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Energy & Environment

North Carolina Considers Lifting Hunting Ban On Alligators

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Gareth Rasberry
/
Wiki Commons

What’s 14 feet long, 500 pounds, and could be hunted for the first time in almost 45 years? Alligators. The Wildlife Resources Commission reports the alligator population is growing in southeastern North Carolina and is considering lifting a hunting ban on them as soon as September 2018. 

Wildlife officials proposed alligator hunting two years ago as a way to control the population before eventually voting against it. But increased alligator sightings and requests to hunt them have put the idea back on the table, says Allen Boynton, chair of the commission’s Alligator Task Force.  

“There’s an interest in alligator hunting. They do it in other states and they see alligators in North Carolina and they think that it would be nice to be able to do it here as well," Boynton says. 

If approved by the commission, hunting would begin in areas with the highest alligator population – mostly southern parts of the coast. The season would last only two months in the fall. Wildlife officials have yet to determine how many permits they would issue or how much each would cost. Throughout June, the Wildlife Resources Commission is holding community meetings to gain input on a population management plan.