Most alligator hunting is done on large tracts of public land such as lakes and rivers, but not specifically designated as a WMA. But Patty Castine, the SCDNR’s lottery hunt coordinator, said two WMAs do have specific alligator hunts.
“The Bear Island and Santee Coastal WMA’s have alligator hunting by public lottery,” Castine said. “It’s too late now for the 2013 alligator season, but applications for these two areas can be made on-line beginning next May through June 15.
“Essentially, the hunters drawn will have the entire WMA to hunt without competition from other hunters for one week during the alligator season. The other good news is that if they are not successful on the WMA — although these are very good areas — they can still pursue their quest to fill their tag in the appropriate hunt zone where they were drawn. Many hunters do not think about WMAs in terms of alligator hunting, but there is a separate link for this opportunity when you go on-line to register for alligator hunting.
“One big difference and consideration is cost,” she said. “There is a $15 non-refundable fee for the application, and if drawn, there is a cost of $500 if selected. The cost is $800 for non-residents, but this does offer an opportunity to further utilize our WMA’s for a different species.”