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Gator season not done yet. Clicken tags

bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
Well this is another year where gator season is messing with my deer hunting.  One year I am going to have to say no to some and go focus on a few deer.

Well last night I took out the Pharmacy director and his daughter out to fill his tags.  Both first time hunters.  He was set on getting some boots made and to give her a good experience before she was off to college at FSU.  Target was 8.5-9.5 for the boots.  Was feeling pretty good not just having to hunt big.  

Started to chase one that met the slot but he gave us the slip.  Started to slip into an area where one really had its way with us earlier in the year.  It had run thru a bunch of cypress and under logs.  It finally managed to transfer the hook to a log after about 80 yards. #!#@% None the less we saw one go down and it started to move off once the boat was right on top of him.  I got one hook in and then we managed to get a few more.  A good harpoon job and then a dart from her with the spear gun I was finally able to relax a bit.  She put it down with the bangstick as I was not looking to be out late.  Turns out this one was above slot but we would look a bit more. 

Got back into the lake and saw one where the odds were going to be stacked against us.  By the time I could adjust the trim to get the boat on plane and get there it had gone down and left little sign.  House wins.  Started to move back to where the calm water was and saw a wake running for the weeds and trees.  Told everyone to hold on and I circled to get in front.  Got the boat between the thick and him just in the nick of time.  He popped up and gave the boat a quick look at about 20 feet.  Circled back out thru stumps to open and we got a hook on him.  He circled hard and wide and back to the woods.  He felt confident or something and poped up 5 yards before the thick stuff and we put two more hooks up by the front shoulders.  Then he went under the mat of weeds.  We managed to keep him from going to deep and got the boat wedged in a stump that allowed us to get some leverage on the gator .  We pulled him back a good ways and then it was not coming any more.  We worked our way over and found he was all tangled up in a dead tree  I started to work to remove limbs but had not put a saw in the new boat.  We were not going to be able to cut our way to him so we started to feel around with a harpoon and felt like he was down there but new person did not feel confident enough to drive harpoon sight unseen.  While reaching down and lifting up sticks and at one point I pulled up the gator. His head broke the surface and the newbie drove the dart 4 inches deep in the neck.  One more for good measure and a quick bangstick took the fight out of him.  We pulled he boat out dragging the gator to a bit more open water.  Managed to get him rolled in and tagged.  Two done before dark and put the boat back on the trailer.  Got away from the ramp as the bugs were claiming the area.  

Little big for boots but I am sure I can get a few hides for him.  




The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.

Replies

  • bswivbswiv Posts: 8,154 Admiral
    Long and skinny with big head...????........or is it the angle of the photo?


  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 2,359 Captain
    Awesome hunt bgeorge! Congrats to the new hunters! 
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    bswiv said:
    Long and skinny with big head...????........or is it the angle of the photo?


    That one did have a wider head and not as thick as some from that area had been.  Also the young lady was a very lean.   Here she is next to them.  
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • lookinlookin Posts: 1,399 Officer
    Nice ones.  Awesome story and hunt.  Congrats to y'all.
    God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 4,533 Captain
    Very nice. Congrats.
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 8,154 Admiral
    bgeorge said:
    bswiv said:
    Long and skinny with big head...????........or is it the angle of the photo?


    That one did have a wider head and not as thick as some from that area had been.  Also the young lady was a very lean.   Here she is next to them.  
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 8,154 Admiral
    bgeorge said:
    bswiv said:
    Long and skinny with big head...????........or is it the angle of the photo?


    That one did have a wider head and not as thick as some from that area had been.  Also the young lady was a very lean.   Here she is next to them.  
    In that one things look far more normal.......head to body ratios just tend to be different in different areas. And do know.......it's just killing us up here!!!
  • 4WARD4WARD Cross Creek,FLPosts: 2,572 Captain
    Impressive as always!
    Very nice bgeorge.
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • pottydocpottydoc Port Saint JoePosts: 4,879 Captain
    Dang nice lizards
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,738 Captain
    Nice work bgeorge!  Congrats to you and the father and daughter.  You do good work.  And always makes me happy to see families enjoying a good hunt together.
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    Clicked another one last night.  This one was a request from my brother.  Jerry just retired from HCSO  and had a gator hunt on his bucket list.  He retired after serving the public for 31 years.  

    We saw a few gators and a good one gave us the slip.  Then we saw a smaller one that also managed to slip away.  It was a little breezy and we were working the calmer area.   I had seen another good one leave the calm and start heading to another finger of the pits we were in.  As we were cutting that way a gator came off a bank and started to swim out. Face on he did not look that big.  I told my son lets just hook him and let our guest fight him for a bit.  Well once I hooked it it was a little more solid than I initially thought.  Jerry fought it and we managed to get two more rods on it.  When we got it to the surface it was better than I thought.  Jerry harpooned it as it was exploding.  The dart did not stick.  He broke off two of the rods and we worked and got him hooked with a second rod.  He was not wanting to come up so sent the 20/0 on a rope down.  Being the agitator that I am, I might of said something to the effect of maybe we needed someone from Tampa PD to stick it.  Well the next shot he buried it deep.  We put a second one in for better control of the head and dispatched it with the bangstick.  At 10'7" it meet his 10ft goal.  Once again finishing up just in time for the bugs to take over.  


    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 2,359 Captain
    You’re on fire bgeorge! Keep it up!
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    Well tonight was my dads night. The three living William George's out for a spin. We got a little late start and the wind was not in the best of directions for where I was but we managed to get this one just before dark.  My dad can not throw a harpoon well but he used the spear gun and stuck it to him.  Little on the skinny side but sure like that clickin sound. This one was 10'7". Took a second one to finish out his tags.  A whopping 3 footer.  He has a friend making custom knifes and is using the unsplit small legs to make knife handles.  It was work on another big or go small.  Small presented itself first.  Think my sons tags are next.


    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    Well we were at it again last night.  Wind still blowing strong.  Did not get anything before dark so to a break at dusk and went and sat and had dinner.  Nice change not to be eating so late.  Relaxed a bit and went back to take a spin.  Wind was not as strong but still steady.  Lost a good one as it managed to transfer my hook onto a bush he decided to run through.  Shortly there after we hooked this one and managed to get it on board without to much trouble.  Another tag done.  May take a break tonight and get after it Sat AM. But then again we need to keep at it.  Body does not reset as quick as it used to.  Nice thing is my son drove me home last night so that was one less hour lost.  

    Click


    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    Not done yet.  We may have to go to some different places as the number of >9 gators in our polk county haunts is dwindling.  Had to really work to get this one.  Down to a hand full left.  If I do not find a new spot we may be having more knife handles hides for my dad's friend or another full body mount.  


    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 8,154 Admiral
    Louann and I went this morning.......with one exception nothing worth working on. Darn water is still 80 degrees up here and so high that the gators probably taste like a cross between possum and armadillo!

    Do know........looking at your posts is killin" us!
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    Ben it is the first year in many that I can remember that we did not have a good cold snap before Halloween.  We both know how that can change things.  

    Last night my son and nephew were itching to go out.  Trying to get their skills set filled out.  As I was leaving my wife requested that we go ahead and finish out our tags.  Dang I think she is missing me.  Not good as it is my normal plan to have her ready for me to be away for a bit just before my PA deer season and be missing me as I get back. I have a few weeks to work on getting back on track.  

    Got a little later than I wanted start and did not get to glass the lake we went on before the light was fading.  I do not believe that many people have been on this lake.  We went to an area that did not have any houses and turned on a call.  There were gators coming out all over.  There were plenty around and we let my nephew cast away.  He needs a bit of practice.  He would cast as the gators would just be coming into range and about hit them.  They would blow up and run off.  At some point we probably could have just given him a harpoon and had him dart them as they would approach the boat.  How you miss one on a cast at 20 feet I do not know.  After a bit I took a rod and hooked one.  Pulled it up to the boat and it about 7 so my son darted it.  Quick bangstick and off we were again.  I sat back in the boat and let them go back at it.  After chasing many gators around and them casting all around them and even rolling a few I just had to jump back on the deck.  Hooked a good one and it broke my line.  I must have missed a piece that I needed to cut out after the first one.  Went to another one and got it hooked.  Reminded my son to make sure he put it in the back as we were going to do something with the hides.  Well after about the third time to boat side he threw the harpoon just as it turned to run again.  He said he hit it in the side.  !@%#$ No reason to be in a hurry.  Another quick bangstick and pulled him on the deck.  This one was right at 8ft and would be perfect.  Turns out he harpooned it thru the leg and no hole in the important parts.  Got them packed in ice and will get them cleaned today.  When I got home my wife informed me my daughter is looking to go out Thursday and what tag do I have for them to use. @#$@ $%^#.  I will have to get my buddy to let us use his tag to take them out.  Just about to be clicked out.
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    Well the end of the season is at our doorsteps.  Dale was on deck last night.  He is one of those friends I have had since the mid 80's.  He is a physics instructor at the college where I got my first regular job.  He is now retired and teaching part time.  Over the years we have harassed him on many levels. Could not resist asking which one of the Dem candidates he liked.  You know it is bad when "it is to early to tell".  Once he harpooned a gator in the nostril, then an eye before bang-sticking it in the other eye.  It seems that there is always some thing that makes memories that last.  One of the best was when we got stopped on the water and the FWC officer asked if we may have left a bag on the dock,  Turned out it was his bag with his tags.  Now we insist on checking him on the boat not in the truck. We did not get on the water till after dark.  A bit of a breeze and did not see near the gators I dd the other day.  After a bit we did start to see a few moving around.  Got on one and worked him with the trolling motor.  Could see he was good as he passed in front of some lights from the area of the lake with houses.  Got to the point I thought I could make the cast and missed the mark.  Note to self, once again, take a long cast and loosen up the line since the last time it was pulled tight by a gator.  That gator went down and did not pop back up.  May have memory from the other day when I got broke off.  We went to the next one and I hooked it.  Let our buddy Dale fight him on the rod a bit.  He was not real big and we did a live catch and release.  A quick tape put him at 5.5 feet.  We then went to the next one.  Got close and he went down.  We sat there for a few minutes.  My buddy saw several other gators and thought one moving away was the one we were on.  I did not believe so.  Then the gator popped up and was facing us slightly turned..  A quick cast placed the hook right over his back where it will catch his shoulders.  After a bit of fighting him on the rod Dale sunk a dart in his back.    Never being confident in the first harpoon and not in a controlling position we put another dart on the pole.  Added a second rod so that we could better position the gator for Dale.  A quick pull up and he drove the dart deep in the neck right about where we needed to bangstick him.  A quick pop and he was on the deck.  We loaded up the boat and was off the water in under an hour.  Dang it took longer to drive there then to hunt.  It was great spending time with my old friend.  He was excited to not have an all night trip trying to get a gator.  He is a great friend and it nice to have one that is not fixated on big lizards.  

    Tonight it is the last tag and we are getting my daughter and one of her non hunter coworkers. if we can get another one just like it I will be happy.


    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 2,359 Captain
    You’re seining them bgeorge! Keep it up please. Like seeing those big critters taken! 
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    Well the end is here.  Got a very late start as buddy I arranged to go did not get out of his new job until very late and was on the other coast.  We met at 9:30 and got on the water a little after 10.  Same lake as I had been seeing lots of gators at.  Last night was a whole different place.  Glad I did not check it out on a night like that or I may have never gone back.  We were not even seeing eyes up in the reeds.  The three footers that were all around the ramp were no where to be seen.  All I could think was it was due to the front coming in.  

    I did manage to find one good one that was out and cruising the backyards.  He was very elusive and when I did get in range I almost thought he was casper.  The line would cross him and I would not even get a bump.  He would go down and would be down for about 15 minutes and then pop back up.  My son did roll him at one point.  He eventually stayed down longer than I was wanting to wait.  We went live caught a 5 footer and I was ready to call it a season.  Others not so much so back in it went.  The next two were about 18 inches.  Made another trip around the lake still did not see gators where just the day before there was many.  Came back around and hooked another one.  This one was a bit bigger and it was now 2am.  Quick harpoon and bangstick.  On deck and tagged.  Just under 7ft. Daughters friend was really amazed on how the gator felt and had a great time just observing. .  All a sudden my daughter realized that she needed to be on a job site at 4:45 and we need to be home ASAP.  Dropped the buddy back off and booked home.  Everyone bailing before the boat was even backed up.  We did not even take a pic.  

    Upside was we had a great time with family and a new friend.  Down side is I have another gator to clean but the hide is not all scarred.  

    Side note there were two deer in the driveway and did not want to get out of the way.  That made a perfect transition into the next season...
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 14,859 AG
    Heck of a season you had!

    Good thing you and a friend of mine that guides aren't hunting the same waters. I think his final count was 36 gators. Now I know how he affords all these Midwest deer hunts LOL.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 8,154 Admiral
    Well done all the way around!

    And now......work.......and some fishing.......and some hog control :/ as they are rooting in a stand we just planted and I can not get the guys in the club to sit at night at shoot them!
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    We did have a good season.  We were in the 20 something gators, tagged that is.  Will have to add it up while relaxing in the stand.  This season brought us our best one at 13'5".  For us it is a bunch of fun with friends and taking new people out to experience the communal hunt.  Of all the gators this year two will be more remembered than the rest.  The big on of course that I had to hold onto with nothing more than the rope gaff as it pealed flesh from my hands and the one we took with my wife in the storm.  Those are the stories that will come up still a few years from now.  

    Does one believe in coincidences??  The just retired officer that we took out got a 10-7 which is the out of service code.
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
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