Sons 1st gator (Zone 7) Long Post

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Senior Member
My son got drawn for his first alligator hunt this year in Zone 7 and thanks to some really good friends it was a successful one.
Friday night we started with 3 adults and two 12 year old boys sitting on the water waiting on the legal hunting to begin in a place we had looked at early in the day and had only seen one small gator. But we felt that after dark it would surely have more than what we had seen earlier. Right at legal hunting we were on several smaller gators that were apparently feeding on bait fish along a sandbar. They were 3-4 footers but the kids and adults thought it was neat to see them feeding and fish jumping up onto the sand to get away. We then saw a good gator crossing the open water and after several attempts to get a hook in him by my friend and myself, I finally connected. I handed the rod to my son and he fought the gator as it stripped the braided line off the reel. That gator surfaced and as we tried to get closer it rolled and threw the line off but not the smile on my boys face. We spent the rest of the night shinning lights on gators and hooking up several times to only have a line brake get tangled in a submerged trees or hook come loose before we could get a bigger line on them. We ended the night after getting the boat stuck on a tree while trying to get in position on another gator. That took ten minutes to get off of. I told the kids we would have to swim back if we couldn't get the boat unstuck. They didn't think that was an option. The next morning we saw a very heavy looking gator just laying on the bank and of course it took off as fast as we saw him. Saw probably 10-12 gators before lunch but were unable to connect on any of them. We decided to go for calmer water upstream with less boat traffic. We saw several more that were probably 5-7 feet long and then we saw a really nice gator that was swimming straight away from us. We made several cast that never connected and the gator would go under only to come up again and again just out of range. As we pursued the gator we hit a tree under water and damaged the trolling motor. We tried to repair it on the spot while the gator continued on up stream. We never got the trolling motor repaired but did manage to catch up to the gator with the big motor for another unsuccessful attempt. A bit discouraged we headed back down stream to eat lunch under a bridge out of the sun but not before hitting another stump/tree and bending a prop. Which during all of this my son and his friend were still having a great time cutting up with each other and discussing what every it is 12 year old boys discuss. All of these issues would have been a big downer for me but my buddy the boat owner/guide brought an extra prop and it was quickly changed once we got the boat out of the water. We then headed to another section of river in the mid afternoon where we again saw several gators and one that I would say was every bit of 11 feet plus. We were looking at a gator which at that time was one of the biggest I had seen based on the head. It started to swim across the channel as we headed towards him my sons friend said there is another gator! It was a much larger 11+ gator coming from the other direction and they were on a collision course for each other. The larger gator then made his entire body float on the surface and we were all getting excited at the site of this bruiser. The other large gator immediately went under to never be seen again, but the 11+ footer toyed with us just giving us enough hope to cast a hook at him as he seemed to submerge every time we cast. We followed and tried to hook him several times over about ten minutes but were never successful. Many hours later and several failed attempts later we came across a good gator that never gave us a good angle to cast at but we tried anyway and got tangled up. As I got the lines untangled my son said there is anther gator to our left that you could see was just sitting there presenting his entire body to cast at about 40 yards away. After untangling the lines I rared back and slung the hook that way overcasting the gator by several yards. I cranked as fast as I could to get the hook to the gator which was still just floating there with no concern for us. I felt the line get tight and the gator took off. We fought for several minutes before getting the gator to the surface and getting a bigger line on him. My son then got the catch pole aided by me around the gators head. At that point barring the boat sinking or any other world shattering disaster we had this gator. We all took a deep breath calmed down and got out the pistol. My son was admit that he wanted to finish off the gator. I got him into position and readied the gun. I showed him the exact spot I wanted him to aim and he put it in the sweet spot. The gator was instantly dead and blood filled the water. There were high fives and smiles all around the boat. We got the gator loaded up and reorganized after the chaos then snapped several pictures before heading back to the ramp. My son and I sat on the back of the boat together with the gator as he touched its back plate and played with its feet. Then he stopped slid over beside me and gave me a big hug and we both said I love you. While I enjoyed the excitement of the hunt more than anything I thank God for that hug and the time on the back of the boat more than anything. Oh and I thank God for that gator that just sat there, it was surely a gift!

Thanks to Wallace, David, and Andrew for making this hunt so fun and a memory that I will never forget.



Senior Member
Awesome! Glad you and your son were able to put his tag on one and make some memories.


Senior Member
Awesome! That is why it’s all about right there! Sounds like time well spent on the water with family and friends to me.


Senior Member
That's awesome!! Great memories that you guys can share for years to come.

Browning Slayer

Official GON Forum Meme Poster
Good job young man and good job Dad!