Bob Gatling is an alligator hunter extraordinaire. He doesn’t just hunt, he catches, and he catches them big.
The latest catch, hauled in from the St. Johns River in Florida, just south of the town of Palatka, in Putnam County, looks like something from pre-historic times. Eventually, the mammoth gator was put down with a bullet (standard practice).
The men taped the supposedly-dead gator’s mouth shut with duct tape. They hauled the reptile into their boat, and then…the gator’s eyes opened, and he snapped the tape from his jaws “like confetti.”
It took us over an hour of plan A, plan B, plan C to get this gigantic gator in the boat.
Legal alligator hunting season in Florida, known there as the “alligator harvest” began on August 15, 2009 and continues until November 1st.
State wildlife officials estimate that more than 1 million ‘gators live in Florida. Approximately 7,000 are reported to be hunted each year. A permit, which costs $272, allows one person to hunt two alligators. Hunting takes place from one hour after sunset to one hour after sunrise.
The alligator measured 13 feet 1 inch. He/she weighted at least 800 pounds. Gatling didn’t get this gator all by himself. Hunters Andy Burns, Larry Geiger and Keith Price got the gator, too.
September 2009 is yielding a rich catch of alligators, and big burly men are not the only successful gator hunters. Take a look Arianne Prevost’s big catch.
Bob Gatling Alligator Hunter