Updated: Jul 30
March 28, 2009 - Macon, GA By Captain Phil Walters of GatorGuides.com The South's Most Experienced Professional Gator Guide
Camp Martha Johnson in Lizella, Ga. hosted an outdoor adventure day for approximately 125 girls scouts on a stormy Saturday. The foul weather and tornado warnings did not dampen the spirits of the scouts as the U.S. Sportsmens Alliance sponsored event was hosted indoors. Even the howling winds & the pouring rains did not stop the normally outdoor activities as archery, fishing lure casting & airgun range events from occurring.
Inside, the ladies attended seminars on trapping, fly fishing and turkey hunting. These seminars were hands on with the girls being able to handle a variety of fur pelts provided by Smokehouse Outfitters and feel the difference in texture of the various animals. The fly fishing and fly crafting presentations were absorbed with attention to detail and the turkey hunting seminar with a demonstration of the various calls used to lure a longbeard into harvest range was demonstrated and enjoyed.
Florida Airboat Search & Rescue 3 along with GatorGuides.com provided a full contact seminar on alligator hunting. Officer George Lainhart of Fairburn, Ga. brought his 600 hp airboat that he uses for both rescue missions and hunting adventures. Officer Lainhart opened the seminar with a discussion of airboat operation, search, rescue & recovery operations and shared a few of his experiences as a first responder in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in flooded New Orleans. Many good questions were asked of Officer Lainhart concerning airboat operation & his SAR experience, demonstrating the campers found his presentation interesting.
Next up, retired Miami-Dade firefighter and safe boating instructor Robert Dummett of American Airboat Search & Rescue Association delivered his boating safety seminar stressing PFD use and discussing his assortment of boating safety gear that he brings for demonstration. Again, scouts being scouts, many in attendance were already versed on the subject and eagerly raised their hands to answer the questions Mr. Dummett asked.
Following these informative presentations, Captain Phil Walters of GatorGuides.com engaged the audience on his subject of gator hunting across the Southern US. Topics discussed were gator programs in the many states with a public hunting season, the gator hunting program in Georgia, what happens on a gator hunt and a demonstration of how to safely employ the equipment used in gator hunting.
Along with Capt. Phil’s full compliment of gator hunting equipment, trophy mounts & alligator leather products, the ability of ladies to gator hunt and "shop in the swamp" was stressed. Videos and pictures of many lady gator hunters were viewed, with Brighthouse Networks’ production featuring Lauren Brown’s gator hunt, was enthusiastically watched as she harvested her second place 12'9" gator in the "2007 Central Florida Trophy Hunts "Big Gator Shootout, " in which she bested over 100 guys, was a hit!
With the girls instilled they are very capable of gator hunting, final words of encouragement was offered to them, " Listen to your maternal instinct. Protect children & pets by hunting gators! Additionally, you may harvest some very nice fashion accessories at the same time!" Happy hunting!
About the Author: Captain Phil Walters is owner of GatorGuides.com and produces RatWorks Gator Hunt Equipment. He has hunted gators professionally under fair chase principals across the South for two decades, has harvested thousands of gators while safely guiding hundreds of clients to their trophies. At one time, his clients possessed 7 of the top 10 alligators in the Safari Club International (SCI) record book. For 2008, Team RatWorks placed 2nd, 4th and 5th in the Central Florida Trophy Hunts “Big Gator Shootout” and harvested the Georgia state record of 13-7. In 2007, GatorGuides.com was presented the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance “Defender of the Heritage” award for hunting heritage education. Recently, Governor Charlie Crist appoint him to Florida’s Boating Advisory Council. In 2009, he guided for the largest gator harvested in Georgia at 13-51/2”.