First of all I want to thank everyone on here that post there stories and pictures. You all inspire people like me to go and follow their dreams and complete their goals. A dream of mine was always to take a gator with a bow so I booked my spring trip in Florida for a gator and hogs, but there is more things hunt/fish so my Florida trip went from 3 days to 14 days. Day 1- I loaded up my “shaggin Wagon” and left Ohio and headed to Florida
The first leg of the trip was a Saltwater Bowfishing trip Off of downtown Miami for string rays, I did a night and day hunt. The night hunt rained almost all night so the night was not successful but I did get some night pictures of Miami. The day hunt was also really slow, I did connect with one stingray but the arrow pulled out right when I tried to bring him to the boat. But I did see some manatees which was a awesome experience for a Ohio boy.
Next leg I went about an hour north of Okeechobee. The weather was horrible . Rained all day the first 2 days but I still sat in a blind for hogs and 1 day we even let the dogs out . That was a new experience. Even with the weather “pork was on sale in Florida “
With the weather the night gator hunting was really tough. The good thing is this time of year the gators are in Rut and looking for females and the property’s we were hunting butted up to the Kissimmee River, which was full of gators but you can only hunt state land in September and October but we only had private land tags. I spot and stalked a couple gators in a reservoir at citrus farms. Some failed and some gators were smaller then I was looking for,
We found this gator in a farm pond and knew he was a good gator. I tried to stalk him twice but everytime I got close enough to attempt a shot he went under water, so we decided to go in the middle of the night and set up a blind. So the next morning before sunrise I got in the blind and threw out some pig lungs to help pull him in. After sunrise I seen him hanging on 1 side of the pond and It took 3 hours before he decided to come into range. I needed him to be 15 yards for me to be able to connect with my big game retrieval system. Finally I got a arrow into his belly,
After I shoot I grab the string and he pulls me out of the blind chair and the blind flips over from the string pressure on the blind window. Once I got control on him I was able to call for help. After fighting him and my help shows up and I was able to put an arrow “actually 3 arrows” into his brain to finish him off to make this a 100% bow kill!
The last leg of my trip I headed far south to key west where I hopped on a boat and headed 20 mikes south off shore to bowfish Maui Maui. We would troll and catch a schoolie and bring him buy the boat and when the school would follow him we would shoot!! This was a tough hunt because what look like 2’ deep was really 10’ deep
I’m with midwest. Bummer that you didn’t draw a manatee permit! Looks like you made the most of it on everything else, Will! Did you take a freezer full stuff back home to Ohio with you, in the shaggin wagon?