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Hi all! I am new to Bowsite. I have read the posts daily and decided it was time for me to join. I was wondering if anyone can recommend a fair-chase alligator bowhunt in Florida. After researching the net, it appears several places maybe gator farms. Any help would appreciated. Thanks
You can apply in the draw and, if successful, will have two permits to harvest alligators in that hunt unit. I got my permits as leftovers a few years back then hired a guide so had an airboat and crossbow with all the rigging to make the hunt smoother than if I tried to hunt from the bank of a canal or lagoon. Was a nice experience though they smell like dead fish that were laying in the sun for several days. The bugs were everywhere and when would turn on the floodlights it was thousands of moths, skeeters, flies, beetles, etc. No joking, probably 100 for every cubic foot of air around the lights. One of the more memorable things was heading out for the hunt at sunset then when got the airboat on the lake and turned the spotlights on there were 100s of glowing orange eyes surrounding us. All were alligators. Big ones, small ones, some staring at you and some sideways but were glowing for as far as the light shown.
The public hunts are in narrow windows of time then an end of season second chance for any unfilled permits.
I bowhunted alligators in Florida back in 2013 and I went with Capt. Josh Mattson who owns and operates "Airboat and Gator Charters" near Orlando, FL.
The reasons why I went with him are numerous. First off, he does airboat tours and is always on the water and knows where the gators are, he was able to secure a tag for me which only required me to purchase a "Trapper Agent License" for ~$50 and lastly, he doesn't charge "Per foot" of the alligator that you harvest. He charged me a very appropriate flat fee and that covered any size alligator that we may have ran into that night. The one I took with the bow measured out at 10'2".
You can look him up on Facebook or on his website. Great Guy and fair. Bowhunting alligators is a blast. You'll love it!
Gator quest/ruttin, struttin, reelin in Acadia, FL. Speared a 11'2". Was a very exciting hunt! Great group of guides and enjoyed the accommodation.
Do it yourself. It is much more fun. Airboats are fun for touring, but they are so loud it detracts from a hunt for me. I tow my boat down every year and have taken 22 gators all DIY. It isn't too difficult to do. You just need the right equipment.