Published: Aug 18, 2010 3:58 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 18, 2010 12:59 PM EDT

CORNWELL, Fla. (AP) - Man against reptile: Florida's alligator hunting season is underway.

Hunters must have a permit to kill gators during the season that runs from Aug. 15 to Sept. 12. And they can't use guns. Instead, they use pole spears, bow-and-arrow, or rod-and-reel to catch the reptile. A pole with an explosive charge on the end, called a bang-stick, is then used to dispatch the animal at point-blank range before bringing it into a boat.

The meat can be sold or kept by the hunter.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued over 6,200 alligator hunting permits for 2010. They were made available by lottery at $270 apiece. Each hunter can take two gators from one of about 130 assigned hunting zones around the state.