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Knives and Alligator Hunting

  

Muzzy's Mark Land with an 850 lb. GA gator.
Muzzy's Mark Land with an 850 lb. GA gator.

 I hope that most of you gator hunters in the Southeast have your gators by now. A video in an earlier post describes alligator hunting and cleaning, but I have a few things to add about knives.

  Alligator hunting is one of the few sports where the actual kill is made by driving a stout knife between the skull and backbone and severing the spinal cord. Even with its brain blown to mush, the gator can “come back to life” and still be powerful enough to chomp off a limb or swamp a boat.

  Among others, Jim Zumbo had an incident in Africa where a 14

A Buck Master Series Bowie
A Buck Master Series Bowie

 footer revived in a 14-foot boat and caused considerable excitement. For a killing knife I prefer a stout Bowie-style blade. This has enough “prick” on the point to work between the backbone and skull and sufficient blade strength to do the job.

  Gator skinning and cleaning is best done with flexible sharp knives. Here

A professional gator processor with knives and hide scraper.
A professional gator processor with knives and hide scraper.

the less point the better. It is a real chore to get the hide off one of the critters, and a task to do so without making as many holes in it as you make cuts.

  Wash your critter down with Clorox-water and dishwashing soap to kill as many surface bacteria as possible before starting. It also helps to inflate the space between the hide and the carcass with an air hose to help break the hide free from the animal.

There are verbal descriptions and photos in my books  Crossbow Hunting  and  Practical Bowfishing.  See more about them at www.hoveysmith.com.

  Bowie knife furnished by Buck Knives.

4 thoughts on “Knives and Alligator Hunting

  1. Hi, Wasup.
    I read ya thread on hoveysmith.wordpress.com
    Very interesting
    In fact I have been Googling for something like this for yonks
    hoveysmith.wordpress.com is definitely on my bookmarks now.
    Great effort keep up the good work !
    John

    1. Dear John,

      I try to hit a variety of topics in a short blog format that most outdoor writers don’t cover.

      If you like what I do here, you will also like my books. I have the most complete chapters on the details of gator hunting in “Practical Bowfishing.” This is out of print, but I still have some copies. Purchase another of my books and I will sell this one for $20 (now listed on Amazon for $50 and up). The order details are at http://www.hoveysmith.com.

      Whether you want a book or not, enjoy the blog.

      Hovey

  2. Great story. I always have a handy knife with me when out hunting. I stopped in to Smokey Mountain Knife Works and got some great knives for any kind of condition.

  3. […] Knives and Alligator Hunting (Sep 26, 2009) […]

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