Alligator lottery deadline closing in on 2021 season


June 15 is the deadline to apply for an alligator tag

South Carolina’s 2021 alligator hunting season doesn’t open until Sept. 11. But the deadline to apply is coming up fast. SCDNR is accepting applications through June 15. If you haven’t applied yet, don’t worry, early applicants don’t gain an advantage over late applicants. Just don’t forget to apply before the deadline.

The application process is quick and easy through SCDNR’s application portal. Click here to apply. It costs $10 to apply.

Hunters selected for the lottery hunt will receive notification from SCDNR beginning in July. Selected resident hunters will then pay their $100 permit fee (non-residents will pay an additional $200 fee).

The state is divided in four (4) gator management units:

  • Unit 1 – Southern Coastal
  • Unit 2 – Middle Coast
  • Unit 3 – Midlands *
  • Unit 4 – Pee Dee

* All of Lake Marion is grouped into Unit 3.

A hunter can only hunt in the unit for which he/she was selected. You can list the units in ranked priority and the selection will be based upon this ranking.

The 2021 open season is noon September 11, 2021 – noon October 9, 2021 (2nd Saturday in September to 2nd Saturday in October).

Taking of alligators will be controlled by regulation and the instructions on permits.

Alligators must be secured and brought to shore or alongside boat before dispatch. No shooting of free swimming or basking alligators is allowed in this program. No rifles are allowed, but handguns and bangsticks are permitted for dispatch. No bait, baited hooks, set hooks, or pole hunting is allowed (see regulations for more information about methods).

Only one (1) alligator can be taken per permit. Alligator must be four (4) feet or greater in length.

Others may assist permittee, but all participants (including permittee) must be licensed SC hunters.

Alligators may be taken in public waters, but not on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) or USFWS Refuges, and on private land where permission is granted. Public alligator season permits cannot be used on lands enrolled in the Private Lands Alligator Program.

Alligator meat can be kept, but not sold. Hides and parts may be sold according to regulation.

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