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Florida gator hunting season starts with expanded time, weapons

The new rules expand alligator hunting to 24 hours a day and allow hunters to use pneumatic air-bows attached to a restraining line to hunt gators.
In this July 31, 2019, Times file photo, an alligator lays in shallow water at the western edge of Lake Maggiore, St. Petersburg.
In this July 31, 2019, Times file photo, an alligator lays in shallow water at the western edge of Lake Maggiore, St. Petersburg. [ Times (2019) ]
Published Aug. 15|Updated Aug. 15

ORLANDO — Florida’s alligator hunting season started Monday with new rules expanding the time and weapons that can be used.

The new rules expanded alligator hunting to 24 hours a day, instead of the previous 17 hours a day, primarily at night and early morning, that had been allowed.

Additionally, hunters now will be allowed to use pneumatic air-bows attached to a restraining line to hunt the alligators. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the pneumatic air-bows are easier to use for people with mobility challenges and young people.

Hunters already could use bows, crossbows, harpoons, spears and pneumatic air guns firing arrows.

Florida is estimated to have 1.3 million alligators.

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