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Alligator Hunting

2020 Permit Application Schedule

Alligator | Public Land   Alligator | Private Land
June 15, 8 a.m. Application period begins | Apply June 15 Permits go on sale | Apply
June 30, 11:59 p.m. Application deadline     
July 1-5 Public land permits will be drawn and successful applicants will be notified via email.    

Alligator Zone Map Public Land Alligator Hunting Information
38 permits to hunt alligator on public land will be drawn.

AMZ 1 


Public Land Alligator Permit Application Requirements

  • Only Arkansas residents with a Resident Sportsman Hunting License or holders of a Lifetime Sportsman's Permit may apply.
  • A $5 nonrefundable application fee is required to apply.
  • Applicants must be 16 or older in order to apply or participate in the hunt (including assistants).
  • Applicants with 18 or more violation points are ineligible to apply.

Public Land Alligator Hunt Details
Public land alligator hunts are held on designated areas of the Dr. Lester Sitzes III Bois D’Arc WMA, Sulphur River WMA, Little River below Millwood Lake, Millwood Lake, Lake Erling and the Lower Arkansas River Wetland Complex. All other public areas are closed to alligator hunting.

Private Land Alligator Permit Requirements

  • Permits will be sold through the online license and permitting website.
  • Permits will be added to the hunter’s license.
  • There is a $5.00 application fee.
  • Applicants must be 16 or older in order to apply or participate in the hunt (including assistants).
  • It will be up to the hunter to obtain landowner permission in accordance with AGFC Code of Regulations.

Private Land Alligator Hunt Details
The Private Land Alligator Hunt takes place only in Alligator Management Zones 1, 2 and 3. All private land alligator permits will be purchased through the AGFC online license and permitting website. The quota-based hunt system will be used for all AMZ’s. AGFC must be contacted immediately after harvest by calling 870-482-9262 for confirmation of harvest. Each day, hunters must call the AGFC Wildlife Hotline (1-800-440-1477) and select option 2 (Alligator Management Zone Quota Status) to determine if the season zone quota has been met. All harvested alligators have to be checked online at within 12 hours of harvest. The private land alligator season ends early if the quota is reached. Limit of one alligator greater than 4 feet per person, per year.

Statewide Alligator Hunt Information

  • Alligator Hunt Orientation and Training Manual
  • Watch | Learn about Arkansas alligators and their biology from one of the AGFC's biologists who helps manage the species in The Natural State.
  • Watch | Experience the thrill of an Arkansas alligator hunt from a 2018 hunt at Sulphur River WMA near Texarkana.

Subduing and capturing an alligator

  • Watch | Proper method for rigging a snare.
  • Watch | Proper rigging of a handheld harpoon.
  • Watch | Use of a shotgun bang stick to dispatch an alligator.

2020 Alligator Season

Alligator hunter with gator Alligator Management Zone 1 & 3 Public Land Hunts (By Drawn Permit Only)

  • Sept. 18-21, 2020
  • Sept. 25-28, 2020

Alligator Management Zone 1, 2 and 3 Private Land Hunt (By Private Land Allligator Permit Only)

  • Sept. 18-21, 2020
  • Sept. 25-28, 2020

Private Land Quota | Alligator Management Zone Map
The Alligator Management Zone Private Land Hunt only takes place in AMZ 1, 2 and 3 with a combined quota of 126 (AMZ 1= 52, AMZ 2 = 5 and AMZ 3 = 69). Hunters must call the AGFC Wildlife Hotline (1-800-440-1477) and select option 1 (Alligator Management Zone Quota Status) to determine if the season zone quota has been met. The season ends Sept. 28, or the night the quota is reached, whichever comes first.

Statewide Alligator Management Zone
All other Alligator Management Zones are closed to alligator hunting.

Season Limit
One alligator, 4 feet or longer.

Lance Williams Alligator 9ft 7in

  • You must be a legal resident of Arkansas or holder of an Arkansas lifetime license to hunt alligators.
  • Non-residents assisting must possess a minimum of a 3-day non-resident big-game license.
  • You must be 16 years of age to obtain a permit or participate as an assistant.
  • The Private Land Alligator (PLA) permit is nonrefundable and nontransferable.
  • The PLA are assigned to specific harvest areas based on Alligator population data. Desired harvest areas are selected by hunters at the time of application. Harvest area boundaries have been determined by the AGFC. Holders of a PLA must make sure they understand what the boundaries of their selected harvest areas are prior to initiating the hunt. Individuals hunting on private property other than their own must obtain written documented permission to hunt prior to the hunt. This permission must kept on their person and available upon Enforcements potential request.
  • Public tags may only be used on their respective designated body(s) of public water.
  • Each permit authorizes the harvest of one (1) alligator, four (4) feet or greater in total length, as measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.
  • Only night time hunting is allowed. The season will be the last two weekends in September from: ½ hour past sunset on Friday, through ½ hour before sunrise Monday.
  • You are not allowed to search for alligators prior to legal hunting hours if you have harvest equipment in your possession. Legal night time hunting hours are from ½ hour after sunset through ½ hour before sunrise.
  • You must be in possession of your PLA while engaging in hunting activities. All alligator hunting assistants must have their hunt assistance letter (issued by the PLA holder) in their possession while engaged in any alligator hunting activities.
  • A maximum of three assistants (licensed) will be allowed in the same boat as the holder of the PLA. Assistants may not be in another boat assisting the permit holder. Only the holder of the PLA is permitted to snare or harpoon an alligator. Only the holder of the PLA is permitted to dispatch a restrained alligator. Alligator Hunt Assistants are permitted to operate the boat/motor, shine/hold spotlights and to help hold a restrained alligator while the holder of the PLA dispatches the alligator. No one else can participate in any portion of the hunt, capture or harvesting process.
  • Alligators may be taken only with the use of hand-held snares or harpoons attached to a hand-held restraining line. The use or possession of any other equipment or firearms for taking alligators is prohibited.
  • Only shotguns or shotgun load bangsticks are permitted for dispatching alligators once a restraining line has been affixed. Only shot size no larger than #4 common shot may be used to dispatch a restrained alligator.
  • Alligator tagging Immediately upon dispatching the alligator, a temporary tag (AFGC handbook or homemade) must be affixed to the harvested alligator. This tag must contain the hunters name, phone number, address, date and AMZ. No person shall possess any untagged alligator carcass or hide.
    Recommendation: Place the tag in a Ziploc bag and zip tie to a leg.
  • As soon as possible, successful hunter must call the AGFC radio dispatch office at 1-800-482-9262. The hunter must provide their name, AMZ and a telephone number where they can be reached. The dispatcher will pass this information on to the State Alligator Coordinator for compliance.
  • Successful hunters then must check their alligator online within twelve (12) hours of harvest via the AGFC website. Alligators cannot be tele-checked or checked with the AGFC app. Once completed at that point the alligator is legally checked.

A USFWS CITES tag will be mailed to successful hunters once online checking has been verified. Failure to check the alligator online will result in putting the hunter out of compliance and in violation of permit requirements. Non-compliance issues will be turned over to the Wildlife Enforcement Division for violation assessment. CITES tags must be affixed six inches from the tip of the tail. Once the CITES tag is in place the alligator is legally tagged

Alligator Management in Arkansas

Alligator The American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) has been a component of Arkansas’ native fauna for thousands of years. One of the earliest recorded accounts of alligators in Arkansas comes from the Arkansas Gazette, May 1828, which reported the killing of an 11-foot specimen on the north side of the Arkansas River at Little Rock. Between 1860 and 1960 alligator populations throughout the southeastern United States were severely depleted, due to habitat loss and unregulated hunting. Alligator populations have since recovered in Arkansas through state and federal protection and restocking efforts.

By 1960 alligator population numbers reached an all-time low in Arkansas due to habitat loss and unregulated hunting. As a result, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) enacted a regulation to protect the alligator in 1961. The United States Congress passed legislation in March of 1967 listing the alligator as an endangered species, thus protecting the animal from “take,” six years prior to enactment of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. In January 1977 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) down listed the alligator from endangered to threatened status. In June 1987 it was de-listed to recovered status and subject to a five-year monitoring program. The alligator is currently listed as “Threatened due to Similarity of Appearance,” as a means to ensure regulation of the legal trade in crocodilian products, via the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

By the early-1960’s Arkansas’ depleted alligator population persisted only in the southwestern corner of the state. In an effort to re-establish this native species the AGFC undertook an initial restocking effort in 1970 and 1971 utilizing native stocks. However, this attempt proved unsuccessful due to an inability to capture enough individuals to supply the restocking program. Shortly thereafter an agreement was reached between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the AGFC to provide alligators for the restocking program. This agreement provided wild caught Louisiana alligators to restock areas within the presumed historic range of the alligator in Arkansas. Between 1972 and 1984 a total of 2,841 alligators were released in southern, eastern, and central Arkansas. Approximately 80% of these alligators were released on private lands, at the owner’s request, in the belief that they would control populations of rough fish, turtles, venomous snakes, and beavers. Since 1984, alligator populations in Arkansas have increased and are now stable and in sufficient numbers to support a regulated sport hunt.

Based on population surveys conducted by the AGFC (2002-2004), it was found that alligators were widely distributed at low densities throughout their range in Arkansas. Two regions, one in the southeastern and one in the southwestern corners of the state, were found to harbor high alligator densities. These alligator population concentrations were located in areas with optimal habitat, containing large areas of shallow water marsh and swamp habitat. The current alligator sport hunt is the result of a six year effort by AGFC to offer Arkansan’s another sport hunting opportunity.