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View Full Version : Aligator hunt - Gulf County - 8/19



Panhandler80
08-23-2011, 10:12 PM
Not really fishing, but...

Learned a lot and had a really good time.

Got drawn for the same county that I hunted last year. Last year my schedule did not allow me to even try until the end of October. I went in a 22 ft bay boat with a 225 on the back, a trolling motor that broke and would only run in reverse at full throttle, harpoons and snatch rods only and in an air temp that hit about 45 at midnight and steamed the lake up so badly that vis was reduced to about 40 feet with no light and about 10 feet with a light.

Was hell bent to have some sucess this year. So bent, in fact, that we hired a guide for this past weekend. We'll be doing in our own this coming weekend.

Guide was good, hunting was NOT. Traffic was light to moderate, but there were very few gators. Last year we saw lots and lots, but could not get close due to size of boat and not having a troling motor.

We hunted until almost day break. Night went as follows.

Launced boat and saw 1st gator at ramp. Got near him. Called him. Swam into boat. Neat. About a 5 footer. Going to be a good night.

Gator number two about 5 min later. Looks good. Approach. Goes under near bank. WE're about 50 yards from where went down. All of a sudden.... WhaaWHOOSH!!!! And off goes a HUGE animal. I whispered to guide, "Guess he's gone, huh?" He responds, "Not always. Sometimes, they'll do that and then stay exactly put." We motor over there a little bit. He starts calling, and sure enough.... at about 12 yards he pops up. BIG critter.

Instrution at ramp was... top dot of crossbow... I'lll tell you when to shoot... you decide if you want to kill him or not. Well, I just boght the same crossbow the guide is using, and I've been practing a little with the fiberglass bolt, AMS retriever line and muzzy gator point. I had the second pin held over just a litle tiny bit at 12 yards and the safety off. Was about to squeeze because I knew I had him. Right then I thought, well... guide said don't shoot till he gives go-ahead, it's early in night, would hate to get on guy's bad side right off bat, maybe I should.... WAHOOSHHH.... and off he went. Dang.

Over 10 ft said the guide. I told him that I had the safety off. He asked why? I said because he was bout 12 yards (guide said 13) and I had the second pin held over just a touch and the gator was prett much broadside with a big deep neck.

He responded, "Well, yeah... that would have done it. If your comfortable with that distance, shoot next time."

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

After that we snuck up on / calle lots and lots of 5-6 footers. Around midnight we got in the main body of water and the action had slowed some. I had been on the trigger for 3 or 4 hours and wanted to make sure my buddy got a chance.

We pulled up on a 6' and I drilled him.

Buddy went up and the plan was now, "Let's look for someting bigger, if it's late, we'll take another one like this if we're still at one gator." Well, we loked and looked and looked. About a 4 hour dry spell.

MUCH to the guide's credit he was very frustrated but he stayed at it until the very end. He said it was some of the most difficult hunitng he's ever done. Finally around 4 am we snuck up on one near the bank that I guess thought he was hidden. Drilled him and had a 7 footer in the boat. He was only 7 foot nothing, but he had a pretty wide head and was right thick for a 7' alligator. Lets put it this way... it LOOKED like an alligator instead of an eel or a snake like my 6 footer.

Tags filled, we're happy, and back to the dock.

Will ben trying it again this Friday night and I"m excited to do it by myself. Having watched the guide all night we did learn a lot. For one thing, we were doing LOTS of things correctly last year. We just didn't have the right gear and the wx sucked.

We'll get two more this coming week, at least I think we will. Not only that, but if we do a 6'1 and a 7'0 on our own I'll be way more proud of them. The guide worked his BUTT off and called until he couldn't talk anymore. WE just weren't seeing any good alligators. Hat is definitely off to him for his attitude and willingness to stick with it. That being said, I was kind of hoping for a couple larger alligators considering we had a "pro" on board, but I KNOW that he tried his best and that's just part of it. Thanked him and tipped well.

Looking forward to trying it on my own though. Really wish I woul dhave let one fly on that big gator. Oh well.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/gators-2.jpg

[mg]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/gators3-1.jpg?t=1313977829[/img]

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/gators3-1.jpg?t=1313977829

My 6' did / does have a real pretty hide. Still had that youngster collering. Lots of yellows and olds and greens. Will make a great rug mount for the wall and at 6' I have plenty of options when it comes to placement.

Pretty ain't he? Do you see the other 4 legged animal in the picture? He sees you!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/gators2-1.jpg?t=1313977958

Split the 7' alligator from the top and fleshed it today. Going to have it tanned. So tired right now after the all night hunt, the cleaning, the fleshing of two today, etc. Anyway, in this picture, I didn't realize that I'd rolled it up all kinds of wrong.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8213129.jpg?t=1313978124

Here it is done correctly and before going in the brine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/gators4.jpg?t=1313978288

This next weekend we're going to try a few differnt things. For starters, we're going to run as far as we can from the launch when it's daylight and then work our way back towards the ramp (and against traffic). Hopefully we'lll be the first people to see a handful of gators as we work our way towards the traffic. We should meet about half the boats (assuming some go N and some go S when they hit the lake) around midnight as we get back in the waterway to the ramp. They'll still be going out and we'll be headin back in. My hope there is that the gators have calmed down a little bit after all the idots have passed... and BOY did we see some idiots Friday night.

We're also going to wait for a big one. If we're seeing lots and lots of 6-7' alligators we're going to hold off until 1 or 2 am. Then either bag two them real quick and head home. Or we'll go until daybreak for amonster.

What we're NOT going to do is shoot a little one right off the bat and look for a big one all night (kind of what we did this past weekend).

BEST THING OF ALL ABOUT THIS PAST FRIDAY is that my confidence is way up and I'm really looking forward to going back and doing it on my own. I think we'll have some luck.

donald811
08-24-2011, 12:30 PM
Sounds-looks like fun, good eats too. What lake ya'll huntin?

Panhandler80
08-24-2011, 03:49 PM
We put in at White City and headed east.

JoeFish
08-24-2011, 05:41 PM
Thanks for that report Pan. Never hunted gators but have eat my share.
As Troy would say from swamp people.. "chooot em"..

donald811
08-25-2011, 01:02 PM
Thanks for that report Pan. Never hunted gators but have eat my share.
As Troy would say from swamp people.. "chooot em"..
I love that show.:grin

Old Dog
08-28-2011, 09:38 AM
Here's another good one.

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http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20110828/NEWS02/108280335/Dallas-County-quartet-grabs-13-foot-gator