With opening day of archery deer season hitting this last weekend, you would think I might have a column on a bow hunt. For a reason I cannot ignore, I had to forgo this weekend’s opening. For the last three years I have attempted to pull a tag for an alligator in Georgia. This weekend allowed me to put a check beside an item on my hunting bucket list.
Southern Georgia is in the middle of a drought, where many of their rivers are nothing more than small streams, often not even flowing because the water is so low. I joined a hunting forum based in Georgia, and from information gathered there, decided a lake or pond would offer me the best opportunity. I met one gentleman, Dane Lancaster, on the forum who received his first gator tag this year for zone 4 also. We talked on the phone and agreed to tackle the hunt together rather than finding a guide. He has a small camper he allowed me to stay in, which knocked off the cost of a hotel room. He also would provide a boat for us to use and would work on permissions for us to hunt several areas. I was to supply the equipment for the hunt, namely a Muzzy Gator Getter setup for the bow, as well as some lights. We decided not to use a generator for fear of scaring the gators, and went with a couple of LED Lenser H7 head lamps instead. Both of these ideas played to our favor in getting up close to the alligators.
|With the right photography, even this 6 foot gator looks like a monster!|
In the end, I had experienced something I have only dreamed of. I met new people and made new friends, all in the fellowship of hunting and the outdoors. I had my trophy, regardless of size, taken the way I wanted to hunt it and by knowledge I had learned rather than watched. If that is not considered a successful hunt, there is no such thing.
If you liked this story, see some of my other posts:
Give 'Em The Shaft: Dream Hunt Planning-Lottery Selections
Bill Howard's Outdoors: Dream Fishing Destination-How to decide?
Bill Howard writes a weekly outdoors column for the Wilson Times and Yancey County News and the blog site Bill Howard's Outdoors. He is a Hunter Education and International Bowhunter Education instructor, lifetime member of the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, Bowhunter Certification Referral Service Chairman, member and official measurer of Pope and Young, and a regular contributor to North Carolina Bowhunter Magazine.