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June 14, 2010

Deadline to apply for 2010 alligator hunting season is Tuesday, June 15

The deadline to apply for the public alligator season this year is fast approaching. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources will accept online applications for this year’s public alligator season until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15. After this date, a randomized drawing will occur to fill the allotted 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. Out of the 1,000 available permits, hunters took 452 alligators during last year’s season. All alligator hunters must have a South Carolina Hunting License, a S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Alligator Harvest Permit and an AlligatorAlligator 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 alligator hunting season must apply and pay online. Select the "Alligator Draw Hunts" button. First-time users of this system will have to create a new user account to continue with the application process. 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.

All applicants must pay a $10 nonrefundable fee 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. A recent change in the law requires all permitted nonresident alligator hunters and nonresident alligator assistants 16 years of age or older to pay an additional $200 nonresident alligator hunting fee.  This nonresident fee is in addition to any application, permit, and license costs and is available from any license agent. 

The coastal plain region of South Carolina has been divided into four alligator management units, and permits will be issued for each unit. 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. This year’s season will begin at noon on Sept. 11 and end at noon on Oct. 9. Hunting may take place at any time of day, but most alligator hunting generally takes place during the evening. Only alligators 4 feet or greater in length may be taken. Others may assist or accompany the permitted hunter, but all participants 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 later this summer 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.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.


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