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A different kind of hunt...

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A different kind of hunt...

Old 01-15-2008, 10:06 AM
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Default A different kind of hunt...

I grew up in the Midwest and now live in south Florida. I had to explore some new bow hunting options here so decided to do an alligator hunt. If you have never tried a Gator hunt, check this out. I will try to give you a feel for what its all about. This was my first crack at it and I really wanted to take one with a bow.

(In my opinion this is nothing like bowfishing so I will post it here)

Enjoy!

Imagine being in a 10' aluminum jon boat in the middle of a steamy night in a swamp in South Florida surrounded by dozens of extremely brazen Gators. (not to mention a bunch of huge spiders and a few unidentified snakes).

Sliding quietly through the water you are passing within inches of the noses of several curious Gators. They sit absolutely motionless even though you are less than two feet in front of their noses and staring them in the eye with the red light of your head lamp. You pass by one, then another and another trying to judge how big they are, not quite sure if you want to put an arrow into the biggest one in the area or settle for a smaller and less dangerous one.

You see a set of eyes in the distance that appear much wider than the ones you have passed and realize that you may have spotted your quarry! The sense of nervous anticipation builds rapidly as you get closer and closer. You tell yourself that this is what you came for and wonder how many people in this world could maintain there composure in this situation. You slide quietly toward him wondering if he is going to sit and wait for you or explode in a burst of energy shooting toward you or disappear into the murky water. He is still there, now only 30 feet away, then 20 then 10! As you draw the bow he lets out a deep rumbling growl, warning you that you are in his territory. The time has come and you realize you will only get one shot at this! There he is, maybe 5 feet in front of you. You try to bury your nerves and focus only on the task at hand which is making the perfect shot and nothing else. You let the arrow fly and the explosion from the Gator sends a wall of frothy water in to the boat! The line goes peeling out of your reel and the float flies off of the bow and in to the water! You've done it! You have attached an arrow, line and buoy to a big old South Florida Gator but now what?

This is where it really gets exciting. Eventually the float stops and you make your way over to it. You reach in to the hot, murky water and nervously grab the line, and slowly give it a pull...kaboom, the gator is off again! The momentum of the gator spins the tiny boat around and you are off again!

After several attempts you get nearer and nearer until, in the dim glow of your headlamp, you see the arrow and realize that this very large and unhappy gator is directly underneath the boat! Even though you are in less than 3 feet of water you can't see anything, it is way too murky. you SLOWLY pull on the line, making sure that you are not tangled in it in case he makes another explosive run. Bang stick at the ready, you strain to see anything in the murky water and all of a sudden he appears right below you in the murky water, maybe 10 inches away! Quickly you position the bang stick and KABOOM!!! You hit your mark, just below the waters surface.

Now you get to reach down and quickly grab the jaws and hold on tight, hoping that the 223 bullet did its job. As you lean over the edge of the boat with both hands on the jaws of a gator far too large to lift in to the boat you glance up to see several sets of curious eyes only a few feet away and coming closer to see what all the commotion is about. You quickly but carefully get the jaws taped shut and head for dry land holding your gator along side the boat wondering how big it really is. The few moments at the waters edge are again quite exciting, knowing what is lurking just beneath the surface of the murky water.

Whew, now thats what I call a hunt!

My first gator. 9 foot 3 inches long. We didn't get a chance to weigh it but I would guess about 250#?

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:07 AM
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Default RE: A different kind of hunt...

More pics!

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:09 AM
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Default RE: A different kind of hunt...

Another pic.

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:11 AM
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Default RE: A different kind of hunt...

Sorry, I could only figure out how to do 1 at a time.

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:14 AM
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Default RE: A different kind of hunt...

My second gator. 8 foot 1 inch. Another VERY exciting hunt!

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:18 AM
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Default RE: A different kind of hunt...

Thats awesome, congrats on your trophy. Great write too.

Have you eaten any yet, go to Florida every year to visit grams, Gator meat is tasty!
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:20 AM
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Default RE: A different kind of hunt...

Yeah, eaten a bunch. I am working on a few different recipes. It is great simply fried but the meat is really very versatile.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:40 AM
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Default RE: A different kind of hunt...

Very cool!
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:42 AM
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Default RE: A different kind of hunt...

[:-][:-][:-][:-][:-][:-][:-][:-] WOW talk about a great hunt! Congrats!!!!
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:45 AM
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Default RE: A different kind of hunt...

Sounds like fun. Do you do anything with the skin? I think it would be awesome to have boots made from an alligator that I killed.
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