A few southwest Arkansas residents have been selected to participate in this year’s state alligator season. Arkansas’s 2017 alligator season is Sept. 15-18 and Sept. 22-25, and hunting is only allowed at night.
Permit winners include Michael Hale of Mineral Springs and Ashley Hale of Nashville in zone 1 (private land at large). The selections also included Lakota Hoover of Murfreesboro in zone 1 (little river).
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.