Thousands of Arkansans have been waiting on pins and needles for the last few weeks to find out if they were one of the lucky few who drew a chance at harvesting an alligator in Arkansas this year. Last week, 101 individuals got the good news, including a few from Faulkner County.
Arkansas’s 2017 alligator season is Sept. 15-18 and Sept. 22-25, and hunting is only allowed at night.
All permit winners must attend a hunter orientation class before being issued their temporary tags. Mandatory orientation classes for permit holders will be held August 19 in Hope and Monticello and August 26 at the AGFC Headquarters in Little Rock. Successful private land at-large applicants must provide written landowner permission and a map of their proposed hunt area.
Alligator hunting isn’t for the faint of heart. Hunters scan the surface of the water with spotlights from a boat, pinpointing alligators before easing up to them with a harpoon or handheld snare.
Permit winners are allowed up to three assistants during the hunt, but only the permit holder is allowed to snare, harpoon and dispatch the alligator. Arkansas alligator hunters must completely subdue the gator before finishing it with a shotgun or shotgun shell-loaded bang stick using shot no larger than no. 4 common shot.
Once dispatched, all alligators must be tagged with a temporary possession tag and may be checked online. Additional hunt details will be provided at the mandatory hunter orientation classes.
2017 alligator permit winners
Zone 1 (Private Land At Large)
Floyd Bell, Conway
Carter Coates, Greenbrier
Matthew Davis, Conway
Daniel Hollinger, Conway
Brian Ratliff, Conway
Zone 3 (Private Land At Large)
Brooks Joseph, Conway
Zone 3 (Lower Arkansas River Wetland Complex)
Steven Isom, Greenbrier
Zone 3 (Mercer Bayou/Sulphur River WMA)
Chirstina Shaw, Vilonia