Alligator hunting and gator eating

Alligator Hunting and Gator Eating, 2010, is a 5-min. Video that is now available on YouTube at: that contains more information than the older version shown above.

This head belongs to a 12-foot GA alligator.

This head belongs to a 12-foot GA alligator.

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  With states like Arkansas and South Carolina joining the Gulf Coast States in having a sport-hunting season for alligators, there is more interest in hunting this outsize reptile than at any time in living memory. After being protected, alligators have rebounded nicely and their numbers need to be controlled to prevent potentially deadly contact with man. Alligator attacks occur each year in Florida, and it is not unusual for one to three people per year to be killed by them.

Gator hunting has my vote as being the most exciting hunt offered in North  America. No other hunting puts the hunter so close to a dangerous game animal for so long. The hunt for a trophy-sized alligator, over nine feet, takes three people. One to run the boat, another to work the lines and a third that actually does the killing.

 Killing an alligator is a multi-step process. First a line of some sort must be attached. This is usually done

Crossbow, muzzleloading pistol and knife used to take this eating-sized gator.

Crossbow, muzzleloading pistol and knife used to take this eating-sized gator.

 with a bow or crossbow. Then more lines are fixed to the alligator often terminated with a rope attached to a harpoon. The alligator is fought until he is exausted which may take several hours. Finally, he is brought to the edge of the boat and shot with a pistol or bangstick (depending on the state). At this stage he is usually less than three inches from the hunter’s foot. After that, he is drug to shore and a knife used to sever the spine behind the head. After all of that he may still struggle for 15-minutes before he is “dead enough” to safely put into the boat.

 Most often this hunt is done at night. Throughout the nation the alligator harvest is done by permit and it is closely monitored.

 Alligator meat, if not cooked too long, and if tenderized by being

Gator ribs on the grill. A sweet fruit-based sauce does best.

Gator ribs on the grill. A sweet fruit-based sauce does best.

pounded or run through a machine, is excellent eating. I make an alligator paw soup, gator burgers out of the red leg meat, have gator ribs with mango or pear sauce as well as the more usual fried gator tail.

 There is a partial chapter on alligator hunting in my book Crossbow Hunting and more on techniques and also recipes in Practical Bowfishing.  A PayPal button below the book’s description on my website will allow purchase at a cost of a little over $20.00.  This out-of-print book is now selling for over $50.00 at  The crossbow book may be ordered from, bookstores and other sources. Nothing about alligators made it into  Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound because of the restricted distribution of this animal.  

 Master Hunter Bowie provided by Buck Knives.
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9 thoughts on “Alligator hunting and gator eating

  1. We are, all of us, different creatures. All of the more than 100 post in this blog reflect hunts that I did post heart by-pass surgery.

    I think myself, and have demonstrated that I am, more fit now that I was prior to my heart surgery. Not only do I hunt, but I also do a regular exercise program at a Wellness center at least twice a week.

    I think that all of this really helps both physically and psychologically.

    Wm. Hovey Smith

    • I fear if I changed my blog name every time I wrote on a new topic, I would have 56 blogs for 146 posts. The name of this blog reflects the title of my book “Backyard Deer Hunting” which also covers hunting, working up and eating many more animals than deer.

  2. Pingback: Index of First 150 Post, New Intern « Backyard deer hunting

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