Alligator hunting in Florida is not for the timid or faint at heart. At Florida Hunting Adventures we do our best to provide you with both a safe and exciting hunt. We offer both public and private land hunts. On our public land hunts, the hunter is required to pull the tag via a state lottery system or purchase the tag from one of our guides who successfully pulled a tag. These hunts take place August 15 – November 1 annually. Our private land hunts take place on our own private hunting preserve year-round with guaranteed tags we have applied for from the state.
HOW OUR ALLIGATOR HUNTS WORK
With a state tag hunt, they take place at night on the open water with one of our veteran guides on either an air boat or mud motored duck boat designed to traverse through thick grasses. On our private land hunts, the hunts are spot and stalk on ponds or canals. If we find a gator laying on the bank, we will sneak up as close as possible to get a brain shot. The size of an alligator’s brain is about the size of a golf ball. If we don’t see one on the bank, but rather in one of the ponds or canals, it becomes alligator fishing. At that time, the hunter will try to snag the gator and fight it on a rod and reel until the gator tires out and surfaces. The hunter will then take a shot at the alligator in close range with their weapon of choice.
GENERAL ALLIGATOR FACTS
Male gators generally grow larger than female gators. Males can grow up to 14’ in length. A female alligator doesn’t usually get larger than 9’ long.
Alligators are cold blooded and need extra sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. This is why on a cold day they lie up on local banks sunning themselves. Alligators stop eating when the average water temperature drops below 72 degrees. During winter months, they slow down eating however when the water temperature gets greater than 80 degrees, they come to life and constantly on the prowl for food. Another period that gators seem to be prevalent is mating season. This season lasts between April through June each year. The big males are on the move looking for love. During mating season, they are very vocal at night and make their famous roar or growl aloud. They are susceptible to calling this time of year.
DECIDING ON WHAT SIZE GATOR YOU WANT TO HUNT
First things first. Alligator meat is outstanding table fare. You can’t beat deep fried gator nuggets. When booking your hunt with us, we like to discuss with the hunter their end goal for the gator. This information helps decide what size gator to try for. If it is a gator hunt for meat, then a smaller gator 5’-7’ will be better table fare. If the hunter wants both the meat and tanned hide for leather products to be made, a 7’-8’ alligator might be more suitable. If price is not a factor and you have room for a table mount, then a 9’-10’er is more the right size. Some hunters have a large trophy room/man cave and the budget to go with it, then a 10’-12’ gator should be the targeted size. European skull mounts make an attractive trophy and can be placed on a desk in your home or office.
WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR GATOR HUNT
Your weapon of choice. A small to medium caliber gun .22magnum to .243 depending on the size of the alligator you want to harvest. If you are desiring to do a European skull mount, a smaller caliber is better!!!
Bow and arrows are also very popular. Not to worry if you don’t have your own weapon as we have loaner guns for no charge.
We suggest you bring a cooler for the take home meat – we have ice.
WHAT TO WEAR WHEN ALLIGATOR HUNTING IN FLORIDA
Even though this is a fun hunt to go on, some walking is required. Closed-toed shoes are a must. Let your clothing match the weather. Some exertion will be required during the harvest of the gator, you don’t want to overdress. A hat and sunglasses are highly recommended.
IS ALLIGATOR HUNTING DANGEROUS
Our nighttime hunts that take place on the open water have more potential for a mishap. From falling into the water to getting bit …………..yes it can be dangerous.
Daytime hunts done on our own ranch are considerably safer. We don’t take anything for granted as we walk through areas that are home to these prehistoric reptiles and are capable of running 25 mph for short distances. Extreme caution is always taken especially with treble hooks involved.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR HARVESTED ALLIGATOR
Regardless of the size of your harvested alligator, we handle all the details. If the hunt was for meat, we will cut up and clean the meat here at the ranch at no charge. If you want to have your meat processed and vacuum sealed as well as taxidermy services, we will deliver the gator to a facility in Okeechobee with you at no charge.
AGE LIMIT FOR ALLIGATOR HUNTING IN FLORIDA
There is no age limit on alligator hunts. We encourage introducing kids to the outdoors for all hunting adventures.
The price of our gator hunts does not include a permit which can be purchased in advance at https://gooutdoorsflorida.com/ for $53.00 Most of our clients purchase their permit upon arrival here at the lodge with us.