Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Gator hunters through out the country are paying attention to South Carolina this weekend, hoping their luck will lead to a photo next to a big gator
Applications to enter the gator hunting lottery are due Sunday.
"I think for a lot of people it's quite an adrenaline rush because you potentially have an animal that can hurt you," said Jay Butfiloski with the Department of Natural Resources.
DNR expects some 4000 people from around the country will apply to hunt gators in South Carolina.
The season starts in September and lasts a month.
Hunters will pull gators out of swamps in 4 different regions that stretch from Columbia to Charleston.
"Over the last couple of years we had a pretty big surge in application rates," Butfiloski said. "It could possibly be attributed to the swamp people phenomenon. The last two years application rates have slowly decreased."
The online application enters you into a lottery but not everyone gets a tag. It costs $25 to submit the application.
Last year, hunters from 44 states and Canada applied to hunt gators in South Carolina.
Relative to our size, it's still pretty popular," Butfiloski said. "We have quite a number of guides and still a good interest in alligator hunting."