Richard Reeves 1995
GUIDED PRIVATE TROPHY HUNTS
We are here to assist you in harvesting a trophy gator over 9' or better. Gator hunting using the traditional methods does require a little practice and skill, so we will coach you as needed. Please, before ya’ll come on down do practice a little.
The guided Trophy hunt is our top hunt. We hunt for one trophy size animal in the course of one to two nights, in which time we will come within striking range of what we are looking for, but let me say that you have to get the dart in him or he continues to swim and grow a little larger.
Should there be weather problems, at our option, we will extend a third night of hunting for you to get your trophy. We want you to leave satisfied with your trophy gator!
The hunts booked will cover two hunters or one and one non hunter. Your cost includes two nights at a nice hotel in east Tampa or Lakeland with meals included. Keep in mind that we are hunting at sunset and might have to hunt all night, so you may not get to spend much time in your "nice hotel"! Another thought is that we are an hour from Clearwater and St. Pete. Beaches and also about an hour away from Orlando and Disney World, so this might be an opportunity to do a little dangerous game hunting and then meet the wife and kids at the beach!
WHERE AND HOW
We will be hunting in old phosphate mines near Lakeland, Florida. These old mines offer a great habitat for alligators and they grow very fast and very large. We will give you coaching on the hunting techniques and air boat rules before we set off. We ask that you follow our instructions in order to insure a safe and successful hunt. Air boats in their own right can be dangerous and when you add in a couple of excited hunters and a large 350 lbs. PISSED OFF alligator you can understand why we want order on board. The object of our hunt is to shine a gator ( to locate) and then either sneak up or run up close enough to him to stick him with a 10' harpoon with a 13/4" dart attached. The dart will go under the hide and will not pull out, providing that you hit him hard enough to penetrate his back scoots, which are the bony protrusions sticking up from his back. Once he is "DARTED" and on the "LINE" you will need to play him a while before we try to subdue him. Sometimes we may use a "snatch hook" to either locate the gator or to pull him to the boat. On some hunts this is the only way to catch a gator. Unfortunately if we catch a gator this way, it will not qualify for the SCI. record books, but it will still qualify for any applicable local or state records. At this point, you now have a gator on the line and we need to subdue him and bring him into the boat. I’m not going to elaborate on these procedures, as we will coach you as we go. We never have problems with hunters following our suggestions at this point.
It is now time to head in with your trophy. We will take your animal to our processor who will skin your trophy and package the meat. Your fees cover the skinning and we will provide you with up to 20 lbs.of packaged meat with the remainder used to cover shipping of your trophy. (Basically, the processor trades processing and shipping for meat.) We will now ship your trophy to anywhere within the U.S. or we will make arrangements with one of our fine local taxidermists. As an estimate, the taxidermist gets between $150 and $190 per foot for mounting. A head mount can be done for $450 to $800 range.
WHAT YA’LL NEED TO BRING
Please bring dark colored clothes. Camos and shorts are fine. Dark colors are necessary because we are hunting at night and light colors reflect too much light. Also bring a dark hat.
Speaking of clothes, bring along a change in a gym bag . Catching, subduing and loading a big gator can be real work! It’s dirty and let me tell you that there is nothing tat smells good on a dead gator either.
A poncho or rain suit might be advisable, along with bug spray and eye protection. The flying bugs can get very thick during summer and they are a real pain in the eye on a boat going 50 mph. Eye glasses are O.K. and safety goggles also work.
Practice before you come, it really improves your chances. We will be using a 10' long harpoon made from a 1 inch wood dowel. If you can accurately throw this spear 10' to 20' we’re in good shape. If you threw the javelin, pole vaulted or bow hunt, you’re already in good shape.
Last, if you’re not a Safari Club International member, you need to join. The alligator was just put back on S.C.I.’s trophy list and you have to be a member to be listed with a trophy. We at GATORS GUIDES fully intend to put as many gators as possible onto the top 10 trophy list. THIS IS WHERE YOU BELONG. THIS IS WHERE GATOR GUIDES BELONGS!
COST OF PACKAGE
The price of this hunt is $4250.00 for two hunters with the harvest of one alligator 9ft or better. Call for info and specials. This includes pick- up / drop off at Tampa International Airport, two nights lodging at a nice hotel, meals, licences, tags, processing (skinning), and shipping of your trophy. Deposit required at time of booking. Hunts are available for bookings the months of May, June, July, August, September and October. All necessary gear and equipment is provided. This is our top end hunt. For those of ya’ll on a budget, take a look at our public waters hunts. Should you have any questions at all or would like to just talk gator, please call! Talk is always free on your dime and we love to talk about gators!