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Well been planning my private land gator hunt for about 6 months now. I planned the hunt with Florida bowfishing. I have hunted Turkey, fished sharks and bowfished numerous times with Ed MCormick. Ed is a great guy knows Florida and has great equipment.
Ed knows a rancher who has access to about 30,000 acres and i so they have a pretty good handle on where gators are hanging out
I have taken a gator with bow in the past, a small 7 footer and really had my sights set on a monster in the 10 plus range. Leading up to the hunt the ranch workers knew where about two that size had bee. Hanging out
I drove down Sunday the 23 from Orlando and met Ed in south florida. We rigged my bow up and headed over the meet the rancher. Once at the ranch shot the bow a few times and everything was working perfect. We set off for a ranch where they have been seeing a good gator. On the way there a ranch hand sent a picture of a big gator he just located in a small pond in a cattle pasture. Justin said the ranch hand knows his gators, so if he says its a good gator it's worth checking out. We also wanted to make sure it was within bow range, which they felt we could sneak close enough for a shot
We got to the ranch and worked our way around to get the cattle away from where we intended to go. Apparently the cattle will follow the truck as they think it is feeding time, which could spook the gator.
The section of ranch we were hunting was about 1400 acres and had about 150 cattle on it. To the east was a big river. There has been a lot of rain and the ranch which flooded some of the creeks on the ranch. This has allowed the gators to move easier. There was a pond on one end of the ranch which has a creek that flowed, to the east (I think). This pond was not very large, maybe 100 yards long and 60 yards across.
The ranch hand saw the gator earlier on the west side of the pond. This caused a few problems with getting into position and the cattle situation. We decided to drive around the pond and circle back to keep the cattle away. That way we hoped to sneak up on the gator and get a shot.
Once we got to pond we saw him where ranch hand last saw him. That didn't last to long though and as we started toward him he slipped into the water.
Congrats Shawn. Glad Ed was able to help you with a gator hunt
Ed started to call the gator and they told me to move down to the waters edge. I gotta say there is something about being close to the waters edge that you can't see into knowing you are trying to call a massive prehistoric animal towards you to get your blood going.
The smaller gator turned and was listening to the calls but the big guy just didn't want to respond. He would stick his head up and look, but wouldn't respond. When he went under we thought to work around the pond to the side he was on. We got to the side of the pond we last saw the gator on. There was a small canal that ran into the pond that there was always the fear he could have slipped away on us and away.
We got set up about 3 yards from the edge of the pond and started to call. About 5 minutes or so goes by and I see a bubble trail to my left. This was about last place we saw him and thought he was coming up there. Next you know guide points to where he is. I look to my right and there maybe 5 yards away is a massive head just sticking out of the wster. I part of him is covered by a small Bush, but I pick a spot release. I hear a solid hit and we know it's a good hit. Gator takes off and now the fun begins.
We got the gator pulled into shore and he still had a lot of fight left in him. We put another arrow in him and after some more work finally got him taken care of. I couldn't believe the size of him once we got him out of the water and saw how big he really was. He ended up at 11 foot 6 and a half inches.
Hell Yeah!! Congrats on the Beast!!
Thanks bou and BPM. It was a rush I can see how people get addicted to gator hunting
Thanks for the congrats everyone, it was a great hunt.
It is going to break the bank, but I think I am doing full mount. You only live once so what the hell
Good job on the mount decision. No home is complete without an 11 1/2 foot dinosaur in it.
My Hell----> !!!!
Good for you
Good luck, Robb
That’s a good one! Congrats
Thanks everyone. I don't get to hunt much anymore so this was pretty epic.
Wow. We talk about "mature" 5 year old bucks and 12 year old bulls... that thing is older than most if not everyone on Bowsite. Did you weigh him?
I know he is older than I am that's for sure. You know I would have loved to known the weight on him. Unfortunately we were unable to weigh him. It took 4 of us to get him into the truck though.