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spectr17
10-23-2003, 01:07 PM
Georgia's first alligator hunt bags just 64 gators

Associated Press

10/22/03

ALBANY, Ga. Hunters killed just 64 alligators during Georgia's first 16-day hunt, barely denting a population that has increasingly turned up in swimming pools and on golf courses.

"It was never considered to be guaranteed odds," said Todd Holbrook, chief of game management for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which organized the hunt to trim the population.

The one-alligator limit may have been the problem _ many of the 184 hunters chosen by lottery to participate may have waited for the big one that never showed, he said.

Alligators are hunted at night by light beam, with only the glow of their eyes visible. Hunters snare them, then either shoot them or sever their spinal cords.

Georgia has had only eight alligator attacks since 1980, none fatal, but an average of 450 alligator nuisance complaints a year. The state's alligator population has grown from near extinction four decades ago to about 200,000, due in part to conservation efforts.

Louisiana, Florida, Texas and South Carolina also have alligator hunting seasons.