By Deja Knight
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina's third gator hunting season kicked off over the weekend and locals are already bagging some big ones.
With gator season underway, officials urge hunters to look over rules and regulations for the sport. The Department of Natural Resources requires every hunter have a registered tag and only few are chosen to receive one.
"There's a lottery system for the tag, for 1,000 tags," Kenneth Cordray said. "If you're lucky enough to draw a tag it's a $100 fee and then once you have your tag you can go out on public lands and kill your gator."
That tag is important and each tag represents one gator. The Department of Natural Resources issues 1,000 tags and hunters are only eligible for one tag per season.
"They were hunted almost down to extinction in South Carolina," Michael Cordray said. "Now, they're like gangbusters, they're everywhere. They don't want their numbers to get slim again so they control how many can be hunted."
After the gator is killed and taken to be processed, every part of the gator that is used must have a tag whether it be the meat, the head or the hide.
Kenneth Cordray said hunting gators is worth following the rules.
"Gator hunting is dangerous," Cordray said. "It's fun, it's different, it's not the normal sit in the deer stand and wait for something to come out. A little more action, little more danger, a little more excitement."
Alligator season will go on until Oct. 9.
"We had a guy last year that fell out of the boat on top of the gator," Cordray said.
For the complete list of rules and regulations you can go to dnr.sc.gov.