I would prefer to do one of the public hunts (was thinking Florida) but don't know much about the process. I would be flying in from Alberta and may want to do some bowfishing or a hog hunt while down there.
Any suggestions on outfitters? How hard is it to get a tag? Do you normally use your regular compound bow and set it up? Any knowledge on getting the meat and head/skin back across the border?
Any advice would be appreciated.
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I got my permit during the leftover phase which is after the results are posted on the draw and is first come first serve online deal and the system crashed several times that morning.
You could do this hunt yourself but would be tough to do from the bank of the unit I hunted so need a boat. I hired a guide who had an airboat, the crossbow and the bang stick.
Was amazing to get out in the water and see hundreds of sets of alligator eyes reflecting back at you. A big gator will have wide-set eyes when facing you and large diameter eyes if facing sideways to you. The color is a bit different on the larger eyes as well.
I think Florida kills more nuisance gators per year than are harvested by hunters on public land. Seems very conservative management of the public lands harvest.
Once hunting them was enough for me. The bugs were thick and when would light up the spotlight tower on the airboat you would see millions of bugs. Probably 20 - 50 bugs in the volume of a basketball. The smell of the gators was like two-week old dead fish left out in the sun. I never could get the smell out of my shoes even after bleaching.
Meat ate good though a bit fishy and tough so had to tenderize it with a mallet.
I picked up the leftover tag since had not drawn a Western big game tag and I had only a few more draw results pending. I usually have a tag or two in hand by early June but not that year.
If you want to make it interesting, don't bang-stick them, snare their mouth shut and fight them til they wear out! Strong, but not a lot of endurance, been a while since I've shot some, good times!