In just over two weeks, Arkansas will host its first-ever quota-based alligator hunt on private land in the southern portion of the state.
“We’ve had some calls from people wanting to make sure they’re legal to hunt alligators on their private land this year,” Mark Barbee, a wildlife biologist at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Monticello Regional Office, said. “And as long as the quota hasn’t been met for that zone and they have permission to hunt that private land, they are legal to hunt with only the $5 permit available on agfc.com.”
The change to the private land alligator hunt came this year during the regular regulations package that was approved in May. Following the continued success of Arkansas’s bear quota hunts and private land elk quota hunts, biologists wanted to offer more opportunity to hunters in the south half of the state who were interested in tagging an alligator.
“Up until this year, even private land alligator hunters had to apply and hope for a drawn tag,” Barbee said. “Now more people will be able to have an opportunity.”
Barbee says interested hunters should visit agfc.com/alligator to see more details about the hunt, including the online orientation videos and manual.
“In the past, everyone who was drawn was required to attend a mandatory orientation class,” Barbee said. “With COVID and the expansion of the hunt to include anyone with permission to hunt private land in the alligator zones, we moved those orientation materials to the website to show people the rules of the hunt. They can even download the entire orientation manual there to print out or read on their computer or phone.”
Hunting is allowed only from 30 minutes after sundown until 30 minutes before sunup during the last two weekends in September.
“You can start at 30 minutes after sundown Friday night, and it’s night-hunting only,” Barbee said. “As long as the quota hasn’t been met in your zone, it’s open.”
Hunt quotas for the three alligator zones are as follows:
Alligator Management Zone 1 – 52
Alligator Management Zone 2 – 5
Alligator Management Zone 3 – 69
Hunters should call the AGFC Wildlife Hotline at 800-440-1477 after 2 p.m. the day of their hunt to check to see if the quota has been met for their zone. The season ends Sept. 28, or the night the quota is reached, whichever comes first.