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June 30 deadline for 2021 Arkansas alligator hunting season permit; 33 permits to be issued via draw

The 2021 alligator hunting season will be held eight days in September. Hunters pursuing alligators on private land will hunt via a quota-based system.

ARKANSAS, USA — Apply by June 30 for Arkansas public land alligator hunt permit; 2021 alligator hunting will be allowed for 8 days in September

There will be eight days of the Arkansas alligator hunting season this year, with a limited number of permits being issued for public hunting, and a quota-based system for public land hunting.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) said people who want to chase an Arkansas alligator on public land and water have until midnight on June 30 to put their name in the hat. 

Only thirty-three permits will be issued for public hunting in Arkansas for the 2021 season and chosen randomly via electronic draw. Each permit authorizes the harvest of one alligator, which must be at least four feet long. 

RELATED: Longest alligator in Arkansas history killed in Dumas

Alligator hunting will be allowed 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise Sept. 17-20 and Sept. 24-27. 

Each permit holder may have up to three assistants with them on the hunt, but only the permit holder is allowed to snare, harpoon or dispatch the alligator.

Applications for the 2021 Arkansas alligator season are available here. Alligator hunters must be at least 16-years-old. Only Arkansas residents may hunt alligators on public land in Arkansas. Applicants with 18 or more AGFC violation points are ineligible to apply.

WATCH: Arkansas Alligators

Public land alligator hunts are held in the following designated areas: 

All other public areas are closed to alligator hunting.

Hunters pursuing alligators on private land no longer need to draw a tag but will hunt via a quota-based system. 

Private land alligator hunts will be held only in Alligator Management Zones 1, 2 and 3. Anyone who has access to private land in those zones may purchase a private land alligator tag in addition to their big-game hunting license and be able to hunt during alligator season until the quota is met for their zone.

“It will be up to each hunter to call in before their hunt every night to the wildlife hotline (1-800-440-1477) to see if the quota has been met,” Mark Barbee, AGFC wildlife biologist at the Monticello office, said. “If the quota is reached, the hunt ends early.”

Barbee says the quota system allows more people with possible nuisance alligator problems to have a chance to remove those alligators or allow another hunter to do so. 

RELATED: Alligator found wandering on road east of Pine Bluff

“We set the number of permits and quotas based on how many alligators we need removed to keep the population at a sustainable level that minimizes nuisance issues,” Barbee said. “But we do see quite a few private land tags go unfilled each year if the hunter doesn’t find a large enough alligator to meet their expectations. Now that extra harvest opportunity can be used by another hunter on different land.”

Successful applicants and private land hunters must also go through an online hunt orientation before going to the field. 

READ: Alligator Hunt Orientation and Training Manual

Subduing and capturing an alligator:

  • Watch | Proper method for rigging a snare
  • Watch | Proper rigging of a handheld harpoon
  • Watch | Use of a shotgun bang stick to dispatch an alligator

Visit www.agfc.com/alligator for more information on Arkansas’s 2021 alligator season.

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