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Gator pics and story
Drew a decent tag, second season - gators were spooky. Let my cousin use 1 of my tags - his dream hunt and he took his frist gator a nice 6-1/2' gator with xgun. Hunting with a guide and an airboat. I was holding out for 10' plus. We saw no gators this size my first 3 days. My last day we tried calling. First setup produced 4-5 gators but only 1 small one got close. They definitely saw our airboat and 3 guys on it.
We added some ocean fishing which was blast and I am eating some raw fish right now!
A gator in the tub is worth 2 in the marsh! Chillin him down.............. my cousins
My last night hunt:
We moved locations and setup again this time in thick cattails. Visibility was limited and I was debating ask our guide to get a little closer to the edge. I decided not to realizing that we were hidden a lot better and the other guys were not as serious and moving around more then I liked. I also realized this was, for sure, the best idea if you want a gator in really close and had potential for a small gator to sneak right in without warning. Bigger gators would move cattails and weeds enough to be noticed - hopefully.
After 20 minutes of calling we heard splashing and some type of bird/duck about 10 - 15 feet away. The thick cattails prevented us from seeing any movement water or otherwise. I was 50/50 if it was a gator or the birds making the rukus.
After a few minutes it stopped and all was quit for about 10 more minutes..................
The same splashing sound and bird noises started coming from the opposite side of the cattails. Once again it was about 8 feet away 10 at the most and we cannot see anything. At this point I am convinced it is just the birds
I am in the middle of the boat standing on the seat we normally sit on when moving. I'm trying to get the best of you I can't of the marsh around us is extremely hard to see anything and I am memorizing every dark spot that could be an alligator head. I'm waiting to see one of them disappear or move.
The last picture was my alligator from last year. There's about 7 o'clock and there is a boat nearby beating alligators we hear another airboat starting to cruise the lake. This is my guides first time calling and the Bluetooth speakers hanging on the front of the boat.
All of a sudden from the location of the splashing comes a loud crunch of cattails getting smashed down and I turn to see a V forming in the cattails headed straight for the boat 8 feet away!
It is very obvious there's nothing else that can make this noise except an alligator. It is still daylight. The three of us exchange a very excited shocked stair! and I slowly and carefully get down off the seat and make my way to the front of the boat grabbing the harpoon which I call a spear.
I am extremely excited they realize this is a great scenario we are hidden very well and very prepared! I'm very cautious I want to be sure it is a good alligator which is going to be difficult in the thick cattails.
Whatever is approaching moved about 3 feet at a time then pauses for 30 seconds to a minute the call is spitting out baby alligator distress sound right next to me as I stand on the front of the boat which is about 16 inches out of the water. The movement of the cattails changes from straight at the boat to parallel right in front of it 3 feet away! I begin to catch glimpses .....
I feel a tap on my shoulder that I wave off there's nothing I need to know and I continually nod my head letting them know I'm beginning to get glimpses of the alligator. I know it is not tiny and likely not a 12 foot monster beyond that I do not know. I've passed up with early dozens of alligators around 6 foot give or take a foot.
Killing me here.....Keep it coming!
Aren't,you,supposed to kill the gator first so you don't have to give it water?
The front of the airboat I am standing on is sloped up for smooth sailing and I'm standing on the edge still trying to determine if it is a good enough Alligator. Everything gets a little blurry at this point but I looked down and he pops up literally at my feet with his head under the boat and literally 1 foot away from my feet. He is directly facing the boat and at this point can't see me at all and his back is right in front of me I am holding the spear or harpoon whatever you want to call it. I can tell he is big but a lot of him is still submerged.
Hope he dint get eaten....
Finally it occurs to me that the width of the back is a Goodnuf indicator this is a shooter. Worst-case scenario he is the size I was willing to take that day. I remember thinking to give it everything I had.
I raise the harpoon and slam it down with all my strength. To quote my guide and cousin it looked like my feet left the ground as I drove it down.
I remember feeling it hit the gator and puncture the thick scoots on his back. I felt the harpoon mive as he jerked and rocketed off.
The gator tears off tearing a new path through the cattails splashing water on mud everywhere. I remember the line shooting out then the float at the end of the line flies off the boat. He runs into lilly pads. It is easy to follow his course- there are bubbles coming off the bottom and Lilly pads moving. He comes to a stop about 10 or 15 yards away.
We move towards the gator and my guide explains he is worried about the line coming out - the scoots on the gators back are really tough to penetrate. Also we are following the gator as he moves through the lily pads and the line is getting more and more tangled in the lily pads. He is worried it will break. I am holding the crossbow ready to get a second line into him when he surfaces. It is only a matter of time before he has to show himself!
We follow him around for about 5 minutes and I almost got a shot when we see his tail as he swims away. We are within 10 feet of him most of the time. Finally as we carefully pull in the line and clear the weeds of it we get to the point that the line is straight down - and we are in 2-3' of water!
As we gently pull the gators back and head appear next to the boat. I am about to shoot when the guide says wait and goes for the bang stick. He loads it and I request he goes for the spine not the head (I want to save the skull). He bangs the gator with a 38 shell behind the head in the neck perfectly. We wait a minute and the gator doe snot move. My guide, like last year, agreed to let me pull him in and my cousin tape his mouth shut with electrical tape. I grab his mouth firmly with one hand holding it shut - the gator thrash and opens his mouth and tries to bite me!
We decide to hit the Alligator with the bang stick again. This time my guy ignores my request to not do it in the head I cannot blame him! What happens next is on believable. He hit it with a bang stick and says he's finished. Looking down I explain to my guy that did not do anything and again he repeats he's done.
A picture is worth a 1000 words
Sorry for the duplicate picture
What I see is the bullet flattened on the alligator skull with no penetration at all! In the duplicate picture you can see the white spot which is all the damage the bullet did the skull is still solid and you can actually fit them back together like a puzzle piece. The dents formed in the bullet matching the dents in the alligator skull!
My guy repeat the bank stick with the same result no penetration. At this point we give it a little bit and haul the gator and he is basically dead obviously from the shot to the spinal cord.
I have not seen a ton of alligators but enough to know this guy was scarred much more than normal all over the place. This is clearly a bite mark from another Alligator
Duplicate picture = 2000 words Great stuff Don! Nice story and pictures, but how big did he end up being? Congrats!!
He was 8-1/2' long not sure on weight
C'mon you've got more pics of the gator!!!
Save that bullet for the skull mount!
I think this is the best photo ever posted on the Bowsite!!!!
I can only imagine the explanation. "Oh, honey, I'm sorry I forgot to tell you about the alligator in the tub. I'm also sorry you freaked out and ran into the door jamb and split your head open. What do you mean, no more alligators in the tub? Let's be reasonable......."
I am saving the bullet & head! More pics soon, puter and cell issues!
Awesome adventure for sure!
wow, that's awesome man, congratulations!
Great job, congratulations : )