Alligator Hunting

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When it comes to alligator hunting, there is no place as exciting as Florida! This state has become synonamous with alligator habitat. Since 1988, Florida’s statewide alligator harvest has been internationally recognized as a model program for the sustainable use of a natural resource. Each year, alligator management units are established with appropriate harvest quotas to provide recreational opportunities for residents and non-residents to take up to two alligators per permit.

Successful applicants who are awarded a permit must submit payment for two CITES tags and an Alligator Trapping License, or provide proof of possession of an Alligator Trapping License valid through the end of the alligator harvest season. However, a Florida hunting license is not required to participate in the statewide alligator hunt.

In Florida, there is no gator hunting season. American alligators can be taken year round with any weapon. Alligator hunts on public waters are conducted on public lakes, rivers and wetlands by harvest units throughout the state as designated by the Florida’s conservation commission. The State of Florida provides more than four-thousand alligator harvest permits available on a first-come, first-served basis for these hunts. They also fall under a more restrictive set of regulations than hunt that take place on private lands.

Alligator hunting in Florida

Public water alligator hunting is best by airboat. Legal weapons for public waters are compound bow, re-curve bow, crossbow or harpoon. These are used to initially “catch” the gator, with a bang stick used for harvest. Firearms (handguns, and rifles and shotguns) powered-gigs and set hooks are not legal on public waters.

Hunters can also hunt gators on private land. Of course, you will have to contact a landowner or an alligator hunting guide to get more information on costs. On private lands, most alligators are located in canals, water retention areas, ponds, lakes, marshes, and swamps. On private land, hunters can use shotguns, rifles, pistols and even gigs and hook sets.


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  1. How much does a permit cost?

  2. They are $271.00. There are some still available. I am looking for someone who has done this before and where the better spots are. Anybody want to join up on a hunt?

  3. Spenser Courville-Taylor

    Do minors need a permit?

  4. I wanna hunt gator also but as a extra income and for sport, I have a compound hunting bow but I’ve never hunted anything but shark and stingrays with it.

  5. If you can only use compound bow, re-curve bow, crossbow or harpoon in public waters, what happens if your shot does not kill the animal? Are there lines attached to the projectile? This seems like it could be an issue. Also that makes only visible alligators a target, which only a fraction of the alligators will be.

    What is the complete picture when comparing hunting alligators in Florida, compared to hunting them in Mississippi and Louisiana.
    Considering financial aspects, logistics, materials, methods, seasons, and difficulty.

    This is a heavy question but I think the answer would properly serve nearly everyone who has come across this page so anyone giving it a shot would be much appreciated.

  6. christina curschmann

    my husband wants to hunt alligators commercially. is there a commercial season and if so what would we need to do in order to start. how much are the tags, permits ect..? Also, is there a market for them in Florida, for thier meat ect..?

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