You can apply for a permit to hunt alligators in South Carolina this fall starting Monday.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources will accept gator hunting permit applications online from May 1 through June 15 for the season that runs from Sept. 9 through Oct. 14.
A random computer drawing will award a select number of permits, with notifications being sent out in July. Selected hunters must then go back online to purchase their permit and a tag for $100. Non-SC residents will have to pay an additional $200 fee.
Each selected applicant may harvest only one alligator and may hunt only in the area they are selected for.
Permit applicants must be 16 or older at the time of the hunt, but hunters of any age may participate with the hunter selected for a permit.
Each selected hunter can have as many helpers with them as they like, as long as each person in the boat has a South Carolina hunting license.
If you’re already getting excited about bagging a gator this fall – or want to stay far away but are curious about what it’s like – here are a few technique tips the DNR provides:
▪ Alligators are usually hunted after dark, although some hunters use snatchhooks on animals during day and twilight hours.
▪ Alligators are located at night by their reflective eye shine, which has a characteristic red glow.
▪ Alligators should be approached quietly keeping the beam of the spotlight directly in or just above their eyes.
▪ Do not shoot an alligator between the eyes or on the top of the skull. The skull is very thick and a bullet may ricochet off of the skull. To humanely kill an alligator, a shot must be directed to the portion of the neck/head juncture where the neck meets the top of the skull plate and angled slightly toward the skull.
▪ Never assume any alligator is dead.
For more information about alligator hunting in SC and applying for permits, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/alligator.