1,500 apply for gator hunting

Image by flickr user William A. FranklinImage by 20080719gator.jpg It's almost open season on gators here in South Carolina. And it looks like Lowcountry hunters are more than ready.

South Carolina's first alligator hunting season takes place this fall, but only 1,000 lucky hunters will get the chance to take part. The application deadline was Tuesday, and nearly 1,500 people statewide had put their name in for the permit. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources expects the number to go above 1,500, though, as more payments go through. The season runs from September 13 to October 11.

Each of the four hunting areas across the state get 250 permits. For the Middle Coast area, which comprises Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties, the number of applications was 573, the most of any of the areas. South of us, there were 210 applications from the Southern Coastal area, which is made up of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper, Barnwell, Bamberg, Allendale, and Aiken counties. In the other two units, the Midlands had 488 applications, and the PeeDee had 199.

From The Island Packet:

DNR will hold a random drawing to distribute the permits before the end of the month, said Jay Butfiloski, DNR furbearer-and-alligator project manager.

Before the season begins, the department will offer classes on the rules and laws for gator hunting.

One of the rules is each hunter must have control of an alligator before shooting it. The animal can be caught with hooks, snares or harpoons.Hunters are not allowed to fire at alligators in water.

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