LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has announced a successful alligator hunting season in the state.

The agency stated Wednesday that the state’s 2022 season saw 157 alligators harvested. The two-week season ended Monday at sunrise after the state had issued 43 public land permits.

Private land hunting is done through a quota system.

The largest alligator harvested in this hunt was 13 feet 6 inches long, caught in southeast Arkansas on public land.

Alligator hunting is limited to south Arkansas and hunters said they saw more alligators than were harvested.

“All of the public land hunters I’ve talked to pretty much saw gators,” Mark Barbee, assistant regional manager in the AGFC’s Monticello Regional Office and hunt coordinator said. “But they tend to hold out for a little larger one. Many have told me in the past that they passed on 8- and 9-foot gators, hoping for a 10-footer or better, and time ran out on them.”

By state law, alligators are only hunted at night. The law also requires they only be taken with harpoons or hand-held snares by a hunter working with assistants.

Once the alligator is pulled to the side of a boat, it is dispatched with a shotgun or bangstick.

Alligator hunts are overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the commission’s survey and harvest protocols for the hunt. Alligator in Arkansas was all but extinct by 1960. AGFC began restocking alligators in the mid-1970s using animals from Louisiana.

Jagger East (middle) stands with his helpers Gilson Elam (left) and Carson Bumgardner and the 12-foot, 5-inch alligator they harvested from Sulphur River WMA during the 2022 Arkansas alligator season.