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My last Alligator hunt.....

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by H20DAD, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    I’m posting this thread because I’m getting tired of looking at those two goofballs sitting on blue fins out of Monteray Bay, stud fish by the way. Please guys post up some reports.


    Ok, so I killed my first solo gator in 2015 on a reissue permit here in Floriduh. 11 footer. I’ve never been able to pull tags in the regular lottery in 9 years until this year. Got one of my favorite duck hunting spots where during duck season I see 10 footers like I see whistling ducks. (Everywhere and up close.)

    This gator season my area has been nothing but straight 9+ footers with nothing over 10. My buddy named one canal the “9 plus” because of it. Other people’s tags and my erratic deer hunting kept getting in the way of me getting back out to fill my second tag this year, killed a little 9’3” gator opening night.

    I had no hope of killing a gator over 10’ but I had seen one that I thought might go 12’ last year hunting with another permit holder on the 9 plus.

    Anyway. Weekend before last I rallied the troops (coworkers, friends, kids, and another permit holder) in the hopes of filling his tags with a noob or two along on some solid 9s.

    It’s pouring down rain an hour before we get going all across south Florida. It looks like solid monsoon all night. My coworker bails but, I’m still going. Rain makes gators do stupid stuff, sometimes.

    We roll into the unit and the noobs are already lost driving around. They didn’t wait at the entrance gate. So I step out of the truck and hook a solid 8+ footer so my 7 yo son can watch and hold the fishing pole. He finally breaks me off on some structure in the canal and I hook another 7 footer for my son to work on. He gets to hold the rod but because of the light rain I don’t get any pictures.

    Just about dark the noobs finally find us and we set to work. One pass of the hand held spot light reveals about 20-30 7-9 foot gators stacked in the eastern most third of the canal we are riding along. I spot a solid gator pushing 10’ and hook it. Hand off to the new guys after a few minutes and walk to the truck to get a second rod. Get back and they have broken it off. It pops back up and I hook it with the new rod. I let it settle in hand the new guys the rod again and walk back to the truck to tie on a new hook. Get back to them with the new hook tied on and they have broken it off again. This continues on different gators for the next hour. “Face palm”

    Finally hook a decent 8+ footer let them fight it and harpoon and bang stick it. 9:45 and we have a solid meat and skin gator in the truck. We are half way down the canal towards home and they have another tag so I say we will hunt out the rest of the canal and head home. We had been messing with this 8.5-9+ footer for about an hour so all the better gators that we screwed up on before we hooked it start popping up for air. My buddy points out one he thinks is solid and I look and guess it is in the 9+ range. The kid holding the light for me gets kind of excited and says “he looks really big”. I’m not seeing it but I make a cast and hook him. He takes off down the canal and for the next hour we get hooks in him and keep pressure on him. Then he decides to move down the canal and doing some weird stuff on the bottom. I imagine he has found some sunken structure in the canal and I start working with a third rod to see if I can get him to move.

    Typically when we have two rods with 100# class braid we can make many large gator move and pull them.

    I get the third hook into what I think is gator or a tree (in hind sight there are no tree within miles of this spot, not sure what I was thinking) and start dragging it along the bottom of the canal for many feet. Suddenly the gator moves and POW goes the 100# braid. A bubble field at least 15 yards by 10 yards starts rising from the bottom and I am left scratching my head. We are 1.5 hours into this fight now. Typically our big 10 footers don’t last this long and we still haven’t really seen the gator since we first hooked him. He got one breath while he was moving but we didn’t see him.

    At this point I work to break off two more hooks on this gator trying to make him do something. We are at three total and still have two rods in him. Another 20 minutes later he starts to move and breeches about three feet of head and neck out of the water to get a breath. I am holding one of the rods and pull with everything I can, he moves away from like he isn’t even hooked, warning bells!

    He settles back into the bottom, I get a third rod into him and we start putting pressure on him. Can’t move him even a little. Break off another hook and he comes up for a breath. Again he doesn’t respond to pressure and he also breaks off another hook. This scares me and I quickly retie and get a second hook into him. He breeches yet again 3-4 feet out of the water and we have a third hook in him and can’t do anything with him.

    At this point my experienced buddy Carmine and I being to ponder how in the heck we are going to kill this thing. We haven’t been able to get him in closer than the mid point of the canal, move him at all with three 100# braid lines and we can’t get him close enough for the 20/0 hook on the 500# paracord and Carmine says he is worried the gator will pull him in if he is holding the paracord line. No lie him expressing this scared me more than anything. He’s a big dude and does bravado like any Italian from Long Island diving wrecks with speargun and sharks is a walk in the park to him.

    I walk down to the edge of the over grown canal and stamp the weeds down with my boots right at the waters edge. I get Carmine to loop the 25-30’ of paracord and beg him to give it one try. As I am finished saying this the gator begins to move consistent with coming up for air. I start the “pull with all you got you female dogs” encouragement to the two other guys holding rods and we start backing up. It’s all or nothing now. This time the gator starts coming towards us. As he dives down we turn him towards our bank and get him closer than ever before. He pops up and we pull even more. Carmine throws the big hook and it goes over the gator and lands 6” past him. He pulls with all he has, I drop my rod and run for the harpoon, fly down the bank and thrust it into the right front shoulder of the gator before it has time to react. I had the line to the 6’4” 21 yo giant noob hunter and tell him to pull hard while I run for the power head. I sink the first round into the gators neck and he just looks at me. I reload and at this point Carmine is warning me “that gator is still alive don’t get in the water”. I agree with him and place a second .223 three inches behind the skull. A 4 inch fountain of blood erupts and he is done.

    Carmine and I look at each other and shrug and start guessing lengths. We won’t even guess he’s over 11 feet. But he’s big. I tape the mouth and we hook a strap around the neck and pull him up the levee to the road. Put a tag in his tail and go to the truck to get my phone. The guys pull him across the road and I snap this picture. I now get that he is bigger than I thought.
    BEA777EF-CCBD-42C9-830A-4B317244AB4D.jpeg
    Here are the guys and my son. My boy slept in the back of the truck for the three hour plus fight. He never complains. I’m so blessed.

    E371630F-BCD8-4BE2-BC67-0D923171A33D.jpeg 6A26939C-4A27-48A3-81DA-E817CAD51B68.jpeg 5F289A97-E840-40EC-B5E9-332426BEFDA0.jpeg

    Had to turn his head up and wrap his tail just to fit in my truck bed. The little gator is 8.5-9’ long.

    643003D2-FA95-4C3D-AFF7-338550E5DA6D.jpeg
     
  2. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    So it’s late and we run back to Carmine’s house run and get 200# of ice and pack it around the head and tail. And measure the gator.

    I return the next day to get some photos and cut up the big boy.

    Having killed many gators over 10’ I’ve never gotten a big skull. It is always somebody else’s gator. I get skins and meat but never the skull to display. This gator is so big Carmine and I are talking about how small it’s head is to all the big 10’+ gators we have killed.

    The length of the gator was throwing us off. It came out to 12’4”. I’m in awe of how big it really is. The head I cleaned up this week and is my new display table piece. 27”x12”.

    A761A94D-9131-439C-B233-F718E29ED3CD.jpeg 15240D53-76AC-431F-8BC6-E6BD6BA008E9.jpeg 8C7C2154-DDFF-4E8F-AC20-A414C6A664A8.jpeg B1D290E8-9567-4D64-9C54-2AC50411B4EA.jpeg AF5787CB-0D8D-4E4A-B9E7-8159B761D612.jpeg
     
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  3. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    Boiled the head and compared it to the 9’3” and 9’7” (which had a really big head for its size.)

    9A909E3D-8BA6-4AEE-9AC5-B8088E89D282.jpeg A721F71F-4C7F-429A-8B6D-669BC65ACA51.jpeg BD5BA98B-EE54-4C62-AF13-78F389AC01BE.jpeg CFB3C572-6DE5-4FF7-AB64-FB88ED005477.jpeg 357D0FD6-100E-4423-9A74-1D79C6E0D58C.jpeg
     
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  4. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    Mods. Change the front page already, even if it isn’t my post.
     
  5. oleww

    oleww Senior Refuge Member

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    Nice.

    not much of a market these days. We are eating meat and freezing skins (not selling either) hoping there might be a market next year. Can’t give them away.
     
  6. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator

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    Would like to help, but unsure what you want. This is a cool thread.
     
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  7. Dr Duk

    Dr Duk Elite Refuge Member

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    Can you post some pictures??:l
     
  8. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    834CB63A-09B8-42A4-95F5-1395C0DA0F90.png

    Make this picture not the first one on the home page. Any other thread even the yellowtail ceviche pre poo thread.
     
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  9. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator

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    Home page pics are software generated, based on views, I think. No can do.
     
  10. salthunter

    salthunter Moderator Moderator

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    So have the boy click on the pic a few thousand times ?
     

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