Alligator Hunting in Illinois

Hunting alligators is a popular pastime in Illinois. Each year, the state issues permit to a limited number of hunters, who then take to the waters in search of these large reptiles. But what does it take to be an alligator hunter? What equipment do you need? And how do you ensure you stay safe while hunting these dangerous animals? In this blog post, we will answer all these questions and more. So if you’re interested in alligator hunting in Illinois, read on for everything you need to know.

Alligator Hunting Laws in Illinois

In order to hunt alligators in Illinois, you must have a valid hunting license and an Alligator Hunting Permit. You may only hunt alligators from sunset to sunrise, and you are only allowed to use airboats and baited hooks when hunting. Alligator hunting is only permitted in specific areas of the state, and you must comply with all local laws and regulations. It is also important to note that you are not allowed to sell any part of the alligator.

Related: Hog Hunting in Illinois

Do you need a license to hunt alligators in Illinois?

In the state of Illinois, anyone who wants to hunt alligators must have a valid hunting license. The only exception to this rule is if the person hunting is under the age of 16 or is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe. Alligator hunting permits are available through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Alligator Hunting Seasons in Illinois

Alligator hunting season in Illinois runs from September 1st through October 31st. Alligators can only be hunted on public land, requiring a permit. The season limit is two alligators per person.

During the alligator hunting season, alligators may be hunted on public land only with a permit and under the following conditions:

  • The season limit is two alligators per person.
  • Alligators may only be taken during daylight hours.
  • Alligators must be taken with a line and hook, gig, harpoon, or crossbow.
  • No firearms or explosives may be used to take alligators.
  • All alligator parts must remain intact until checked by an agent of the Department at a designated registration station.

Can you hunt alligators at night in Illinois?

Yes, alligator hunting is permitted at night in Illinois. Alligators are most active at night, so this is the best time to hunt them. However, there are some things to keep in mind when hunting alligators at night.

First, it is crucial to know where alligators are likely to be found. Alligators typically inhabit slow-moving bodies of water, such as swamps, marshes, and bayous. They can also be found in rivers and lakes. Alligators prefer warm waters, so they are more likely to be found in southern Illinois than in northern Illinois.

Second, it is important to have the proper equipment for hunting alligators at night. A good flashlight is essential for spotting alligators in the dark. A boat with a trolling motor is also helpful, as it will allow you to move quietly through the water. Finally, you will need a firearm that is powerful enough to kill an alligator. A rifle or shotgun is typically used for this purpose.

Third, it is important to be aware of the dangers of hunting alligators at night. Alligators can be aggressive creatures, and they have been known to attack humans. It is important to exercise caution when approaching an alligator in the dark. Additionally, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you do not get too close to any areas where alligators might be lurking.

Bag limits for hunting Alligator in Illinois

There is no limit on the number of alligators that may be harvested in Illinois. Alligator hunting is only allowed from September 1 – June 30. A person must have a valid Illinois Alligator Hunting Permit to hunt alligators.

Legal ways to hunt Alligators in Illinois

There are many ways to legally hunt alligators in Illinois. The most common way is with a bow and arrow, but there are also other methods such as using a spear or a crossbow.


The use of bows and arrows to take alligators is perhaps the oldest method of taking these animals and is still the most popular today. Alligators may be taken with either longbow or recurve bows, and arrows must be equipped with sharpened broadheads that have at least two cutting edges. Crossbows may also be used to take alligators, but only during the special archery season.


Another popular method for taking alligators is by spearing them. This can be done from either a boat or from land. When hunting from a boat, hunters will often use a gig, which is a spear that is attached to a long pole. This allows the hunter to keep a safe distance from the alligator while still being able to deliver a lethal blow. Those hunting from land will use a handheld spear for this purpose. It is important to remember that it is illegal to shoot an alligator with a gun after it has been speared.

Other Methods:

There are several other methods that can be used to take alligators, but they are much less common than either archery or spearing. These include using snares, traps, and dogs. It is also possible to take an all

Can you use dogs to hunt alligators in Illinois?

Yes, dogs can be used to hunt alligators in Illinois. Alligator hunting with dogs is permitted from September 1st through October 31st. A maximum of six alligators may be taken per trip, and only two alligators may be harvested per person per season. Alligator hunts are conducted during the daytime hours only.

Dogs must be on a leash at all times while in the field and must be under the direct supervision of the hunter. Dogs must be trained and experienced in hunting alligators and must be able to safely retrieve an alligator from the water. Only certain breeds of dog are allowed to participate in alligator hunts, including American Bulldogs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs, Dogos Argentinos, Fila Brasileiros, English Mastiffs, Cane Corsos, Presa Canarios, Dogue de Bordeaux, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Tosa Inus, American Pit Bull Terriers ( Staffordshire Bull Terriers), American Staffordshire Terriers (American Pit Bull Terriers), and any crosses between these breeds.

The use of drugs or chemicals to immobilize alligators is prohibited. Alligators may be taken using firearms (including air guns), bow and arrow, hand-held throw line with a grappling hook attached (snatch-hook), gigs/spears/harpoons with barbless hooks less than 16 inches long that are attached to a flexible pole at least 12 feet in length or less if

Can you hunt Alligator from a vehicle in Illinois?

In Illinois, it is legal to hunt alligators from a vehicle. There are no specific laws or regulations regarding this practice, but there are some general guidelines that should be followed.

First and foremost, it is important to remember that alligators are wild animals and can be dangerous. It is not advisable to approach or capture an alligator without proper training and equipment. In addition, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you are not in any danger of being bitten or attacked by an alligator.

If you do choose to hunt alligators from a vehicle, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, always keep your doors and windows closed when possible. Alligators can jump surprisingly high, so it is important to keep them out of the vehicle. Second, if you must exit the vehicle for any reason, do so quickly and carefully. Do not turn your back on an alligator and never try to catch or wrestle with one.

Lastly, always respect the alligators you encounter while hunting. These are wild animals and should be treated as such. Do not harass or disturb them unnecessarily and be sure to dispose of their carcasses properly when you have finished hunting them.

Final Thoughts

After a long day of hunting, it’s time to sit back and reflect on the experience. Overall, alligator hunting in Illinois was a success! The weather was perfect, the gear worked well, and most importantly, we caught an alligator!

Now that we’ve had some time to rest, it’s important to think about what we could have done better. We didn’t have any major issues, but there are always ways to improve. Next time, we’ll bring more bait and spend more time scouting the area before we start hunting.

All in all, we had a great time and can’t wait to do it again next year!

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