The popularity of alligator hunting has taken off in the US recently because of television shows depicting wetland-loving folks catching and removing these over-sized reptiles. Alligators are cool, but not when they are causing problems. With Texas’ ever-expanding alligator population, that can be a full time job. Luckily there are folks that can help control nuisance gators. Texas is trying something new, too. Landowners will be able to contract directly with nuisance alligator hunters under new rules adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
Over the past 20 years, once imperiled alligator population in Texas have rebounded spectacularly. Increased suburban, exurban, an industrial development in an adjacent to coastal counties, particularly along the mid- and upper coast, has resulted in increasing number of nuisance alligator complaints, especially in areas biologically characterized by diminishing or little to no habitat. The new protocol will authorize a permitted control hunter to contract directly with landowner or landowner’s agent (including a political subdivision, governmental entity, or property owner’s association) for a fee or other compensation for the removal of nuisance alligators.
The new protocol requires that each nuisance control hunter complete a certification process that includes an application to TPWD, a department administered course and a test on nuisance control. Reporting requirements will ensure that only bona fide nuisance alligators are taken by permitted control hunters. An annual permit fee is also required.
Prior to the new rules, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department had contracted with qualified individuals for the removal of nuisance alligators. Each hunter bid for the privilege to conduct nuisance control activities in a specific territory, agreeing to pay a per foot price to the department for every alligator removed. In return, the control hunter was allowed to keep the alligator and could sell the skin and meat. All removals were authorized on a case by case basis by the department.
Persons interested in the nuisance alligator control program should contact Amos Cooper at 409-736-3625 (office) or 409-293-2836 (cell). Prospective permittees can also request alligator hunting or wildlife management information by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.