Hunting Alligators in Florida

Alligator hunting has grown in popularity and necessity over the last few decades. For some, hunting alligators is a service to society that helps dispose of the dangerous behemoths. For others, alligator hunting has become a hobby for thrill seekers looking to face off with one of the world’s most deadly predators. Alligator hunting has even spawned television shows.

Hunting land for sale in Florida is commonly inhabited by alligators. The land professionals at SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate understand the processes for lawful alligator hunting. In this short guide, we will explore how to legally obtain an alligator hunting permit, equip yourself, and conduct a hunt.

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Acquiring a Permit

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently approved the distribution of an additional 1,300 gator hunting permits. Permits are available online at or in-person at the county tax collector’s office. Floridians and out-of-state residents who are over the age of eighteen are qualified to capture two alligators per permit. This permit costs $272 for Florida residents and $1,022 for non-residents. People with a Florida Resident Persons with Disabilities Hunting and Fishing License can acquire a trapping license and harvest permit for $22. Additionally, those who currently possess an alligator trapping license can purchase a harvest permit for $62.

Equipping Yourself for the Hunt

Hunters are limited to approved equipment when hunting alligators in Florida. It is illegal to use a firearm such as a handgun or shotgun when hunting alligators in Florida. State rules allow the use of bows, crossbows, gigs, harpoons, spears, spear guns, fishing poles using a weighted treble hook or artificial lures, hand-held snares, and bang sticks. Bang sticks are the only firearm hunters can legally use when alligator hunting in Florida. Additionally, hunters are expected attach a line to an alligator before killing it so that it can be reeled in afterward. The use of baited hooks is also illegal.

Formidable Foes

Alligators are fierce, apex predators that require tact and diligence to hunt. Navigating a Florida swamp in the middle of the day as you track an alligator is dangerous, but coming face to face with 13-foot-long lizard brandishing a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth can be fatal. Hunting alligators is different from hunting animals who possess few natural defenses. Alligators are fast and strong. One bite can maim a hunter permanently, often by transmitting an infection to the victim. Since using firearms is illegal, alligator hunters are forced to operate with caution. We advise hiring a guide to lead you through the alligator hunting process on your first excursion.

Alligator hunting, whether on your private property or in public wildlife areas, is an exciting activity that differs in significant ways from traditional tree line hunting. If you plan on purchasing hunting land in Florida, you may find yourself staring down an alligator.

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