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What Arkansans need to know about alligator hunting season

Arkansas is one of, if not the best state in the country for the outdoors. We have several forms of hunting in the state, but are Arkansans able to hunt alligators?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas is one of, if not the best state in the country for the outdoors. But can you hunt alligator here in the Natural State? Well, we actually took that question straight to Trey Reid with Arkansas Game and Fish.

“We do have an alligator hunting season here in Arkansas and have for 15 years now,” Reid said.

Admittedly it is a short season, consisting of just two weekends a year in September. The 16th-19th and 23rd-26th for public land hunts in Zone 1 and 3. The same dates in all three zones for private land hunts.

“It’s a nighttime only hunting season from sunset on Friday evening to sunrise Monday morning but only during nighttime hours,” Reid said.

So why is our alligator hunting season so short? The answers is pretty simple.

"We don’t have as many alligators as south Louisiana and so we have a quota system for the private land portion of the hunt so once that quota is filled the hunt shuts down," Reid said.

Now alligator permits are tough to come by. They’ve already been drawn for 2022, but if you’re looking to try and catch a gator in 2023. You’ve got a shot!

“Every year the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission accepts applications for alligator permits June 15th- June 30th so about a two-week window there. There is a $5 application fee so apply at AGFC.com," Reid said.

Of course, this is your friendly reminder, it’s not for the faint of heart.

"It’s a pretty exciting type of hunting when you’ve got an alligator attached to a rope and you’re in a 12-14 flat bottom boat and that [alligator] is pulling you around a swamp. It’s pretty exciting,” Reid said.

If you have any questions, big or small, that you want answered about Arkansas, just text us at 501-376-1111.

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