Hundreds of thousands are made during the hunt and the hunt isn't over until Sunday! Between the licenses hunters have to buy, the expensive equipment they use, and the hundreds they spend at area lodges and restaurants.
Rangers say plenty of money, along with almost 200 gators, is being pulled in. A nine-foot alligator means big bucks for his captors, and they mean dollar signs for the state of Georgia.
"You've got people from around the United States as well as Florida and Georgia coming to this one area to hunt. They're going to have to stay here, eat here, and they're going to spend their money here," says John Kirkus.
Lake Seminole is one of only five zones where hunters are allowed to harvest alligators. Fifty hunters are licensed to take in one gator each and they've all brought friends along for the adventure.
"The owners of Jack Wingate's Lodge in Bainbridge estimate that by the time gator season is over, it will have pulled in thousands of dollars for them."
"Just the room rentals alone was well over $2000, and I won't say lunch necessarily because most of them were sleeping during the day, but they ate with us and bought T-shirts and hats," Gale Goodman says.
Rangers say the hunt is an effective method of alligator population control, one they hope will bring more of the hunter population back here next year. The hunt goes through Sunday. Rangers have already set next year's dates, September 11 to the 24. Get ready, because it's an all-night trip!
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