Here’s a message for all you hunters: Go get yer gators!
Georgia is taking applications until midnight July 31 for permits this year to hunt alligators. The state’s alligator season runs Sept. 6 through Oct. 5, and it’s no easy ticket. More than 11,000 people applied last year, with the state only offering 850 slots.
The effort, however, draws national attention with a number of applications coming from outside Georgia. The sport itself often seems to be a throwback to another time, since many permitted hunters use bow and arrows
The state considers its abundance of alligators to be one of its conservation success stories. Alligators were once listed as endangered because of poaching and encroaching development on their habitat, but wildlife management efforts helped them come back enough to be downlisted in 1987.
Those lucky enough to get picked must follow the state’s hunting rules, including that the alligator be a certain size before it’s allowed to be killed. Still, hunters face a daunting task. Last year’s success rate only averaged 29 percent, with a total of 246 alligators harvested.