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Alpine_Archer's picture
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Location: Martin County NC
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Florida first time alligator hunt need help

I just got done putting in my app for the county wide alligator trapper lics. This will be my first time on a "real" alligator hunt.

 

I'm looking for anyone thats experianced doing this down here in FL. I'm not looking for spots or anything like that because my area is LOADED with gators big and small like most of the state. What I am looking for is how to go about it... What equipment would you suggest? what to do with the gator after I kill it... I've heard that there are processors here that will buy the meat and hide from you?

I have a bang stick and snare and a bowfishing setup but was wandering what would be the best route to take. I've been thinkin more along the lines of snatch hooks and snares... But most people I see doing it use a bow or crossbow...

Thanks for any help or info or links to good articles. I've read pretty much everything on the FWC website concerning rules and regs. I'm pretty excited about this and hope I get my permit.

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Location: Colorado western slope
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I've killed one gator down

I've killed one gator down there so all i can give you is the rundown of how I got mine. Like you said in some areas there are tons of gators. Mine was taken on private land with wide irrigation ditches running between agricultural areas. We simoly stalked along the banks ubtil a good one was spotted and put a bullet to the back of the head. I used a Winchester 94 in .32 special and one shot was the end of it. He fairly quickly sank to the bottom and we used a heavy braided line with a huge treble hook on it to drag the bottom where he went down till he was hooked up and then drug him in.

If I remember right it was about 10 1/2 feet long. I didn't know where to sell the hide and the cost of tanning was too high so it went to waste but the meat was pretty  good, there's quite a bit of it in the tail. I did make a cool european mount out of the skull, it took a lot of work as it is very different than any thing else I've worked on but the procedure is the same and worth the effort.

Good luck on you draw and hope you get a good one.

Alpine_Archer's picture
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Thanks man... From what I've

Thanks man...

From what I've been reading your not aloud to shoot the gator with a gun or bangstick untill it's under controll of a rope, snare, gig, or fish arrow. So I can't really go that route(although it would be the easiest). I also read that you can't use a baited hook in FL also which really sucks. The route I'm thinking is using a snatch hook or gig with a break away point and rope...

The more I look into it the more of a PIA it seems. There's all kinds of papers to fill out when you kill one and you have to return the unused tags withing 14 days if you don't fill them or you won't get any next year.

It sounds like I got alot of homework to do if I get this permit.

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you are pretty correct on the

you are pretty correct on the legality of this. what is commonly done is setting a line of steel cable baited with chicken out over night. you fight the gator in and dispatch it. i wonder if you could put out multiple lines and cut the cable off if the gator is too small. when you're in a situation like this. call the florida game department and talk with them. then, go to your spot and look around to make sure you know the porperty boundaries well.

your best bet to get an awesome gator is with bowfishing equipment.

if you end up taking a rifle, take a small caliber with a FMJ bullet. i used a 30-06 with a soft point and there was no head left after the shot.

hunter25, sounds about like you took that gator about the same place i got mine. the shooting method and snagging is a widely accepted method down there, but there are details of legality that are not met from what i understand. to me though, it seems more ethical and safe to use a rifle and spot and stalk

hunter25's picture
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If I understood it correctly

If I understood it correctly the way you and I hunted was legal because the hunt was conducted on private land. If it was a normal hunt on public land or waters then the rules are totally different.

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FLA GATOR HUNTING

Snatch hooking gators is a lot of fun and is the way we prefer to hunt them.  But you have to have them secured on a line before you use the bangstick.  We usually use a 12/0 weighted treble hook on a spinning rod with 60-80lb test line and work them upside the boat to hit 'em with a harpoon.  The harpoon point/dart has a short piece of cable with a 1/4" rope attached.   If its 10ft or bigger we will put two harpoon darts in it before we work it up to bangstick it.  The rules for Florida state wide and county hunts do not allow you to use a firearm so a bangstick is the next best thing. 

Check out http://alligator-hunting-equipment.com/  not only do they sell gear but they have a lot of information about equipment and techniques with forum dedicated to gator hunting as well as links to guides, processors, and other gator gear vendors.  You can also email questions to them at gatorslayer@alligator-hunting-equipment.com

Good luck on the Drawing, we should no what we got by the end of the next week.

 

 

 

Alpine_Archer's picture
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Thanks for the help guys

Thanks for the help guys unfortunatly i didn't draw my permit this year. There is phase two but I doubt there is any left over permits in my area I wanted to hunt...

Untill next year...Whistling

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FL Permit Drawings

Hey Man, I got my permit last year in the second phase, I checked the availability the day before and there was one permit for my area that did not get purchased.  So at start time for phase two I was sitting at my computer with fingers on the keys ready to submit my application and I ended up getting it.  Just check permit availability the night before or the morning of the second phase.

Or just go after a different area to get your first hunt in, get some experience on handling your gear and the gators and work out any problems.  So next year when you get the area you want, you will be ready. 

After all you don't want to miss out on a chance at one like my son and daughter got on their first trip(11.5 ft with chunk of tail missing):

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groovy mike's picture
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I'd love to alligator hunt in the state of Florida someday.

I'd love to alligator hunt in the state of Florida someday. 

I was just watching the television show Outdoor News last night that had a piece about the illegal taking of alligators in the state of Florida.  It seems that a lot of folks are taking more than their allowed two and using methods that are illegal.  One method that the television show described as illegal was using a baited hook with a float attached.  I don’t know the details but it is definitely good advice to check with the State of Florida game department and confirm that everything you plan to do is well within the letter of the law.  I wouldn’t mind trying alligator hunting someday.  If I did I would definitely make an effort to preserve the skull in a European mount style, and I might just opt to have the hide tanned (or try to do the taxidermy myself) if it was a big alligator (Ten plus feet).  That is generally what I do when I figure that I can’t afford a taxidermy bill – I just try it myself.  If the hide doesn’t turn out well then I have lost nothing but my time since it would have gone to waste anyway, but if it turns out well then I have taught myself a new skill and have a nice trophy to show for my efforts.  That seems like a pretty good deal to me.  At least worth rolling the dice and investing a few hours and pounds of salt, etcetera toward the taxidermy effort.  Whether you decide to attempt completing a taxidermy project yourself, or hire someone else to do it for you, or decide to fore go taxidermy all together – definitely take a LOT of photographs.  You can blow up a big ten by twelve photograph and have it matted, mounted, and framed a whole lot cheaper than any taxidermy project that you hire anyone else to do.  And if the taxidermy turns out great then you have a companion photograph to display right along side it showing what the animal looked like in the field too.  It’s a win : win on all fronts altogether.  So go ahead and take those pictures!

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We do our own......

We do our own european mounts with the gator skulls, we seperate the jaws and keep the teeth up inorder to keep the teeth in their proper location until all the flesh is removed.  Then we number the teeth at the root end with a marker as we remove them, so its easier to reassemble.  I currently have a hide in brine waiting for me to tan.   We clean a couple ourselves for the meat and sell the rest but the prices have dropped so much and its been harder to find processors to buy them.  But the taxidermy fees remain high, too high for my pocket.

Yes, its illegal to use a baited hook, but you can use bait with a wooden peg(has to be less than 2inches long) to hold the bait on the line.  You can have a float on the line but the line has to be attached to your boat or to you, it cannot be left unattended.  Baits work best when they float or are hung above the water from a tree limb, brush or a pole driven into the lake or river bottom.  The smelly baits work best, such as rotten chicken, fish or some other meat.  Some people like using lung because it floats.

There are different rules for hunting on private property, but I hunt on public areas and the rules are not complicated and like hunting anything, you better study them before heading out.  And they vary from state to state.

I also hunt hogs, turkey and deer, but gator hunting is probably my favorite, its a mix between hunting and fishing.  We usually hunt two to four together and everyone gets to participate, that is if they have a license.  We always have a great time. 

Alpine_Archer's picture
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All hope is not lost. Today

All hope is not lost. Today is the last day of pahse 1 and last day to pay for the permits. There are still 12 leftover for my area and I plan on entering the phase 2 draing on the 8th. They are first come first serve so I have a decent chance of getting one as long as I'm quik to put in my permit...

 

Wish me luck and I'll respond with how it went...

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