SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Starting Friday, Floridians wishing to catch an alligator this year can apply for hunting permits.
More than 6,000 alligator harvest permits will be made available for the 2019 hunt, which will run from August 15 until November 1.
Usually around 14,000 people apply for an alligator hunting license each year. Permits will be distributed through a random lottery drawing.
Tammy Sapp with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the hunt is just one of several ways the state manages the reptiles.
“The American alligator is a conservation success story in Florida," Sapp said. "We are estimating that there are 1.3 million alligators of every size, across the state. Due to good management and sound science, we are able to offer sustainable harvest opportunities through a highly regulated hunt.”
The initial application deadline is May 27. An alligator harvest permit costs 272 dollars for Florida residents, 22 dollars for with a disability hunting license and 1022 dollars for non-residents.
Those selected to receive a permit are allowed to harvest two alligators. Hunting alligators has been legal in Florida since 1988.