The Best Places to Hunt Alligators
The states that allow alligator hunting are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. Some states require that you take a training course prior to hunting alligators, and we highly recommend taking it even if it’s not required in the state you’re hunting, especially if you are doing an unguided hunt.
The best states for non-residents to hunt are Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. The other states only allow residents to draw, unless you hunt with a licensed outfitter.
The alligator population in Georgia is estimated to be 200,000-250,000 individuals and remains very stable. Georgia DNR’s Alligator Management Plan has played an important role in ensuring the long-term conservation, and sustainable harvest. To prevent overharvesting, Georgia has ten different hunting zones, each with a limited number of harvest permits based on the alligator population in that zone.
You can apply at www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com. If you are drawn, you can then purchase an Alligator Harvest Permit, which must be held by a member of the alligator hunting party.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources estimates that more than 100,000 alligators live in the state. Gators must be four feet of length or greater are legal, and hunters must capture the alligators using one or more of a variety of devices before killing the animal with a handgun or bang stick to a specific area in the back of the head. Hunting can only take place in public waters and on private land where permission is granted, but hunting is prohibited on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Wildlife Refuges. In addition, public alligator season permits cannot be used on lands enrolled in the Private Lands Alligator Program.
A randomized computer drawing based on a preference point system will determine the selection of hunters. Applicants can only apply and pay fees online or at one of the walk-up counters at a DNR Regional Office in Clemson, Florence, Columbia or Charleston.
Florida issues alligator tags through a four phase, random application process. If you were successful in the random drawing, your credit or debit card will be charged for the permit and tag fees, and you will be emailed a receipt. You can expect to receive a package in the mail with your license, permit and two CITES tags within six weeks.