Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2008 Alligator season round-up

The inaugural 2008 alligator hunting season results are in, and it was such a success SCDNR is all set to hold it again in 2009! In the midst of an economic downturn the alligator season proved to be a boom for both taxidermists and  gator meat processors. South Carolina hunters took 362 alligators from 13 different counties with the biggest alligators coming from the Midlands area. The most alligators were taken from the middle and coastal hunt units, but the midlands earned the bragging rights with the largest gator harvested, a Lake Marion specimen that measured 13 feet 7 inches! The midlands had 45 gators harvested that were 10 feet or longer, including 21 gators that were over 12-feet in length. Only 1000 gator harvest permits were issued in 2008, and hunters paid $100 for the right to tangle with the prehistoric-looking creature. A series of alligator hunting seminars will be held in 2009 to go over proper hunting techniques and regulations for the upcoming season, with applications available starting May 1st, and the permit drawing taking place in June. The photo shows that Michael Cordray of CorDray's Processing in Ravenel, S.C. knows what to do with a front-end loader when customers bring him an 800-pound alligator to process. Thanks to Michelle DeMaio for the photo.

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