Most hunters need some good luck to be drawn for Georgia’s annual alligator hunt. For hunter Jim Overman, age 43, of Bainbridge, Ga., his recent experience brought him even more good fortune, as he harvested a new state record alligator at Lake Seminole at approximately 10 p.m. on Sept. 25, 2013.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, the 13-foot, 10 ¾-inch gator beats the former record by 1 ¾ inches. The record was previously held by Randy Hand, who harvested his 13-foot, 9-inch gator on Sept. 19, 2010, in Decatur County.
A group of hunters spotted the large gator while scouting ducks in the area. They contacted a local taxidermist to track down a hunter with a 2013 alligator tag. Overman got the call, and the chase was on.
“For those fortunate enough to be selected to participate in our alligator hunting season, it truly is a fantastic experience,” says Dan Forster, director for the Wildlife Resources Division. “It’s extremely exciting to know that a state record alligator was harvested at Lake Seminole, and we extend our congratulations to Mr. Overman. For hunters looking for a thrilling and one-of-a-kind hunting opportunity, I certainly recommend applying for this hunt.”
The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is a conservation success story. Due to loss of habitat and unregulated market hunting, alligators were reduced to low numbers by the early 1900s. Thanks to the efforts of conservationists and state wildlife agencies, alligator populations have rebounded and now flourish over most of their historic range.
In Georgia, the alligator population is one of many renewable natural resources that can sustain limited harvest in concert with biological monitoring and periodic evaluations. The population is managed through a regulated hunting season. For Georgians interested in alligator hunting, we invite you to submit an application for the opportunity to participate in our annual alligator hunting season.
The Georgia alligator hunting season is Sept. 7-Oct. 6, 2013 for quota permit holders only. Bag limit is one (1) alligator. Legal alligators must be greater than or equal to 48 inches in length as measured from end of the snout to tip of the tail. For additional information on alligator hunting in Georgia, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/Hunting/Alligator.