Lottery makes alligator-hunting dream come true
Justin Genovese and Shane "Alligator Fundee" Mears pose with alligators taken from the Salvador Management Area during the lottery alligator hunts in September. Mears harvested two alligators the day after setting his lines out.
The first split of dove has already come and gone. Teal season opened this past weekend and will close Sept. 26.
But for one local hunter, he had a dream come true. Shane "Alligator Fundee" Mears has dreamed his entire life of being able to hunt alligators.
There are alligator lottery hunts that people can apply for, and you don’t have to own land to obtain an alligator permit for tags. This year the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries opened up three local management areas to a lottery alligator hunt. Manchac, Pearl River, and Lake Salvador management areas were all selected.
Manchac was awarded 15 lottery hunters, Pearl River had 15 lottery hunters, while Lake Salvador was awarded 10 lottery hunters.
Each lottery hunter is given three tags for a 10-day hunt. Mears filled out the alligator application and sent $25 with paper work that he submitted in early May.
Mears received a letter a few weeks later saying that he had been selected as an alligator lottery hunter for Lake Salvador. He had to attend an alligator hunting class and obtain a guide to hunt on the management area.
The commercial alligator season runs from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30. Alligator lottery hunters have 10 days to harvest three alligators each. After obtaining a guide, Mears harvested two of his three alligators the day after setting his lines out.
"This is the greatest day of hunting I have ever had,” Mears said. “I harvest a 9 and 7-foot alligator in the first day. Thank you Wildlife and Fisheries."
Mears hopes to be selected next year.
Attention Teal Hunters!
Teal hunters are asked to report any teal killed with oil on the bird. The bird will count towards the daily bags limited. The LDWF is advising hunters not to eat birds with visible oil. Hunters are asked to report any oil birds to the Oiled Wildlife Hotline at (866)557-1401.
For more information please contact Larry Reynolds, LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader at 225-765-0456.
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