Most of the year, folks eye them from a distance with a healthy mix of awe and fear. However, from April 1 through June 30, hunters have an opportunity to legally harvest an alligator in Live Oak County.
Through specifying bag limits and stipulating the harvest methods, alligators actually benefit from the ensuing responsible habitat management.
But, it’s not just the environment that benefits from population management through hunting. Successful alligator hunters can lay claim to prized hides, skills, meat that can be grilled or fried, and of course, bragging rights.
Page 70 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife “Outdoor Annual” states the alligator hunting regulations. Highlights of these rules include:
• One alligator per hunter, per license year.
• May only be harvested from private property, regardless of harvest method.
• End of bait line may be in public water (other than WMA or State Park), but hunter and harvesting device must be on private land.
• Hunting from a boat in public water is prohibited.
• Snagging is prohibited.
• Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
• Bait line may not be left out beyond legal hunting hours.
• One bait line per hunter and must be inspected daily.
• Gear tag is required on bait lines.
• Alligators captured on taking device must be harvested immediately, there is no releasing an alligator in hopes of landing a bigger one)
• Must be tagged with a Wildlife Resource Document immediately upon harvest.
• Alligator Hide Tag Reports must be submitted to TPWD within 72 hours of harvest, along with $21 as a check or money order, to receive required CITES tag.
• A CITES tag is required to possess any part of an alligator other than the meat.
• Hunting license and hunter education requirements apply.
Hunters are individually responsible for knowing all the regulations, including those not mentioned in this article. The “Outdoor Annual” is available for free where hunting licenses are sold.
It is illegal to feed an alligator except while legally hunting the species. This regulation is vitally important for the safety of humans and protection of alligators according to the TPWD.