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Tips to Apply for Alligator Harvest Permits

Random drawings are a fair, unbiased way to issue alligator harvest permits. Because the number of applications submitted for the Statewide Alligator Harvest Program is usually three times more than the number of alligator harvest permits available, it can be a challenge to obtain a permit. It’s also possible someone could apply for multiple years and not be successful or someone could apply and be successful in consecutive years. Learn more about how the random drawing works and review the following tips about applying for alligator harvest permits:

  • Submit all 12 choices in the application, though be sure you’re willing to hunt every location you list because if you’re successful in the drawing, you will be charged the amount for the permit and/or tags awarded to you.
  • Do not list the same area/period multiple times on an application. It won’t give you a better chance of being selected for that area.
  • Select areas that offer more permits (but only those you are willing to hunt because if you’re successful in the drawing, you will be charged the amount for the permit and/or tags awarded to you). The more permits for an area, the better chance you’ll be drawn for one. The number of available permits is always posted on the FWC website prior to the application phases.
  • The order you list choices on your application can make a difference especially if your application is randomly assigned a low number for the draw. To increase your chances of being selected for an alligator management unit with few permits, list choices with fewer available permits BEFORE choices with higher numbers of permits. Your number 1 choice should have the fewest number of available permits. Each successive choice should have more available permits than the previous one.
  • Remember, the number of permits for each harvest period will be a quarter of the total permits available for that area. For example, if the total number of permits available for your first 4 choices is 40, then your 5th choice should have more than 40 permits available for that unit/period.
  • For many people, where they want to hunt is more important than when they hunt. If that’s the case for you, consider choosing all four hunt periods for your preferred hunt area(s). If when you hunt is more important, then consider listing several different areas during period 1 as your top selections.
  • If you hunt with friends and relatives, the chance someone will be drawn is greater if everyone applies. Be aware this strategy could result in getting more permits than you want.
  • Be sure the credit or debit card you use to apply has sufficient funds. Applications that can’t be pre-authorized due to insufficient funds will not be successful in the lottery.

Random Drawing Details

Understanding how a random computer drawing works can help you make informed decisions when applying for alligator harvest permits.

  • Once the application phase closes, the system assigns each application with a random number, starting with 1 and continuing until all applications are assigned a number.
  • Starting with randomly selected application number 1, a pre-authorization is run before the random drawing to determine if there are sufficient funds available for the lottery process. The potential charges are based on customer residency and current licenses on file. If there are sufficient funds to cover the fees, the application is authorized for the lottery. If the account has insufficient funds, the application cannot be authorized and is automatically marked unsuccessful. During this pre-authorization process, applicants may see a pending authorization or hold on their account. This does not mean the applicant is successful – it is simply the authorization step.
  • For pre-authorized applications, the lottery process then evaluates the hunt choices selected, starting with choice number 1. If the unit choice is available, based on the allotted quota for each hunt choice, the lottery will assign the application a successful status for choice number 1. If choice number 1 is not available, the lottery will evaluate choice number 2, and so on, until the application is assigned a successful status for a choice or is assigned an unsuccessful status due to no choices having available quota. NOTE: This is why there’s no benefit to listing one choice more than once.
  • Once the lottery process is complete, the applicants who are successful in the drawing will be charged the amount for the permit and/or tags awarded to them. If an applicant is unsuccessful in the drawing, any holds from the pre-authorization process will be lifted, and no charges will be applied to the card.

More details on the application and permitting process can be found on the Statewide Alligator Hunt Permit webpage.