It’s almost that time for wild alligator hunting season. Florida alligator hunting starts at 5 p.m. August 15th and runs till November 1st at 10 a.m. The program began in 1988 when it was removed from the United States endangered species list. Lake Okeechobee is a great spot for alligator hunting and we are one of the very few that offer this experience. South Florida Fishing & Hunting Outfitters is getting ready and we are excited to see what this alligator season brings. If you would like to book your trip click here.
Do You Need A License?
In order to get ready for this season of alligator hunting you must successfully apply for an alligator trapping agent license with the FWC. The license costs about $52 per person if you are 16 or older. A child that is under 16 doesn’t need a license as long as they are with a licensed alligator trapper. If you have someone who wants to come along for the ride they don’t need a license as long as they don’t participate.
What Type Of Weapon Should You Bring?
You may use bows, crossbows, gigs, harpoons, spears, and spearguns. You may not use a rifle or pistol and also cannot use huge baited hooks. You may use a bang stick only if it is attached to a restraining line. If you don’t have any of these weapons we provide all the necessary equipment needed to have a successful hunt.
Butchering The Alligator
In order to get to the meat of the alligator you must skin and butcher the alligator. Before you start ask yourself if you will be selling the meat. If so, you must go through a licensed alligator processing facility. If not, you will need a table, good lighting, a sharp knife, a scraper, and salt. You will then need to cut down center of widest scales on legs making sure to leave one row of scutes. Don’t leave tail scutes and make sure to butterfly the tail out.
Cooking The Meat
After you catch your alligator you have to do something with all the meat. So why not find some recipes. Alligator is lean and can be substituted for many different meats which makes it easy to cook. Cook gator using high heat and low time such as deep frying or a low heat setting and long cooking time such as simmering in your favorite sauce. Remember your basic food safety tips.