For each of the past eight years, the number of applicants wishing to participate in an alligator quota hunt continues to grow. In 2009, almost 6,000 hunters submitted applications. Beginning this year, 850 applicants will be selected to participate – an increase of 150 permits – in the 2010 alligator hunting season which runs Sept. 4-Oct. 3.
“The alligator is a renewable natural resource that scientific data indicates can sustain a regulated harvest on an annual basis,” says WRD Assistant Chief of Game Management John Bowers. “This population stability creates additional flexibility in the areas that can be hunted and the number of animals available for harvest. This has allowed our agency to periodically increase the number of permits available while continuing to ensure the long-term conservation of the alligator population.”
Interested hunters must complete and submit a quota hunt application online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com before midnight July 31 (the application period opens June 1, 2010). Hunters receive their selection status by e-mail and those selected get a temporary harvest tag and information packet by mail in early August.
All hunters have the opportunity to attend a voluntary training session. During these sessions, wildlife experts provide information on safety, capture and handling techniques, processing and more.
In Georgia, alligators typically live south of the fall line (which roughly traverses the cities of Columbus, Macon and Augusta), occupying a variety of natural wetland habitats including marshes, swamps, rivers, farm ponds and lakes. Male alligators can reach 16 feet in length, while female alligators rarely surpass 10 feet. Large alligators could weigh more than 800 pounds. Opportunistic carnivores, they eat small mammals, aquatic insects, crayfish, frogs, fish, turtles, water birds and more.
For more information on the 2010 alligator hunting season, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com , contact a WRD Game Management Office or call (770) 760-3045.