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Hunt Gators in Loxahatchee? Sure, Why Not

Git yer huntin' guns, boys! Hunting gators in Loxahatchee will soon be a thing.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it's expanding hunting at 26 national wildlife refuges, including Loxahatchee wildlife refuge.

Despite an outpouring of emails and letters saying that gator hunting kind of goes against the whole idea of a "wildlife refuge," the OK has been given to go get your gator huntin' on.

South Florida conservation groups are already planning to sue to have the whole thing shut down once the hunting starts.

The main beef is that Loxahatchee is a part of the Everglades, where people go to see what's left of Florida's wildlife in its natural habitat.

That kind of changes when you're showing your son a family of gators lying in a marsh getting their heads blown off by Elmer Fudd.

"The refuge serves a purpose as the last northern remnant of the Everglades," said Matthew Schwartz, executive director of the South Florida Wildlands Association.

The other side says that won't be the case, that gator hunting will be only at night and in places where visitors don't normally head into.

So what could possibly go wrong?

For now, the plan is to have 11 permits issued to hunters and a limit of two gators per Fudd. They'll need to hunt the gators with snares, harpoons, spear guns, and crossbows.

A study has shown that the hunting won't have an impact on the refuge's alligator population. Except, of course, for the ones that are actually shot with a harpoon.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter



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