Alligator Trapping Just Doesn't Pay Like It Used To

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Who knew that the recession would even affect alligator trapping? Prices for the hides have been reduced from $60 a foot, to $15 a foot. People who thought they could pick up some extra income in trapping alligators from backyards, now realize that it is not in their best interest to quit their day jobs. TimeCNN reports Florida paid trappers $30 per gator trapped, but trappers are hanging up their nets for safer and better paying lines of work.

Yes, regularly tangling with 10-foot gators sounds kind of crazy. And getting paid peanuts to do so sounds seriously crazy.


ndemiter's picture

that's just a shame.

that's just a shame. considering the fur-trappin market has been undergoing a series of changes that have drastically affected the way in which most people are trapping, you'd figure the market would open up world wide for alligator skin if the price were dropped only a little.

i do know that on the January sale of the NAFA muskrat fur did not sell. and coyotes were going $160 tops. beaver was down... enough that i decided not to trap this year to hold out for better prices on beaver.

hopefully next years beaver, bobcats and coyotes will be strong enough for a guy to make some money. If the practice of ivory hunting was still viable, i'd be doing that for a living. making some REAL money with just a mans wits and his rifle. that's how it should be.

back to gators; I would like to see the state offering free or reduced tags to property owners for gators so that your average guy could take care of the gator problem on his own. it's a shame how the hides aren't worth anything anymore.

hunter25's picture

I ahd no idea that selling

I ahd no idea that selling the meat and hides was the main source of income when trapping gators. 30 dollars per job is nothing with the cost of everything else that goes into getting it done. Sixty dollars a foot would pay off well but fifteen won't get you far as most of the gators are not that large. I know when I shot my ten footer in Florida the hide went for almost nothing and the cost was too much for me to get it tanned. We did keep and eat the meat which was something new and enjoyable but don't think I would pay a premium to buy it either.

Hopefully these guys can find some better work and maybe just do this for fun in their soare time. Despite the pay I bet some of these guiys love the challenge of the job.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, I guess not everyone

Well, I guess not everyone can afford those alligator skinned boots, huh? Wink

Tough for the guys that make their living on this type of thing.  I remember when pelts went down to nothing back, maybe 20 years ago.  Everyone I knew back in Vermont used to trap, but now, I don't know of any.

Plus, you could always sell the gator meat.