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Rick's Images of Gator Hunt '97

Saturday Night, 20 September 1997

- 26 September 97

Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Rick's niece's husband Zack  was awarded a 'gator hunting licence this year, gave me an agent's licence for Christmas, and invited me along on his hunt ..... truly a "once in a lifetime experience"!!

The Florida Gator Hunt is a very tightly controlled "harvest".  Liciences are issued for a specifically defined area, are limited to a harvest of 5 'gators per hunter, and each member of the "hunt" must be either a licienced "hunter" or "agent".  Hunts are conducted only at night (the "headlights" pick up the reflections from the 'gators eyes ... you can "gage" the size of the gator by the space between them ... 'gator eye reflections are red ... frogs yellow).  They must first be "captured - alive!!!  Either by a tended hook or by harpooning them, brought to the boat, and only then may they be dispatched.  Believe me, this can, and does, make for some exciting times!!  The method of dispatch is also tightly controlled ... the only allowed method is with a "bang stick" ... some are commercially made but many are made by the individual hunters ("calibers vary - but most seem to be either 357 Mags or 20 Ga. Shotgun slugs) what amounts to a "zip gun" on a pole .... that fires on impact with the top of the 'gators skull.  Finally, all 'gators taken must be brought to, and registered with, a licensed "harvest master" who will register the hunters take and is "permitted" to purchase the harvested 'gators.

Hunter: Zack Noland
Agent & AirBoat: Ronnie Hart
Agent & Photographer: Rick Langdon  ( LICENSE )

Take for this night, 3 Gators, 6'-9", 7'-5", 9'-0"
(and on the 22nd, 2 Gators, 9'-2" and 10'-2")

Ronnie pulls in our first gator - 6' - 9"

5 pictures, file size = 35.4Kb

Gator #1,  6'-9--Tape that mouth shut-a rough measure-Tagging- and a smile for the camera

Zack guides us toward the second gator, 7' - 5"

3 pictures, file Size = 19.7Kb

Zack guides us toward gator #2, 7' - 5-- BANG- and boat another one

Gator #3, 9' - 0", this was a nice one. Stuck it twice and it took us for quite a ride before it was brought to the boat

9 pictures, file size = 54.6Kb

Gator #3, 9' - 0---------

This following picture is from Nov '91.
Photo by Pete Magnuson
L/R - Bo Austin, Todd Langdon, Susan Magnuson, Rick Langdon, & Brown Dog
on Bo's "Swamp Buggy"

The "other way" to hunt in the Everglades (9.1Kb)


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