Legal Gator Hunting Comes To North Carolina

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission announced yesterday that they were going to have a (very!) limited alligator hunting season in 2018. The hunt will be by permit only with a total of 20 permits issued. Alligator hunting will be limited to three areas within Hyde County in coastal eastern North Carolina.

If you ever aspired to be the Troy Landry of North Carolina, it won’t be cheap. Resident permits will be $250 and non-resident permits will be $500.

More details including links are in the NCWRC press release below:

RALEIGH, N.C. (July 16, 2018) —The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering permitted hunting opportunities for alligator population reduction hunts in three designated areas of Hyde County only. Hyde County requested a targeted hunt to reduce numbers of alligators in areas of Swan Quarter, Fairfield and Engelhard with frequent alligator conflicts. Commission staff worked with Hyde County officials to evaluate the request and recommended an addendum to the Alligator Management Plan that would allow counties to request a population reduction hunt for unincorporated areas. The Commission approved the addendum at their July 12 business meeting.

Applications for the alligator permit hunt opportunities are available for purchase now through Friday, Aug. 10. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older and there is an $8 application fee for each of the designated hunt areas.

Applications are only available for purchase online using a Visa or MasterCard, by calling 888-248-6834 or in-person at Commission Headquarters, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. Due to an expected increase in call volume, the Wildlife Commission advises purchasing a permit application online. Those who may experience difficulty using the website should update their web browser to a more current version.

A computerized drawing will award five permits in Swan Quarter, five permits in Fairfield and 10 permits in Engelhard. The permits will be valid from Sept. 1 through Oct. 1, 2018 in the designated areas around these communities only.

Applicants awarded a permit will be required to obtain an alligator hunting license no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20. Those who fail to purchase the alligator hunting license by the deadline specified will forfeit their permit and an alternate applicant will be awarded the permit. An alligator hunting license costs $250 for North Carolina residents and $500 for non-residents.

The bag limit for permit holders is one alligator per permit with a season limit of one alligator per permittee. Permittees will be required to complete a harvest survey and allow Commission staff to collect biological data from the harvested alligator.

For more information on application requirements, designated hunt areas and regulations, visit

Make Your Voice Heard At NC Wildlife Commission Hearings

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will start its yearly round of public hearings on proposed rule changes for fisheries, game lands, hunting, and other issues. The commission will start their hearings on Tuesday in Bladen County and conclude them on January 21st in Rocky Mount. Hearings will be held in all nine districts.

Among the proposed regulations are the opening of an elk season and an alligator season. Some of the proposed regulations are to bring them into compliance with state law. There is one proposed regulation that has gun rights implications. The text of the proposed regulation deals with US Army Corps of Engineers managed properties that are enrolled in the NC Game Lands program.

On Butner-Falls of Neuse,
Jordan, Kerr Scott and Vance game lands, no person shall possess loaded firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows,
crossbows, or other weapons except as provided in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, Chapter III, Part 327.13.

That section of the Code of Federal Regulations prohibits the possession of loaded firearms unless you are law enforcement, hunting, at a target range, or have written permission from the District Commander. This was the issue in Nesbitt v. USACE which was a win at the District Court level but was appealed by the government to the 9th Circuit.

Written public comments can be submitted until January 25th. The comment form is located here. Personally, I’d wait to make my comment until the wording of the proposed regulations are released.

The schedule and location of the hearings is below:

The schedule for the 2016-17 public hearings is below. Public hearings begin at 7 p.m.
Jan. 5 
Bladen Community College
7418 N.C. Hwy. 41W
Dublin, N.C. 28332
Jan. 6 
Southern Alamance High School
631 Southern High School Road 
Graham, N.C. 27253
Jan. 7 
South Stanly High School
40488 South Stanly School Rd. 
Norwood, N.C. 28128
Jan. 12 
Haywood Community College
185 Freelander Drive
Clyde, N.C.
Jan. 13 
Western Piedmont Community College
Leviton Auditorium, Moore Hall
1001 Burkemont Ave.
Morganton, N.C. 28655
Jan. 14 (Thurs.)
Elkin High School
334 Elk Spur Street
Elkin, N.C. 28621
Jan. 19
Swain Auditorium
200 E. Church St.
Edenton, N.C. 27932
Jan. 20
New Bern
Craven Community College
Orringer Auditorium
800 College Court
 New Bern, N.C.  28562
Jan. 21
Rocky Mount
Nash Community College
Brown Auditorium
454 N. Old Carriage Road
Rocky Mount, N.C. 27804