Commission approves changes to statewide alligator hunt, pneumatic airbows now legal

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gator hunt, ocala news, ocala post
Photo by Julie Walfield

Florida — At their May 3-4 meeting, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Commissioners approved increasing hunting hours for the statewide alligator hunt and adding precharged pneumatic airbows to the legal methods of taking an alligator.

Increasing hunting hours from the current 17 hours a day to 24 hours a day on most areas will provide those with an alligator trapping license/alligator harvest permit seven more hours a day of hunting opportunity and more flexibility when scheduling hunting trips.

Adding precharged pneumatic airbows to the legal methods of take can assist hunters with mobility challenges and youth or smaller framed hunters who might have limited dexterity or strength. To be considered a legal take method, the airbow’s arrow needs to be attached to a restraining line, which allows the hunter to safely gain control of the animal.

These new rules will take effect in time for the 2022 statewide alligator harvest season. Visit MyFWC.com/Alligator for more information.

Applying for alligator harvest permits

This year, sustainable hunting opportunities will be offered at 128 AMUs (65 countywide AMUs and 63 specific AMUs). The FWC will be issuing over 7,300 alligator harvest permits through three random drawings and a final leftover phase.

The dates to apply for alligator harvest permits this year are as follows. Remember, all application periods start at 10 a.m. ET on the first day of the application period and run through 11:59 p.m. ET on the final day.

Phase I Applications May 6 – 16
Phase II Applications May 20 – 30
Phase III Applications June 3 – 13
Phase IV Leftovers June 16 – until filled or Oct. 14

Anyone who will be 18 years of age or older by Aug. 15 and has a valid credit card may apply for alligator harvest permits at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or in person at a licensed agent or tax collector’s office. Learn more about the alligator harvest permit application process by visiting MyFWC.com and clicking on “Limited Entry/Quota Hunts” under the “Buy and Apply” drop-down menu and then clicking on “Statewide Alligator Hunt Permits.”