MONTGOMERY, AL - Alabama's 5th regulated alligator hunting season will be held in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta August 13-16, and August 20-23; and in several Southeast Alabama counties on August 13-29.
Applications for Alligator Possession Tags will be accepted only through the ADCNR website, www.outdooralabama.com, beginning June 1, at 8 a.m. Registration will end July 12, at 8 a.m.
Previously the Southeast Alabama alligator hunt was limited to 80 hunters.
This year the number of hunters will increase to 120 and include all of Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Houston, Henry and Russell counties; including the portions of Henry, Barbour and Russell counties in the Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula).
A total of 125 tags will be issued for the Mobile-Tensaw Delta hunts, which take place in parts of Baldwin and Mobile counties.
The cost is $6 to apply and individuals may register multiple times. Only Alabama residents age 16 years or older may apply for an Alligator Possession Tag. Hunters will be randomly chosen by computer to receive one Alligator Possession Tag each, and the tags are non-transferable.
The random selection of hunters takes place on July 12. Applicants will be able to check their status (selected, alternate or not selected) at www.outdooralabama.com after the selection takes place. Applicants selected to receive a permit must complete an online acceptance by 5 p.m. on July 14.
After that date, alternates will be called by telephone to fill any vacancies. All vacancies will be filled this way until the dates for the training classes. After the training classes, vacancies will be filled with the next alternate on the list who attended the training class.
Selected hunters and their assistants are required to have in their possession a valid 2009-10 hunting license. Each hunter is required to complete an Alligator Training Course provided by Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division personnel.
The Mobile-Tensaw Delta training course will be held twice on July 31, 2010 at the Five Rivers complex in Spanish Fort, Ala.
The first class will be from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. The second class will be from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. The Southeast Alabama course will be held once on August 7, 2010 at the Chamber of Commerce Office in Eufaula, Ala. The class will be from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Each person receiving an Alligator Possession Tag will be allowed to harvest one alligator 6 feet in length or longer. Hunting hours will be from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. each day. All Alabama hunting and boating regulations must be followed.
The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest reptile in North America. A fully mature alligator may grow to 14 feet in length and weigh as much as 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 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 grow.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama's natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.