§ 27-3-19. Hunting alligators; possessing alligator products; gathering alligator eggs.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 27. GAME AND FISH

Chapter 3. WILDLIFE GENERALLY

Article 1. HUNTING

Part 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609

§ 27-3-19. Hunting alligators; possessing alligator products; gathering alligator eggs

(a) Except as provided in Code Section 27-3-15, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt alligators within this state. The display or use of a light in any area closed to alligator hunting by any person not otherwise authorized to do so by regulations of the board in a place which alligators might be known to inhabit and in a manner capable of disclosing the presence of alligators, together with the possession of firearms, spear guns, gigs, harpoons, or other such equipment customarily used for the taking of alligators, during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise shall be considered prima-facie evidence of an intent to violate this subsection.
(b) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 and, in the discretion of the sentencing court, imprisonment for not more than 12 months; provided, however, that such fine shall not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation except that if the court finds that payment of such fine would impose great economic hardship upon the defendant, the court may order such fine paid in installments.
(c)
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, buy, or sell in this state the untanned hide or skin or alligator products from an alligator not lawfully taken under the authority of Code Section 27-3-15. All such hides, skins, and alligators not lawfully taken are declared to be contraband and shall be seized and disposed of as directed by the commissioner. Possession in a store, warehouse, or retail place of business of such untanned hides or skins or alligator products not lawfully taken shall be prima-facie evidence of violation of this subsection. This subsection shall not apply to alligator products made from hides or skins of alligators produced on farms licensed under this title or from hides or skins of alligators lawfully possessed, taken, or acquired outside or inside this state, nor shall any provision of this subsection be construed so as to prohibit the preparation, processing, or manufacturing of such commercially grown or lawfully possessed, taken, or acquired alligator hides or the storage or sale of products made therefrom, subject to rules and regulations promulgated by the board.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to gather alligator eggs from the wild or possess alligator eggs gathered from the wild in this state except pursuant to permit issued by the department for such purpose. The board shall establish the conditions of such permits by such rules or regulations as are reasonable and necessary under sound game management practices, which shall include without limitation specification of when and where such eggs may be gathered, limits on the number of eggs that may be gathered, the placement of gathered eggs in incubators, return of a minimum percentage and size of hatchlings from gathered eggs to the wild, and permit fees in such amounts as are necessary to cover the cost of administration. This paragraph shall not apply to the collection of alligator eggs from an alligator farm licensed under this title.
(d)
(1) It shall be unlawful to possess or transport into this state any untanned alligator hide, skin, or alligator product from any place in which the taking of alligators is prohibited.
(2) It shall be unlawful to possess or transport into this state any alligator eggs gathered from the wild from any place where such gathering of alligator eggs from the wild is prohibited.
(3) All such hides, skins, alligator products, and alligator eggs are declared to be contraband and shall be seized and disposed of in accordance with Code Section 27-1-21.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, it shall be lawful to possess and transport into this state any untanned alligator hide, skin, alligator product, or alligator egg which was lawfully taken and transported and which is accompanied by a bill of sale, bill of lading, invoice, or permit.
(e) Any person who possesses any untanned alligator hide, skin, alligator product, or alligator egg from any place in which the taking of alligators is lawful, the gathering of alligator eggs from the wild is lawful, or from an alligator farm licensed under this title shall retain such receipts, invoices, bills of lading, permits, or other indicia of lawful possession, taking, or acquisition as are necessary to indicate clearly at all times the place of origin of the specific untanned alligator hides, skins, alligator products, or alligator eggs possessed.
(f) The hunting privileges of a person found guilty of hunting alligators at night in violation of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be suspended by the court of jurisdiction for a period not less than two years.

Cite as OCGA § 27-3-19

History. Amended by 2003 Ga. Laws 311, §12, eff. 7/1/2003.