Coastal NC county issues licenses to hunt gators

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American Alligator (Photo: Postdlf / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0)

SWAN QUARTER, N.C. (AP) — A coastal county in North Carolina is issuing licenses to allow hunters to go after alligators in response to an overpopulation problem.

News outlets report the state is allowing 20 hunters in Hyde County with the proper credentials to use anything from hand-held ropes to bows and arrows to take alligators between Sept. 1 and Oct. 1. The state hasn’t allowed alligator hunting since 1973.

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Wildlife Officer Robert Wayne told WRAL-TV in Raleigh that in the past few years, he has seen an increase in calls for assistance with alligators.

Environmental educator Jamie Moore said while he doesn’t disagree with hunting alligators, he is concerned hunters will take the largest male alligators as trophies, which could cause environmental issues related to breeding.