July 7, 2008
Alligator hunting deadline approaching
The deadline to apply for the public alligator season this year is fast approaching. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will accept online applications for this year's public alligator season until 11:59pm on July 15th. After this date, a randomized drawing will occur to fill up to 1,000 permits allowing hunters to take one alligator each during the upcoming alligator hunting season.
More than 100,000 alligators live from the Midlands to the coast of South Carolina. The regulated removal of alligators will not threaten the population. Anyone taking an alligator must have a South Carolina Hunting License, a DNR Alligator Harvest Permit and an Alligator Harvest Tag in their possession while afield. All alligators taken must be tagged immediately and reported to the DNR. All applicants must be 16 or older at the time of the hunt to be eligible for an Alligator Harvest Permit, however youth are allowed to accompany a permittee during the actual hunt. This hunting season does not allow the shooting of unsecured alligators, even on private land. The alligator must be secured using approved equipment and brought boat-side or onto land before it can be dispatched.
Applicants for the new alligator hunting season must apply and pay online. First time users of this system will then have to create a new user account. Remember your username and password as it can be used to conduct other online business such as applying for turkey tags or renewing a boat registration.
A $10 nonrefundable application fee is required to apply. If selected, an additional $100 fee for a permit is required and each hunter will be allowed to harvest one alligator. Unsuccessful applicants will accumulate preference points for future alligator hunt drawings.
The coastal plain has been divided into four alligator management units and 250 permits will be issued for each unit (1000 total). Applicants can select the option to be considered for 1, 2, 3, or any of the units, but the permit issued will only allow them to hunt in one unit per season. The new season will begin on September 13 and end on October 11. Hunting may take place at any time of day, but most alligator hunting generally takes place during the evening. Only alligators four feet or greater in length may be taken. Others may assist or accompany the permitted hunter, but all participants (including the permittee) must either be licensed South Carolina hunters or under the age of 16. No alligator hunting is allowed on public lands such as Wildlife Management Areas (except in navigable waters normally open to the general public for hunting), state parks, or federal properties like National Wildlife Refuges and their jurisdictional waters.
DNR will host a series of optional seminars beginning in August for those selected for the alligator season that will include vital information to conduct a safe and successful hunt. DNR will closely monitor these hunts and the harvest and regulations may be modified for future seasons.
DNR protects and manages South Carolina's natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state's natural resources and its people.