At 8 a.m. on June 6, 2023, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) will begin accepting online applications for Alligator Harvest Permits. The permits allow for the harvest of an alligator in one of Alabama’s five designated Alligator Management Areas (AMA) during the dates listed below. There is no fee to apply for a permit.
A total of 260 Alligator Harvest Permits will be distributed among the five AMAs. Individuals may submit one application per management area. The online application must be submitted by 8 a.m. on July 11. For complete season information or to apply for a permit starting June 6, visit www.outdooralabama.com/seasons-and-bag-limits/alligator-season.
Only Alabama residents and Alabama lifetime license holders ages 16 years or older holding any valid all game or small game Alabama Hunting License may apply for permits. Alabama lifetime license holders may apply for an Alligator Harvest Permit even if they have moved out of the state.
Hunters will be randomly selected by computer to receive one harvest permit each. There is a $250 fee for the Alligator Harvest Permit (plus a small processing fee). If selected for two or more locations, hunters must choose which location they would like to hunt. The slot for locations not chosen will be filled from a list of randomly selected alternates.
The random selection process utilizes a preference point system. The system increases the likelihood of repeat applicants being selected for a hunt as long as they continue to apply each year. If an applicant does not apply for a permit in a given year or is selected and accepts a permit for a hunt, the preference point status is forfeited.
Applicants can check their selection status at the link listed above after 8 a.m. on July 12. Those selected to receive a harvest permit must confirm their acceptance online by 8 a.m. on July 19. After that date, alternates will be notified to fill any vacancies. Applicants drawn for the hunt are required to complete an online Alligator Training Course prior to accepting their hunter/alternate status. The course will be available on the applicant’s status page upon login.
The AMAs, total tags issued per AMA, and hunt dates are listed below.
SOUTHWEST MANAGEMENT AREA – 100 Harvest Permits
Locations: Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile counties north of interstate 10, and private and public waters in Washington, Clarke and Monroe counties east of U.S. Highway 43 and south of U.S. Highway 84. 2023 Dates: Sunset on August 10, until sunrise on August 13. Sunset on August 17, until sunrise on August 20.
COASTAL MANAGEMENT AREA – 50 Harvest Permits
Locations: Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile counties south of Interstate 10. 2023 Dates: Sunset on August 10, until sunrise on August 13. Sunset on August 17, until sunrise on August 20.
SOUTHEAST MANAGEMENT AREA – 40 Harvest Permits
Locations: Private and public waters in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Russell counties (excluding public Alabama state waters in Walter F. George Reservoir/Lake Eufaula and its navigable tributaries). 2023 Dates: Sunset on August 12, until sunrise on September 4.
WEST CENTRAL MANAGEMENT AREA – 50 Harvest Permits
Locations: Private and public waters in Monroe (north of U.S. Highway 84), Wilcox and Dallas counties. 2023 Dates: Sunset on August 10, until sunrise on August 13. Sunset on August 17, until sunrise on August 20.
LAKE EUFAULA MANAGEMENT AREA – 20 Harvest Permits
Locations: Public state waters only in the Walter F. George Reservoir/Lake Eufaula and its navigable tributaries, south of Alabama Highway 208 at Omaha Bridge (excludes Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge). 2023 Dates: Sunset on August 18, until sunrise on October 2.
Each person receiving an Alligator Harvest Permit will be allowed to harvest one alligator during the season. An 8-foot minimum length requirement is in effect for alligators harvested in the Lake Eufaula AMA. There is no minimum length for hunts in the other management areas. The use of bait is prohibited. All alligator harvests must be immediately tagged with the temporary Alligator Possession Tag and reported as directed for each AMA. The permanent Alligator Possession Tag will be distributed after the hunt by ADCNR Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division personnel.
Hunting hours are official sunset to official sunrise in the Southwest, Coastal, Southeast and West Central AMAs. For the Lake Eufaula AMA, hunting is allowed both daytime and nighttime hours. All Alabama hunting and boating regulations must be followed.
The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest reptile in North America and can exceed 14 feet in length and 1,000 pounds. Known for its prized meat and leather, the species was threatened with extinction due to unregulated harvest during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. No regulations existed in those days to limit the number of alligators harvested. In 1938, it is believed that Alabama was the first state to protect alligators by outlawing these unlimited harvests. Other states soon followed and, in 1967, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the American alligator on the endangered species list. By 1987, the species was removed from the endangered species list and the alligator population has continued to expand. Its history illustrates an excellent conservation success story.
ADCNR promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Learn more at www.outdooralabama.com.