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Bowhunting Alligators in Florida - 2008


This is a 2-day hunt but since we are running it midnight to midnight it will appear as 4 different hunts.

Night 1 - before Midnight

Night 1 - After Midnight

Night 2 - Before Midnight

Night 2 - After Midnight

Discuss this hunt
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Matt was still on cloud nine for our 2nd hunt even though it was my turn to shoot. This hunt was just with Tiger, Mike had a birthday party for his daughter all day and couldn't join us. But he did suggest we head to a lake that shares its' north shore with Georgia. The lake held some really big gators but it could be hit or miss according to Tiger. The weather was also a little touchy with a lot of thunderstorm activity in the area and somewhat of a cool front moving in.

We got to the lake after dark, launched and started looking for gators. This lake was huge and much wider than the one we hunted last night. It was also windy which for gators can be difficult. First, the gators don't swim as much in even a slight chop. But more importantly, even the most miniscule surface chop can pop and slap against the sides of the boat. That's a deal killer when you're within mere feet from an alligator. So tonight was going to be tougher for sure. Still, Tiger was confident we'd get on them.

We spotted a gator way out into the lake. The bigger gators tended to roam the open waters more than the smaller gators so there was a great chance he was a shooter. As we got closer Tiger told me he was better than just a shooter, he was probably a 10 footer! He could tell by noticing a number of things, the first was the length of the head, the length of space between the eyes, and the wake it made by the width of it's back. I remembered this from last night since that huge gator we lost had lots of his back out of the water whereas the smaller gators didn't. This guy did so we eased up as quietly we could. But we couldn't get close enough since the chop slapped against the boats' hull sending the gator underwater and out of sight.

He surfaced again several hundred yards away. We pursued him. It took us quite a while this time. Tiger wanted to get the wind and the chop just right to minimize the sound. But the gator was onto us and he went down again. We stayed with him one last time but he was sinking much faster so we moved on to try and find another gator.

Tiger could see a couple of gators but they were hugging the shore and he assumed they were small. We searched for another 20 minutes but all we could see was the big gator we'd been following. But this time he was heading back toward the Florida shoreline and if he got within 400 yards of it the wind was blocked by trees. So Tiger said, "let's give him one last shot."

I couldn't help but wonder if tonight would be a bust. It was already just about midnight and by this time last night we had several shots and a dead gator already. Like any hunt, weather is a major factor. But we had all night if need be but after last night I don't think any of us wanted to do that again.

Tiger eased up behind the gator and moved as slow as possible behind him. We followed him for probably a quarter mile before we started to gain on him. Matt was running my video camera and I told him to get ready. He flipped it on and started filming. Tiger continued behind him at a steady pace but the alligator turned and slowed down. The shot was now coming together. I could feel the adrenaline building. Would I get a shot at this monster gator?

The gator was still moving slower and we gained on him. Then he turned perpendicular to us and was now in range. The shot was longer than any of our last shots but I knew he was already spooky and this was probably my only chance. I pulled back my recurve and took aim at the gator's side. The hit was on the money!

The gator took off in a massive splash and headed for deep water. I fumbled for the float and told myself there was no way I was letting this one get away. The line drew taut and the gator nearly pulled me into the water. But I was not going to let go. The boat, with two full grown men and a boy were being pulled across that lake. We needed to keep the gator off the bottom or we'd have another dilemma. It was now after midnight and we had a 10' at the end of my line. This hunt is a kick!

Tune in tomorrow for the last update.

TNT Accommodations & Hunt Details

Included with your hunt with TNT is a very comfortable home next to a quiet lake. This was icing on the cake as it was so relaxing there you could sleep all day when you needed to. They also include a meal, transportation, and processing your gator is available.

Your hunt takes place near Tallahassee so you can either fly there, or did what we did by flying to Jacksonville and driving 2 hours. We combined this hunt with a trip to Orlando for Disney, Universal Studios, Kenney Space Center, and of course "Gatorland" - assuming you haven't had enough reptillian adventures with Tiger and Mike.

The hunt is 2 days long and they take care of the rest. All you need is a trapping agent license which you can get online for about $50 (2008 price).


Next - Day 4

Our Guide for this Hunt is TNT Gators. A few slots are still available or 2008

Tiger Godwin
3443 Highway 178
Jay, Florida, 32565
phone - (850) 675-6020
[email protected]

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