BATON ROUGE - The East Zone Louisiana alligator season opened Wednesday, Aug. 28, followed by the West Zone opening on Sept. 4.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be issuing tags to licensed hunters through Sept. 4. Over 38,000 tags will be issued and an estimated 34,000 alligators will be harvested during the 2013 season.
Harvested alligators will range from 4 to 12 feet in length with the average size estimated to be 7 feet, 6 inches.
"There is good demand for alligator skins and meat, and we expect to see a good harvest season with prices at least equal to last year's average of $23.50 per foot," LDWF Alligator Program Manager Noel Kinler said. "We will issue an estimated 3,000 licenses to Louisiana residents and over 500 to non-resident sport hunters."
Like other outdoor activities, youngsters participate at a very early age since alligator hunting is often a family affair and women also participate as hunters during the alligator season.
Lifelong hunters still enjoy the challenge into their 70s and 80s, and alligator hunting leases are passed down from father to son to grandson.