New Rules for the Statewide Alligator Harvest Program
At the FWC's May 2022 meeting, Commissioners approved the following rule amendments related to the statewide alligator harvest program.
- Increase hunting hours from the current 17 hours a day to 24 hours a day on most areas. Allowing hunting from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will provide those with an alligator trapping license/alligator harvest permit seven more hours a day of hunting opportunity.
- Hunting hours begin at midnight on the first day of each harvest period and end at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of each harvest period.
- However, hunting hours at the STAs and A1-FEB are 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. each day during the harvest period except as otherwise provided in the harvest permit.
- Add precharged pneumatic airbows to the legal methods of taking an alligator. The airbow’s arrow will need to be attached to a restraining line to be considered a legal take method. The use of airbows can benefit hunters with mobility challenges and youth or smaller framed hunters who may have limited dexterity or strength. They are a newer method of take and were not commercially available when the statewide alligator harvest take methods were last updated.
Frequently Asked Questions About 24-Hour Hunting
Beginning with the 2022 statewide alligator harvest season, alligator hunting will be allowed 24 hours a day on most areas within a given harvest period during the season.
Before FWC Commissioners approved increasing hunting hours to 24 hours a day on most areas, alligator hunting was allowed from 5 p.m. until 10 a.m.
24-hour hunting allows alligator hunters an additional 7 hours of daylight hunting each day to harvest alligators during the alligator season. It also eliminates any concerns about hooking an alligator shortly before 10 a.m. but not being able to land the alligator before the 10 a.m. deadline.
It is easier to navigate a boat and work with hunting equipment during the day. Daylight is helpful when supervising youth in a boat or introducing new participants to alligator hunting.
The opportunity to hunt 24 hours a day will take effect in time for the 2022 statewide alligator harvest season.
Frequently Asked Questions About Airbows
An airbow is pre-charged pneumatic air gun that propels arrows.
A commercially manufactured air gun that is charged from an external high compression source such as an air compressor, air tank, or external hand pump and is specifically designed to propel a bolt, arrow, or other projectile commonly used for hunting.
The use of airbows can benefit hunters with mobility challenges and youth or smaller framed hunters who may have limited dexterity or strength.
Convicted felons who have the proper licenses and permits may hunt with airbows during the alligator season.
The purpose of a tethered arrow when alligator hunting with an airbow is the same as using an arrow with a crossbow – the line is intended to ensure the animal can be retrieved and brought alongside the boat for dispatch.
The option to use airbows will take effect in time for the 2022 statewide alligator harvest season.