Let me tell you, this is just 'off the charts.' Here I am in shorts, with my son running the video camera, as our boat is being towed all over the lake by a monster alligator I just shot with a recurve and a Muzzy fish arrow. It doesn't get any better than this! I just need to keep holding onto that float and not let the gator dive to the bottom to find a stump.
Tiger kept reminding me not to let go and I wasn't. We traded places so I could put gloves on my hands. They helped from getting cord burn but it was harder to grip the string. I did the best I could but my strength was getting weaker the longer this went on. For 10 minutes we fought that gator but it was apparent to Tiger the big reptile was getting wore out. This was what we needed.
We pulled on the string until I could see my arrow. It had slid down the cord. We continued to hoist on the cord until I could see something coming up from the bottom. When the first tell-tale stripes of the gators' tail were visible it was like I was pulling T-Rex up from the deep. This thing was simply enormous.
The alligator rolled and wrapped string around his torso. This complicated our ability to get a snare around his mouth but at this point, both of us were pretty confident I had my gator. We pulled up his tail and by following Tiger's instructions, got him pulled up the right way for Tiger to get a noose around his neck and then a snare around his mouth.
With the gator totally worn out, we had just one thing left to do, but it was a big one. Getting the enormous lizard into our boat! That took two of us but with a little elbow grease and a lot of experience on Tigers' part, we did it. At first he didn't fit too well so we had to stick his head in the storage compartment to get him all in. He was indeed a 10' trophy alligator and a fat one at that.
We shook hands and celebrated the moment and decided to do a quick sweep for another gator Matt could shoot. We spotted one but he was so spooky we gave up on him. There was little else on the water so we decided to quit while we were ahead and call it an 'early' night. We pulled the boat out of the water by 2 and were back home by 3 AM.
What a trip. Sharing this hunt with my son was a dream come true for both of us. And frankly speaking, far better than I had expected. This hunt with TNT Gators has got to be on everyone's short list.
Pat and Matt Lefemine with their 10' and 6' Gators taken in North Florida.
A very special thanks to Mark Land and Fred Settles from Muzzy Products for helping set us up with the best Alligator gear on the market.
Mike Hunter started trapping gators with his dad, the late Tony Hunter when he was just a boy. Tony had been trapping gators in Florida for 30 years and Mike carries on the tradition today. He recently took his kids to Orlando on a family vacation and guess where his kids wanted to go? Gatorland! So there's a good chance the tradition will be passed on to his kids too. Mike's biggest gator is 13'9".
Tiger has been trapping gators for 11 years. In that time he's seen it all and we shared lots of stories during our hunt together. Tiger's biggest gator is 13'4." He once told me his closest call was when a huge gator clamped down on his thumb. His teeth were so large that his thumb was never severed and the gator never realized he had it. Mike was able to slip it out of the gators' mouth.
These guys were real pros. They took real good care of my son Matt and made him a big part of his hunt - right down to taping up the mouth of his still alive gator! They stress their hunts are all fair chase on wild gators. Despite the hunt name, a nuisance gator hunt is all about chasing the gator, you will not be shooting gators on golf courses and backyard pools. Your hunt will take place like mine did, often in large bodies of water looking for trophy gators.
If you want to hunt with a bow you'll need to purchase Muzzy's Gator Kit and probably 2 additional arrows for good measure. Matt came home with all of his arrows and points but I lost 2 arrows and a float. If you want to kill a gator you can also spear them. While I opted out of this method, it is effective but takes some getting used to.
I highly recommend these guys. As you can tell, they will get you on some BIG gators. They even guarantee it. And you can also hunt lots of smaller gators if you wish so the fun doesn't end when you're 9 footer is in the boat. This is also a terrific hunt for a youngster and you can combine the trip with a family vacation at the same time.
If you are into bowfishing, this hunt is equivalent to hunting lions in Africa. It's just nuts but worth every penny.
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