Author: Landshark (Alumni)
Everything You Need To Know About Hunting & Cooking Alligator
I was recently invited on an alligator hunt by my buddy Mitchell Brown. I could not turn down the opportunity to go and have been wanting to go on one of these for years now.
My buddy got two tags to fill, in the Northern area by lake Okeechobee. If I say something in this post, that is wrong, I apologize in advance as this was my first hunt and I just wanted to share the experience.
"This was certainly a stalking hunt"
We set out to hunt around 5pm as legal hunting hours for our area as set forth by FWC were 5pm-10am. We were searching up and down the water with our spotlights looking for the distinct, glowing of a gators distant eye. I was honestly surprised at how spooky some of the gators behaved and were quick to disappear after being spotted. I always pictured them to be stand offish and hold their ground till the last possible second, before retreat. This was certainly a stalking hunt, as we had to slowly approach each gator in the distance making sure the boat, our lights and voices didn't shy away these living dinosaurs.
Within an hour we snagged our first gator and had him boat side. We quickly released the 5ft gator as we were looking for something in the 8ft range minimum to harvest. As the night went on, we probably hooked up to 8 gators from 5-10ft in length, with many of them being pulled hooks. We used a giant treble hook hooked straight to a Bimini section of 40lb braid on one of my 9ft snook rods.
After a few hours we harvested two male gators at 8'2 and 8'4, no giants but we didn't see many bigger except the one 10fter that managed to break free after a short fight.
How To Clean An Alligator, Debone, & Get Its Meat
The next step was to clean these overgrown reptiles. Keep in mind this was our first gator hunt and we had no knowledge of cleaning a gator before this point. We watched a couple of Robert Arrington's videos from his DMFD youtube channel (check it out below, which were extremely helpful and basically mimicked his cleaning process. Very cool to see how we can benefit from someones knowledge and pass it on to others.
"The Cleaning Process Is... A Lot Less Intimidating Than You Think"
The cleaning process was a blast and a lot less intimidating than one might think. We did a general overview of the butchering and cleaning in the video for anyone interested in seeing.
Meat To Harvest From An Alligator
- Back Straps
What Meat Is Not Used From An Alligator
The entire process was memorable and provided for a good time with great people and many meals to come! In the video you will see how I prepared the gator marsala style and I talk more in depth as to the legalities and necessity of controlled gator hunts throughout the state!
Here are some pics!
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