WMA Alligator Hunt Information

Thank you for your interest in Alligator Hunting. The season has officially ended and information concerning the 2014 season should be available in May of 2014.

Applications for the WMA Alligator Hunt Permit

The WMA Alligator Hunt is a special draw hunt, in which the person selected will be permitted to take up to three assistants and have access to either portions of Bear Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) or Santee Coastal WMA for one hunt period (Monday at Noon to Saturday at Noon). There are four available hunt periods during the WMA alligator hunting season. All hunters must have a hunting license, WMA permit, and if a nonresident, pay the nonresident alligator hunting fee. The permit will allow the hunter to take up to two alligators 4 feet or greater in length from the selected WMA property, only one of which may exceed 7 feet in total length. The second tag for an alligator from 4-7 feet in total length may be used by anyone in the hunt party provided the person to whom the tag was originally issued is present. The cost for the second tag is $75 in addition to all other fees and must be purchased at the same time as the first tag.

There is a $15 nonrefundable application fee to apply for the WMA Alligator Hunt Permit.

The cost for the WMA Alligator Hunting Permit, if successfully selected in the computerized drawing, is $500 for residents and $800 for nonresidents. There are 2 available permits for each hunt period on both Bear Island WMA and Santee Coastal WMA, for a total of 4 hunters (plus assistants) per week, and 16 total available permits per season.

All WMA Alligator hunt periods begin Monday at noon and end Saturday at noon.

Bear Island WMA

(8 permits available for the entire season)

Week Date Permits
Week 1 X/XX/XX – X/XX/XX 2 permits available
Week 2 X/XX/XX – X/XX/XX 2 permits available
Week 3 X/XX/XX – X/XX/XX 2 permits available
Week 4 X/XX/XX – X/XX/XX 2 permits available

Santee Coastal Reserve WMA

(number of permits available to be determined)

Week Date Permits
Week 1 X/XX/XX – X/XX/XX 2 permits available
Week 2 X/XX/XX – X/XX/XX 2 permits available
Week 3 X/XX/XX – X/XX/XX 2 permits available
Week 4 X/XX/XX – X/XX/XX 2 permits available

Hunters will be notified beginning in mid-July of selection status. After notification, successful applicants are required to go back online to pay the $500 dollar WMA Alligator Hunt Permit fee for residents or $800 for nonresidents. The cost for the second tag is $75 and must be purchased at the same time. The second tag can only be used to take an alligator 4 to 7 feet, but anyone in the hunt party can utilize this tag if the original permit holder is present.

NOTE: The additional $75 tag for an alligator 4-7 feet in length is only valid for use on the WMA property that the hunter was selected for, and only for the week selected (6 days). This second tag can be used by anyone in the hunt party only if the selected hunter is present.

The Department will begin to send out permits and tags to fully paid applicants after August X, XXXX. The deadline for paying the required permit fee is August XX, XXXX. Applicants must allow a minimum of 5 business days to deliver the permit and tag after receipt of payment. Hunters who fail to pay the permit fee by August XX will not receive any preference points and will forfeit any accumulated points for the WMA Alligator Hunt. The Department reserves the right to prohibit applicants who fail to pay from participating in future public alligator hunt drawings.

After August XXth, if there are any permits that have not been purchased for any of the WMA Alligator Hunt dates and locations, alternates from the computer drawing will be contacted in the order that they were selected. Any alternate hunters that are contacted in regards to taking the place of the originally selected hunter will have 1 full business day to pay the required permit fee. For example, if you are contacted on a Tuesday, you would have until 11:59 pm on Wednesday night to purchase the permit online. If contacted on Friday, you have until Monday at 11:59 pm to complete the transaction.

IMPORTANT Note for Nonresident Alligator Hunters

Nonresident Fee
All nonresident alligator hunters are required to pay an additional nonresident alligator hunting fee of $200.00 before going afield. This fee is in addition to the required SC hunting license, application, and permit fee. This fee is valid for participation in any of the alligator hunting programs**

This fee is required of any permitted nonresident alligator hunter, as well as nonresident alligator hunting assistants 16 years of age or older. An alligator hunting assistant is defined as any member of an alligator hunting party who tries to find, seek, obtain, pursue, or diligently search for alligators (i.e. everyone in the boat 16 or older).

Nonresident alligator hunters and nonresident alligator hunting assistants can pay this fee online, by phone at 1-866-714-3611, or at any normal licensing agent.

**SCDNR cannot refund any application or permit fees.

General Guidelines for WMA Alligator Hunts

  1. Hunting will be allowed on designated areas of Bear Island East, Bear Island West and the Cape Unit of Santee Coastal Reserve.
  2. Successful applicants will be required to attend an on-site orientation meeting. Maps of the hunting area and hunt instructions will be provided at that time.
  3. Access to designated hunt areas may be limited to boat, bicycle, or foot traffic.
  4. Boats must be small enough to be launched by hand off of the dike system at the designated access location. Hunters will be allowed to travel from one water body to another within the open unit if they can drag the boat across dikes or high ground. Motors must be small enough (25 horsepower or less) to allow for movement in shallow water (2 feet or less). Mud motors and air boats are not allowed. Because of waterfowl management, interior canals may contain the only navigable water.
  5. Hunters will be required to remove any harvested alligators in the same manner by which the hunter got to that point. Hand carts will be allowed to transport carcasses along closed dikes or roads.
  6. The hunting season (September X — October XX, XXXX) will be divided into four Monday—Saturday hunt periods. Each hunt period will begin at noon (1200 hours) on Monday and end at noon (1200 hours) on the following Saturday. Access to hunt will be available 24 hours per day.
  7. Two hunters will be selected for each hunting period on each of the two properties. All hunters should anticipate another hunt party hunting the same general area at the same time.
  8. Daily sign-in and sign-out of hunt parties is required. Prior to leaving the property with the carcass, all harvested alligators must be reported in the manner described on the permit.
  9. All persons in a hunt party must have a hunting license and annual WMA Permit. Nonresidents must also pay the $200.00 nonresident alligator hunt fee.
  10. Each permittee will be allowed to take one alligator 4 feet or greater in length. There is an option to purchase an additional tag for $75 that will allow anyone in the hunt party to take an alligator from 4-7 feet in total length. The original selected hunter must be present for someone in the hunting party to utilize the second tag. This additional tag is only valid on the WMA issued and only for the week issued (6 days).
  11. Hunt parties will be limited to one vehicle while hunting on the property. Hunters can assemble and park any excess vehicles at the designated parking area.
  12. Hunters can take alligators using hand-held snares, hand-held harpoons, archery equipment, or snatch hooks. Only a handgun, bangstick or sharp instrument used to sever the spine may be used for dispatch once a restraining line is attached to the alligator. Shooting of free swimming alligators is not permitted and the possession of a rifle or shotgun while hunting under this program is prohibited. Catch and release is not allowed except in the case of an animal that fails to measure 4 feet in length. If a projectile (bolt or arrow) breaks off in the body of an alligator and the alligator escapes, the hunter is not allowed to attempt to take another alligator.
  13. Alligator tags are non-transferable. Possession of an alligator permit or tag(s) is limited to the person for whom the permit and tags were issued. Note: WMA Alligator Hunt Permits are valid for use in the Public Alligator Hunt Program in the alligator management unit where the WMA is located.
  14. All other WMA regulations apply.
  15. Paid guides are allowed; however they must apply for and receive a commercial use permit from SCDNR at a cost of $30 prior to the hunt. The use of a guide with a commercial use permit does not count towards the maximum total of three assistants in the hunting party.
  16. There is a $15 nonrefundable application fee. If you are selected, you will be contacted and provided two weeks (or until August XX, whichever is later) to pay the remaining fees. If you do not pay the remaining fees by the deadline, an applicant on the alternate list will be contacted and will be offered the hunt*.

 

WMA Alligator Draw Hunt Fee Schedule (Minimum)
  Resident Nonresident
Application Fee (Nonrefundable) $15.00 $15.00
Hunting License           $12.00 $40.00 (3-day)
Annual WMA Permit $30.50 $76.00
Alligator Hunting Fee N/A $200.00
WMA Alligator Hunt Permit $500.00 $800.00
Total $557.50 $1,131.00
     
2nd Tag Option (valid for the selected week (6 days) and the selected WMA only)
     
2nd tag (for alligator 4’-7’ only)
only available during initial purchase
$75.00 $75.00
Optional Total $632.50 $1,206.00


*Any alternate hunters that are contacted in regards to taking the place of the originally selected hunter will have 1 full business day to pay the required permit fee. For example, if you are contacted on a Tuesday, you would have until 11:59pm on Wednesday night to purchase the permit online. If contacted on Friday, you have until Monday at 11:59pm to complete the transaction.

If payment is not posted or received by this time, the next alternate on the list will be contacted for the available WMA Alligator hunting slot and the previous alternate hunter loses the ability to purchase a WMA Alligator Hunt Permit for the season.