24-hour alligator hunting now allowed in Florida

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Starting later this week, people can begin applying for permits for the season that runs from mid-August to November.But a change is coming. Permitted hunters can now hunt 24 hours a day if they want.”We took this one from the river,” Kevin Brotz said about a 12-footer from a past hunt.Brotz is an alligator hunter who also guides others trying to land one. He’s not sure how many people will hunt midday now that it’s OK to do so for permitted hunters during the season.”An hour or two here or there would have been maybe a better option because that middle of the day, it’s so hot,” Brotz said.Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said expanding to 24 hours a day during gator hunting season gives more hunting opportunities and also more flexibility for those who want to take part.”Expanding this hunt is going in the wrong direction,” said Bryan Wilson with the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida.Wilson feels there should be hours of the day when gators are off-limits. He fears pleasure boaters might see more than they’d like.”For anybody who doesn’t want to see an alligator shot in the head on Florida’s waterways, we encourage to contact FWC and tell them this rule is going in the wrong direction,” Wilson said. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said in a statement that in the past, starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 10 a.m., already led to “overlapped times when other users were recreating on Florida waterbodies” and that “we don’t expect a dramatic shift in the number of people taking advantage of these increased hours.”Brotz said, in years of alligator hunting, he’s rarely had any issues with others.”I haven’t experienced that. I’ve been at the boat ramp with fishermen, boaters, etc. They see a gator, they get excited but I’ve never had a negative tone to that interaction,” Brotz said. The state is not increasing the number of hunting permits, just the hours they can be used. Brotz said hunters who go out in the midday heat need to make sure to keep an alligator they take iced.

Starting later this week, people can begin applying for permits for the season that runs from mid-August to November.

But a change is coming. Permitted hunters can now hunt 24 hours a day if they want.

“We took this one from the river,” Kevin Brotz said about a 12-footer from a past hunt.

Brotz is an alligator hunter who also guides others trying to land one. He’s not sure how many people will hunt midday now that it’s OK to do so for permitted hunters during the season.

“An hour or two here or there would have been maybe a better option because that middle of the day, it’s so hot,” Brotz said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said expanding to 24 hours a day during gator hunting season gives more hunting opportunities and also more flexibility for those who want to take part.

“Expanding this hunt is going in the wrong direction,” said Bryan Wilson with the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida.

Wilson feels there should be hours of the day when gators are off-limits. He fears pleasure boaters might see more than they’d like.

“For anybody who doesn’t want to see an alligator shot in the head on Florida’s waterways, we encourage to contact FWC and tell them this rule is going in the wrong direction,” Wilson said.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said in a statement that in the past, starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 10 a.m., already led to “overlapped times when other users were recreating on Florida waterbodies” and that “we don’t expect a dramatic shift in the number of people taking advantage of these increased hours.”

Brotz said, in years of alligator hunting, he’s rarely had any issues with others.

“I haven’t experienced that. I’ve been at the boat ramp with fishermen, boaters, etc. They see a gator, they get excited but I’ve never had a negative tone to that interaction,” Brotz said.

The state is not increasing the number of hunting permits, just the hours they can be used.

Brotz said hunters who go out in the midday heat need to make sure to keep an alligator they take iced.

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