Alligator hunters should consider the following when traveling to Florida in pursuit of an Alligator.
If you are considering an alligator hunt in Florida and are a (NON-RESIDENT) participating in the system for public waters hunts, be advised that the cost of the license (if you are selected) is over $1000.00. The permit will allow the harvest of two alligators. You will have to choose your harvest period in advance of the hunt.
If you expect to be successful it will be necessary for you to acquire a guide to hunt on the area which you were selected unless you have the equipment required and have alligator hunting experience.
You will have the cost of the guide (usually per-night) to consider. It will be necessary to purchase a $50.00 agents licenses for each person participating in the harvest of alligators with you.
You will have lodging costs to consider as well. You can use our service, hunt anytime of the year you want and harvest a four to six foot alligator (guaranteed opportunity) utilizing our experienced guides with all licenses and permit costs included for less than the cost of your license and permit from the state.
Please be sure to research the type of hunt you are purchasing and what you can expect. Certain types of hunts offered by Nuisance Trappers licensed by the state are just that. Nuisance Trappers are issued a tag by the state to harvest a select alligator that has become a Nuisance to the public and are required to harvest that alligator out of a select area.
You can research Nuisance Trappers and the requirements by contacting the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission or research them online at www.myfwc.com
If you are coming to Florida to hunt real wild alligators, be sure that the operation you select offers them. Make sure they are wild alligators not ones purchased at alligator farms and placed into an area just prior to the hunt. This is a legal practice as of March 2008.
These farm raised alligators are not very weary of humans. Remember that gators over 9 feet in length are always males. Large males didn't get that way from being stupid. Chances are if the alligator is nine or ten feet in length he has been hunted before by someone by legal or illegal means and is very aware of his environment around him. They have excellent eyesight, hearing and sense of smell.
If an operation GUARANTEES you a harvest (especially in a short time frame and on TROPHY alligators), please be careful in your selection of such operations as the alligators you could be hunting could be placed there prior to your arrival (legally). Several operations in Florida (advertising as guide services) also own and operate alligator farms as well and simply transfer alligators from the farm to the hunting area to be harvested.
The operation you choose should have a taxidermist available that handles a lot of ALLIGATORS. You should request his name prior to the hunt and call and talk to him personally. If he is a legitimate taxidermist he should answer any of your questions. This service should be included in the hunt. If not it should at least be available to you. The type of mount should be determined prior to the hunt if possible.
Alligator hunting is becoming very popular due to the many different television shows being produced by the networks. There are different regulations involving the harvest methods used on alligators and vary from state to state. For instance, the use baited hooks for the harvest of alligators on public waters is NOT permitted in the state of Florida. The use of FIREARMS on public waters is also NOT permitted in Florida.
There are hunting shows on television where alligators are harvested using rifles during the daylight hours and the guide has the client target the head of the alligator for the shot placement. If you expect a quality mount from any taxidermist in which you are going to have the head included you can't target the head of the alligator. The head is solid bone and will be destroyed with a high powered bullet.
It has come to our attention that certain guide services in Florida are keeping your hides or shipping you different hides than the one you harvest. They are giving you less valuable hides (damaged hides) and selling your hides for products. Make sure your written receipt from the operator lists the CITES TAG NUMBER of the alligator YOU harvested. Also, make sure you witness the guide or operator place a CITES tag in the tail of the alligator after harvest.
While hunting in Florida for alligators, if you believe you have witnessed something that doesn't seem quite right or something illegal please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at www.myfwc.com