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South Carolina Gator Hunting Timeline

If you plan on going alligator hunting in South Carolina, there is a lot of things you need to plan for. As with all other hunting trips, it’s easier said than done, but a good gator hunt is well worth it! For those that plan on applying for the South Carolina public alligator hunts, below is a timeline that will help you out.

Between May 1 to June 15 you can apply online by 11:59 p.m. on June 15 to participate in their public alligator hunting program. This starts online annually beginning on May 1 and there is no added benefit in trying to apply as early as possible. It’s a lottery systems so getting your name in the hat early will not help your chances of being selected for a hunt.

Starting in July, hunters will begin to be notified of their alligator hunt application status. Hunters that are selected will have until October 1 to purchase their permit and alligator harvest tag. You must return to the online application system and purchase your alligator tag and permit for $100.

From July through August, those selected must who will accompany you and ensure that each member of the hunting party has valid South Carolina hunting licenses. You must also decide if and which voluntary training session you and members of your hunting party will attend. Preparation is needed to ensure proper knowledge of your hunting location and possession your alligator hunting equipment.

During the Fall season, from the second Saturday in September through the second Saturday in October, you can restrain, capture, and harvest your alligator. Once harvested, immediately attach the temporary alligator harvest tag within six inches of the tip of the tail.
Complete the alligator harvest permit within 24 hours of harvest. Contact the South Carolina Alligator Program and submit your harvest report.

In October through November, if a CITES tag is needed you will have to schedule an appointment at a Department of Natural Resources Regional. Their offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. CITES validation must take place no later than October 20.

In November, both successful and unsucessful alligator hunters must submit their completed harvest report in order to participate, in any way, in the following season’s alligator hunting season. Failure to submit your alligator hunt information will prevent you from gator hunting in the future.


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  1. Is there a program where I can make money and learn how to hunt alligators this summer?

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