.m., July 21. After that date, alternates will be notified to fill any vacancies. Applicants drawn for the hunt are required to complete an online Alligator Training Course prior to accepting their hunter/alternate status. The official course will be available on the applicant’s status page upon login.
If selected for an Alligator Possession Tag at two or more locations, hunters must choose which location they would like to hunt. The slot for locations not chosen will be filled from a list of randomly selected alternates.
Hunting zones, total tags issued per zone and hunt dates are as follows:
SOUTHWEST ALABAMA ZONE – 100 Tags
Locations: Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile counties north of interstate 10, and private and public waters in Washington, Clarke and Monroe counties east of U.S. Highway 43 and south of U.S. Highway 84. 2021 Dates: Sunset on August 12, until sunrise on August 15. Sunset on August 19, until sunrise on August 22.
COASTAL ZONE – 50 Tags
Locations: Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile counties south of Interstate 10. 2021 Dates: Sunset on August 12, until sunrise on August 15. Sunset on August 19, until sunrise on August 22.
SOUTHEAST ALABAMA ZONE – 40 Tags
Locations: Private and public waters in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Russell counties (excluding public Alabama state waters in Walter F. George Reservoir/Lake Eufaula and its navigable tributaries). 2021 Dates: Sunset on August 14, until sunrise on September 6.
WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA ZONE – 50 Tags
Locations: Private and public waters in Monroe (north of U.S. Highway 84), Wilcox and Dallas counties. 2021 Dates: Sunset on August 12, until sunrise on August 15. Sunset on August 19, until sunrise on August 22.
LAKE EUFAULA ZONE – 20 Tags
Locations: Public state waters only in the Walter F. George Reservoir/Lake Eufaula and its navigable tributaries, south of Alabama Highway 208 at Omaha Bridge (excludes Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge). 2021 Dates: Sunset August 20, until sunrise October 4.
Each person receiving an Alligator Possession Tag will be allowed to harvest one alligator during the season. An 8-foot minimum length requirement is in effect for alligators harvested in the Lake Eufaula Zone. There is no minimum length for hunts in the other zones. The use of bait is prohibited. All alligator harvests must be immediately tagged with the temporary Alligator Possession Tag and reported as directed for each Zone. The permanent Alligator Possession Tag will be distributed after the hunt by Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division personnel.
Hunting hours are official sunset to official sunrise in the Southwest, Coastal, Southeast and West Central Zones. For the Lake Eufaula Zone, hunting is allowed both daytime and nighttime hours. All Alabama hunting and boating regulations must be followed.
The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest reptile in North America and can exceed 14 feet in length and 1,000 pounds. Known for its prized meat and leather, the species was threatened with extinction due to unregulated harvest during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. No regulations existed in those days to limit the number of alligators harvested. In 1938, it is believed that Alabama was the first state to protect alligators by outlawing these unlimited harvests. Other states soon followed and, in 1967, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the American alligator on the endangered species list. By 1987, the species was removed from the endangered species list and the alligator population has continued to expand. Its history illustrates an excellent conservation success story.