The Phase I Application period for the Statewide Alligator Harvest Program begins May 7th and ends the 17th. Each year, residents and non-residents vie for approximately 7,000 permits, each eligible to kill two gators. In 2020, 16,172 people applied for 7,679 permits. So, competition is stiff.
Of course, not all permits are the same in terms of desirability and availability. And, individual hunters have varying goals, some content with filling tags with meat gators and others hoping to bag a monster big enough to attract news vans.
No matter your objectives, FWC has provided these tips for gator hunting hopefuls:
To give yourself the best chance of being issued an alligator harvest permit, make sure you:
- Submit all 12 choices in the application. However, listing the same area/period multiple times will not give you a better chance of being selected for that area.
- Choose areas that offer more permits to increase your odds of being drawn.
- Are willing to hunt every location you select. If you’re successful in the drawing, you’ll be charged the amount for the permit awarded to you.
I would offer one additional piece of advice which seems obvious enough but I’ll share anyhow for those unfamiliar with how this process operates – with 12 picks, prioritize those you truly want first. For example, if you want to hunt a harvest unit with 6 permits, don’t enter it after another with a couple hundred. This system works by assigning numbers to applicants then randomly drawing those numbers. When your number is called, the system reviews your roster of selections in descending order, discarding units which have already been filled. If you’re selecting a unit with a half-dozen permits below another with 200, well, you’re almost certain to get the latter rather than the former.
You can’t really help at what place in line you’ll be selected, though. If you’re towards the bottom of the pile, tough potatoes no matter how you slice it, but you can certainly improve your odds, if even marginally, of drawing what you want by following the steps above.
For more information on the Statewide Alligator Harvest Program, please click here.
Best of luck!
(Ledger hunting correspondent Ian Nance can be reached at [email protected] Follow on Facebook @PolkOutdoors; Twitter @Good_Hunt; and Instagram @inance880)