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Florida's alligator hunting season is underway

Courtesy of Outdoor Life

The annual eventhas for years, been largely a nighttime pursuit. The 24/7 shift is considered part of the state wildlife commission’sapproach to managing Florida's alligator population.

Historically, unregulated hunting led to dramatic decreases in populations.

The American alligator was listed as an endangered species in 1967, under a law that preceded the Endangered Species Actof 1973.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now classifies them as threatened, which allows for state approved control programs.

To participate in gator hunting season, a permit must be acquired from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

More than 15,000 people from across the county applied for permits this year and 7,000 were approved.

Florida's alligators are more active in summer, when chances of a human-alligator encounter rise.

In July, an 80-year-old Englewood woman was killed by an alligator after she fell into a pond near her home.

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Cathy Carter