The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds wild alligator hunters that their 2005 Louisiana wild alligator season will end on Sunday, Oct. 30.
The season, originally set to open on Sept. 7 and close on Oct. 6, was delayed due to Hurricane Katrina and opened on Sept. 14. The season closure was extended to Oct. 30 after Hurricane Rita delayed hunting activity throughout coastal Louisiana.
Many hunters were unable to conduct their normal alligator hunting activities due to the impacts associated with the hurricanes that struck Louisiana in August and September. Alligator program staff continues to assess the effect of the hurricanes on alligator populations.
The 2005 harvest is expected to total approximately 32,500 alligators averaging approximately 7 feet in length. Hunters received an average price between $28-32 per foot, which represents a substantial increase from the $22.50 per foot paid in 2004.
Hunters are reminded that they are required to return any unused tags to the department by Nov. 14, 2005. Tags should be returned to the LDWF office where the tags were initially issued, with the exception of the New Orleans and Rockefeller Refuge offices, which remain closed at this time. Hunters from those areas should return their unused tags to LDWFs New Iberia Office, 2415 Darnall Rd., New Iberia, La. 70560. Any lost, stolen or destroyed tags must be immediately reported.
Any alligator hides that remain in the hunters possession and have not been sold to commercial buyers must be reported to the department by Nov. 15, 2005. Additionally any hunter who plans to use an alligator hide for personal use (taxidermy or tanning within or out of the state) is required to have the hide inspected, pay a $4.25 alligator hide tag fee and severance tax, and obtain a yellow shipping tag prior to the alligator or alligator hide leaving the possession of the hunter.
EDITORS: For more information, contact Noel Kinler at 337-373-0032 or firstname.lastname@example.org.