South Carolina’s 2016 alligator hunting season doesn’t start for several months, but it’s almost time to apply for a tag. The SCDNR will accept applications May 1 through June 15, and all applications must be filled out online at the agency’s website.

With a healthy population of alligators that numbers over 100,000, the roughly month-long season and relatively low number of permits issued does not threaten the species. In total, 2015’s alligator hunters across the Palmetto State harvested 333 gators. The average gator measured close to 9 feet in length, further showing the healthy nature of these animals.

Hunters can apply for Public Lands Hunts, which basically covers any publicly-accessible water in the legal alligator hunting areas, and they can also apply for Wildlife Management Area hunts, which is a special draw hunt in either Bear Island WMA or Santee Coastal WMA.

The Public Lands Hunt requires applicants pay a $10 nonrefundable fee. If selected, those hunters will then pay a $100 permit fee. The WMA hunts have a $15 nonrefundable fee, and are considerably more expensive if selected. The WMA permits cost $500 for residents, and $800 for non-residents.

Once a hunter is awarded a permit, they can take others to assist them in their hunt. The assistants do not need an alligator permit, but they must have a South Carolina hunting license. If they are non-residents, they will also have to pay a $200 non-resident fee as well as a South Carolina hunting license.

Click here to apply for a 2016 alligator hunting permit, and to read up on all the news and regulations for alligator hunting in South Carolina.

Share your past alligator hunts and other outdoor adventures here.