Where to hunt Alligator
Literally millions of alligators dwell in the freshwater coastal rivers, lakes and marshes of the South-Eastern USA. The American alligator hunting heaven is, without a doubt, Florida; however, alligator hunting is also possible in Texas, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. In fact, the great river gave the alligator its scientific name: Alligator mississippiensis. Another species of alligator exists in South-East Asia, but it is critically endangered.
Alligator hunting is usually priced on a daily rate + trophy fee basis. The daily rate starts from $500, and typically includes the use of the vehicles and gear necessary for alligator hunting (bows and crossbows, harpoons, bangsticks, swamp buggies and air boats, etc.). The trophy fee depends on the size of the ‘gator. It may vary greatly from outfitter to outfitter, but a rough rule of thumb is $500 for the reptile 7 feet or smaller, and $500 for each foot over that.
Learn more from our blog story
Alligators and crocodiles are one of the oldest creatures on this planet - they evolved as far back as 60 million years ago, and the fossils of their immediate ancestors date back to 220,000,000 b.c. These reptiles are wonderfully adapted to their environment, and perform an essential ecological function. Read more about their evolutionary history, the risk they pose for people in Africa, and how to hunt them in our post about the Nile Crocodile.17 May 2018 Immersion Into the Past: Crocodile Hunting
When to hunt Alligator?
Alligator hunting seasons typically start in mid-August to early September and end by November. In some states, like Florida, alligator hunting on private land is legal year round. But here weather may play its part. Alligators, being cold-blooded, are most active when the temperatures are in the 80 to 90 Fahrenheit (28-33 C) range. They become less active when temperatures drop, and will become dormant when it’s colder than 55 F (13 C).
Hunting methods All hunting methods (6)
Alligator hunting in the USA is, in most cases, looks more like fishing. Most states require the hunter to capture the alligator before killing the reptile. This is done with the help of harpunes. Often, the hunter starts with shooting a light harpoon with a string from a bow or crossbow, and then, having fought the reptile within spear throwing range, use a heavier hand-thrown harpoon with a stronger line. Hunters might fight the strong and actively resisting reptile for hours before they bring it near their boat. Then the alligator is dispatched with a firearm, usually a handgun or a bangstick (a type of single-shot firearm that is secured to a rod and discharges point-blank from contact with the target). In some areas on private land African style hunting by stalking or baiting alligators and shooting them with rifles is legal.
Why hunt Alligator?
Alligators stir a lot of emotions in humans, mostly negative: reptiles are not creatures we find easy to associate with. The feeling is not mutual: the reptile brain has not developed the parts that are responsible for complex emotions, and the alligators are quite literally cold-blooded killing machines. While alligators are far less dangerous for humans than African crocodiles, fatal attacks on people happen almost every year. Hunting helps maintain fear of humans, and thus reduces the likelihood of human-alligator conflicts. In the past they have been, and in limited numbers still are, hunted for their valuable skin, and alligator meat forms an important part in the Southern cuisine. Harvesting an alligator is a challenging and exciting task, not without an element of danger, and it’s not surprising that many people want to experience it.
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