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View Full Version : 8/26/11... "Fishing" for Alligators... we got our last two.



Panhandler80
09-02-2011, 11:11 AM
Well, last week we used a guide and ended up with a 6' alligator and a 7'1 alligator. We hunted from dark until around daybreak and we only saw one good sized alligator.

This past weekend a couple of buddies and I went to try it on our own. My first trip ever was last year in late October. We were in a very big boat that had a trolling motor break and snatch hooks were no good because the only gators we coudl find were in thick thick cover. No success that trip. Trip two was last week with the guide. Third trip ever was this past Sat.

We learned a little bit with the guide... an important factor was how far away to shut down the big motor and go to trolling motor. Even more important however, was learning just how much time you need to take for each alligator and the fact that the guide trip gave us a lot more confidence.

I will say that doing it on our own made it 100% more fun and rewarding.

I was able to call a couple into the boat, but they'd quit before getting in range and they got real nervous once they got close. We ended up killing out two by just takng a very very very long time to get up on them, using barely any light and just being as quiet as possible. The laser on the crossbow worked, but not great. It did not occur to me that the laser would simply penetrate the water and not reflect. This means that you only see a red dot when it's on the alligator. Made it tough, but we were able to work around it.

After working some kinks out, the first gator game at 1:20 am. It was a 7'1 alligator that I shot. He was zig zagging a real small piece of creek. He finially went to the bank and I think he thought he was hidden. We got about 5 yards from him and I started trying to get the red laser to provide me a reflection... finally it did... means it was on SOMETHING. In the low light I could tell it was an alligator, but I didn't know which way he was facing. I knew from practice at the house that at 15 feet laser was 100% dead on for elevation with that particular bolt / point / line set up. I kept moving the laser, but it wasnt' popping up. Finally it did and it was right in his eyeball. He was underneath branches and tons of other vegetation near the bank and I was kind of crouched over so that I could shoot underneath all the overhang. Well, when I saw the laser hit that eyeball I let it fly. Gator went bizurk. Was pretty cool.

Check out the through-the-eyes shot... Hahaha.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8273131.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8273132.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8273133.jpg

That gator measured 7'1" and was a carbon copy of the 7'1 alligator from last week, so I'm going to have those two hides tanned the same color and finish.

After we shot him, our confidence was boosted significantly AND alligators started showing up left and right. We got really good at getting close, but we have not gotten very good at judging the size of them. Our secret for getting close has been to kill the motor as soon as we see the eyes and instantly go to the lowest light possible. I'd say our average approach time for each alliator was at least half an hour. We got up on a couple that looked bigger than they were and it kind of sucks to waste that much time and not shoot, but we did want another gator at least as big as the first one.

We have gotten where we can easily ID a large gator when he's high off the water, BUT... we have also been very suprised by what we think is going to be a tiny gator, and it turns out to be a good one that's just 99.9% submered. That being said, it's hard not to take ever pair of eyes seriously. The next gator we had a shot at proved to be just like this.

We had just killed mine, and my buddy was up next. We saw a little glow and it looked like a small alligator. We too our time, got up on him, and it was probably a 9' alligator. We would have been THRILLED with this. Unfortunately, we had a crossbow malfunction. I think the bolt had inched it's way forward a little bit and the string did not grab it solid. Bolt went about half the distance it should have and the bow made a terrible sound. Fortunately, it's a Excalibur and nothing was damaged. Lost that gator.

The next decent was was the next one to get shot at, and he was killed. My buddy got the laser on him, and I told him to shoot when it was time. He fired and the alligator literall rolled over, nose came out of the water, and he sank. My friend 100% stoned him. I figured he spined him, and we confirmed this while cleaning.

At the end of the knife in this picture you can see where the broadhead went in. See the three flaps of skin? Now look where the broad head is. Its on the other side of the spine. Dang thing went right through the spine and killed this alligator dead as a wedge. We sticked him just for good measure, but it was a neat shot. Bolt detached just like it should and this gator was 100% ours and most definitely securly attached to our line.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8273162.jpg
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Me taking my time with the 7'1"... still managed to put a hole in the hide... grrrr.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8273157.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8273158.jpg

Back at the house, and tired!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8273137.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8273147.jpg

I think this is the 7'7 skin. The 7'1" alligator was a carbon copy of the 7'1 alligator from last week, so I'm going to have those two hides tanned the same color and finish.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8283170.jpg

This guy was not sure what to make of the whole alligator thing...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/Panhandler80/P8283171.jpg