Alligator hunting season opens in Florida

Published: Aug. 15, 2017 at 11:28 PM EDT
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By: Erin Lisch | WCTV Eyewitness News

August 15, 2017

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- The first day of alligator hunting season is underway in Florida, opening the 30th year of hunting in the state.

Participants can harvest two alligators per permit. Permit holders can hunt daily between 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. until the season closes on November 1.

Broderick Vaughan takes out his power boat for more than just a typical ride around the lake; he charters alligators hunts.

"What went from a hobby turned into a job," Vaughan said.

Gators were protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, but in 1988, hunting was resumed because of a soaring number of nuisance alligator complaints.

"It's just a way to manage the population and manage it responsibly," said Vaughn. "It's a commercial harvest so the meat and the hide can be sold, or it can be used for personal consumption.

There are over 6,000 permits available during the season, and the state has already sold out of its permits for the year.

The odds of securing a permit are slim, with applicants being selected from a lottery.

"I got drawn last year, I didn't get drawn the year before I believe, and I didn't get drawn this year. I put in every year," said Vaughn.

The alligator hunting season in Georgia begins at sunset on Friday, August 18.

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