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FWC: Alligator hunters must resubmit applications

For immediate release: May 27, 2010

Contact: Henry Cabbage, 850-488-8843

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is working to get things back on track after learning about a problem with alligator hunting permit applications.

Active Outdoors, the company that provides the FWC’s licensing and permitting system, said a coding error resulted in the recording of incorrect harvest period choices for many of the Florida alligator hunting applications.

The FWC has taken steps to ensure that Active Outdoors has fixed the problem, but because the company was unable to recover customers’ selected harvest periods, new applications will have to be submitted before a random drawing can be conducted and permits issued.

The agency will be accepting new applications between June 1 and June 14. Everyone who previously submitted an application will have to resubmit a new application during the new application period.

Meanwhile, Active Outdoors general manager David Dutch issued a statement saying, “Active Outdoors, vendor for the FWC licensing system, recently discovered we had an issue with the alligator application process that requires applicants to resubmit their applications. We deeply regret this error, and we understand and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to FWC staff and its constituents. In addition, Active Outdoors, in furtherance of our commitment to FWC and its constituents, is waiving all convenience fees for online Internet purchasers of the licenses awarded as a result of the random draw. Florida residents buying online will save over $9. Active Outdoors will forego an estimated $75,000 in revenue from these waived convenience fees while covering all costs of the online purchase, including processing the payment and printing/mailing the license.”

Erin Rainey, head of the FWC’s Recreational Licensing Section, said prospective gator hunters had submitted 9,681 applications during the original application period. The FWC is contacting all applicants via e-mail or the U.S. Postal Service to inform them of this issue.

The FWC had planned to post the results of the random drawing on its website on May 27, but resolving the problem made that impossible.

“Customer service is a high priority in this agency, and we are disappointed with the service provided by the vendor in this instance,” Rainey said.

The start of the alligator hunting season, Aug. 15, will not be delayed.

For more information about gator hunts, visit MyFWC.com/Gators.