got Guts? State needs alligator trappers
If you like living life on the edge and you're looking to make a little extra money, then here's a job for you: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is hiring nuisance-alligator trappers to work in Hillsborough and Manatee counties. Applicants do not need special training or experience, though it does help if you plan to tangle with an 8-foot reptile. To qualify, applicants must have a clean criminal record, no fish or wildlife law violations and reside in the county for which they are applying. To apply online, visit www.MyFWC.com/alligator and click on "Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program." For more information, email FWCGator@MyFWC.com. Applications must be received by Jan. 5.
Things to do
Build knowledge base for bird count
Looking for a way to keep the kids busy this Christmas break? Send them out in the back yard to count birds. Florida is a birder's paradise, especially during the winter, when birds from as far away as Canada arrive to sit out the cold weather. If you are lucky, you might see a yellow-bellied sapsucker, a migratory woodpecker that gets its name because it drills holes in trees to suck the sap out of the bark. It doesn't take much to get started in birding. Just grab a pencil, notebook and bird guide. An inexpensive pair of binoculars will also help. You can also sign the kids up for the FWC's Wings over Florida or Junior Birder programs by visiting FloridaBirdingTrail.com. After a couple of weeks of learning to spot chickadees, they will be ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count on Feb. 17-20. The yearly event is the largest bird count in North America. For information, visit birdsource.org/gbbc.
Jan. 11: Start of eight-week saltwater fishing class taught by guide Rick Frazier. Learn all aspects of saltwater fishing. 2014 54th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Cost: $75. Call (727) 510-4376.
Terry Tomalin, Times Outdoors-Fitness Editor
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