Gulf Shores: gulf shores: Late-summer alligator season looking good for state hunters

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gulf shores: Late-summer alligator season looking good for state hunters

Alabama's Conservation Advisory Board will hold its final scheduled meeting of the year Saturday in Gulf Shores, a fitting place since just up the road a short jaunt is where the state's first alligator season will be held if a proposal to have one is approved. Conservation Department officials formally presented the plan in February. It would entail a seven-day season in late summer with a draw-system for permits, a minimum length requirement on gators and a quota necessitating check-in of all gators killed by hunters. Hunts would be in the Mobile Delta, which has more gators than anywhere in the state. Officials could expand the area to other locales, but right now their sights are set on starting small in the Delta. If the advisory board approves the season, and indications are that it will, and all the ducks are in the rows with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, then we'll join Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Lousiana with seasons. Quite a good move, I believe, since the population here and the Southeast obviously can support the taking of a number of these critters. Mississippi jumped into the gator fray last year with resounding results. Georgia's seasons have been quite successful. Even with limited numbers of permits available, each state had thousands of applications. Why? Because it's pretty dadgum cool to try something new and then be able to tell your pals you either killed a gator and it's at the taxidermist, or you missed and a gator almost ate your flatbottom boat. I doubt many guys will be hitting the Delta in sleek bass boats at night. - Other advisory board topics expected to be discussed include the proposed 2006-07 hunting regulations and the possibility of moving dove season up a week in the North Zone. Hunters for years have asked for some kind of shift from the traditional Sept. 15 opener to about Sept. 8 (or thereabouts). Birds are here then, they're gone then, they were here years ago, and on and on. Discussion was held at the March meeting and a vote could be taken Saturday. The bottom line on doves is they're migratory, just like waterfowl. It doesn't matter what you plant or how much wheat you spread out for them. They're fickle critters dependent on the weather.

by Huntsville Times


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