Alligator Hunting Season Begins

By: Cynthia Washington Email
By: Cynthia Washington Email

Friday marks the start of alligator hunting season in Alabama.

"We just begin this probably six years ago it original it started up on Lake Eufaula where we have a lot of alligators and historically we would get a lot of nuisance alligator complaints , so we decided to make that resource available to the public where the public had some benefit and some enjoyment harvesting alligators rather that just solely relying on that nuisance removal process and it expanded from Lake Eufaula into about eight counties in Southeast Alabama," said Bill Gray, Supervising Wildlife Biologist for Wildlife District 4.

And this year some rules have changed.

"Until this year they had to be six foot or larger and we have done that because they become reproductively active at six feet and that helped us limit the population growth this year we are not as concerned with limited population growth," said Gray.

Hunters can tell by the color of their eyes the size of the alligator.

"The brighter the orange the bigger they are," said Sergeant Aurora Thomas, CEOAS Barbour County.

But there are some restrictions to catching a gator.

"You can't just go out and shoot one out of a boat with a rifle it is not like 'Swamp People'," said Gray.

Prior to the season starting some people have been scoping out the alligators.

"What they do is the spot them and see how close they can get to them on the boat and when the season starts the alligators will see a spotlight and get gone," said Thomas.

"It is kinda like being a child you hear you mom's voice get really stern you know you better go well they now they better get," said Joey Richardson, State of Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources.

And wildlife biologists say the hunting season has limited the alligator problem.

It is too late to apply for a tag for this year's hunting season.

Those with a tag can hunt until August 25th.

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