South Carolina $10 Alligator Hunt Application Deadline June 15th
Is hunting an alligator on your bucket list? If so, it is important to know that South Carolina offers an alligator hunting lottery. The deadline to apply is 5pm on June 15 Applicants are required to pay a $10 non-refundable fee to apply for a Public Lands Hunt or a $15 non-refundable fee to apply WMA alligator hunt. Like many western states drawings are based upon a preference point system and the drawing is computer based. If unsuccessful the applicant will receive a preference point for future alligator lottery hunts.
If selected as a non-resident hunter you will be required to buy a SC hunting license, application, permit fee as well as a $200.00 hunting fee. A hunter can have up to 3 assistants in the boat and it is important to note that each assistant is required to pay the $200.00 fee as well. The fees are used to support the Alligator Management Programs research and management
It is important to note that for this hunt rifles are not allowed. A hunter may use archery equipment, Snare, Harpoon or Hook/Line to dispatch the alligator. Many times, when an alligator is shot with a rifle they will submerge in the water and the hunter will assume they have missed and continue hunting. In addition, rifle shots can be dangerous as bullets easily ricochet off the water.
The state is divided into 4 units, and you may apply for any combination of units including and up to all units. If selected, you will be assigned one unit. Season dates this year will be noon September 10th and run through noon October 8th.
In 2021 there were 8381 applicants an increase of 1208 applicants the previous year. The applicants were from 47 different states. The state issued 250 tags per units for a total of 1000 tags. It is also important to note that in 2021 no one with less than three preference was selected. It appears each unit is about equal in opportunity since there were 310 alligators harvested in 2021 and each unit represented about 25% of the harvest. The average hunter hunted for 2.4 days for each alligator harvested.
The state requires that alligators are at least 4’ to be harvested. The three largest alligators harvested in 2021 measured over 13’ with the largest coming from the Middle Coastal Unit at 13.8”. The average size for the Middle Coastal unit was 9.6 feet, Midlands and Pee Dee units came in at 8.8 feet, and the Southern Coastal unit averaged 8.3 feet. Out of the 310 alligators taken there were 16 reported that were less than 6’.
Given previous year’s results the chances are you will not draw a tag this year. To ever draw though you must start the application process. Until you are chosen you will only pay a $10 fee.