The Hunt is on….from an Airboat!
There are two ways approaches to an alligator hunt – either over water or on land. Because alligators spend more time in water than on land, most gator hunters favor to hunt them while they are in water. A common means of hunting alligators over water is from an airboat which takes hunting directly on the water. Hunting alligator from an airboat is a preferred manner of gator hunting since it is more convenient in terms of mobility especially at night.
Alligator Habitat and Hunting Tours
Alligators’ natural habitat is the wetlands. Some of the places where they can be found include canals, water retention areas, ponds, lakes, marshes or swamps. In areas where they thrive, there are usually airboat operators that charter their airboats and offer alligator hunt tours whether during the day or night. These operators usually offer a hunting range that cover acres of swamps, lakes and rivers in both private and public properties. Normally, hunting packages come complete with a tour guide, an airboat and equipments.
Choice of Hunting Weapons
Compared to hunting on land, hunting alligators from an airboat differs the hunting method significantly. While hunters can use shotguns, rifles, pistols, gigs and even hook sets when hunting on land, there are communities where hunters on airboats are not allowed such weapons especially at night and in public waters. In such areas, legal weapons that can be used for alligator hunting include the compound bow, re-curve bow, crossbow, detachable-head harpoon or bang stick. This makes alligator hunting from an airboat even more thrilling as the case is not necessarily a one shot-one kill scenario.
Essential Hunting Gears
Whether hunting for gators on an airboat or on land, much of the gears used are the same. Aside from carrying the legally regulated weapons, gator hunters are also advised to wear sturdy, close-toed shoes with a good grip when it gets wet. Some gator hunters wear waterproof clothing to help protect them from getting wet and from the cold especially when hunting at night. Hunters are also advised to wear camouflage or dark clothing especially when catching gators using a harpoon or arrow so as not to be easily seen. Other gears needed include an alligator tag, water, snacks, rope, a knife, tarp, and coolers with ice especially when planning to skin and process alligators on board.
Remember, alligator hunting is regulated and therefore hunters must abide by the laws. Hunters must also familiarize themselves with the laws because regulations for alligator hunting differ from one state to another.