We parked behind the pump house on the large irrigation pond and spread out in the reeds. David began a calling sequence. Two 6″ gators came in close but I passed on them.
“Here comes a good one” David said and I saw its eyes 50 yards out ahead of us. He turned sideways and the smaller gators checked out. David turned his flashlight on and off so we could keep track of the gator but not shine it too much and spook it. It came in very slowly.
I was in the reeds a couple steps higher up than the water. If other people are with you they always gives you advice about when to shoot and when this accommodating gator stopped at 20 yards they all told me to shoot. But I wanted a closer shot, with the 400 pound test line and the retractor reel in the mix I felt more confident at 10 yards.
And it looked to me like this alligator planned to do just that. I stood up so I could shoot above the reeds, turned on my sight light and waited.
I shut out everyone’s advise and let the gator get in to 10 yards before I drew. By then is was a about 8 yards and broadside quartering slightly. Perfect. I aimed at the space between its right jaw and eye and held it there rock solid.
And a heck of a loud crack at that. The heavy gator arrow shoved the Muzzy Gator tip through the skull bones and into the shoulder on the other side. Talk about bad to the bone.
The gator swirled and disappeared under water. I tossed the buoy over to David. We all shined our flashlights into the water. The line wasn’t going out.
Chef said, “Maybe you got the same shot I did and he is dead already.”
Something gator size appeared down in the water 15 yards out. It wasn’t moving. David pulled up slack in the string and said, “He’s alive.”
Splash, the gator surfaced 12 yards away, directly in front of me. Part of my arrow was sticking out from above the jaw. David carries a casting rod with heavy line and a grappling hook for just such situations and he snagged the gator in the tail, just like a pro, which he is. He manhandled the gator a few yards closer and I shot it with a broadhead.
More broadheads were in the truck, only a few yards away, so I ran to it and grabbed four.
Meanwhile, David pulled the gator’s tail end closer, but his grappling line broke. The gator decided he had enough and brought the fight on in.
David was waist deep in the water and the gator knocked him down in the reeds. “Get him off me. Grab him by the tail.”
Fred seized the gator’s tail and pulled him away from David. Now the gator snapped, twisted and clawed. Back on his feet, David grabbed the gator around the body tying to contain it.
“Lets get him out of the water,” Fred hollered and he, David and Mike pulled the gator onto the ground. Fred and Chef had him by the tail and David had a back leg. The gator was hissing like crazy.
I was there now, nocking an arrow, and put it though the gators’ vitals. Chef misjudged and thought it was over and walked to the front of the gator. It yanked loose from Fred and David and lunged at Chef, its’s bone crushing jaws slammed shut an inch short of Chef’s leg.
My next arrow went into the vitals again.
This time the gator faded fast and expired.
This was gator number 3 and the last of our alligator hunt with David Mills at Williams Wildlife Preserve. On a scale of 1 to 10 everyone there will tell you without hesitation that it was a 10. I remember David saying, “We did it boys. Yes we did.”
HUNT COMMENTS: I can not say enough about David Mills. If you ever want to hunt Florida alligators or Osceola Wild Turkey David is truly the man to do it with. No one knows more about gators and Osceola gobblers than he does. No one, period. And believe me, when you hunt alligators you need to be with someone with plenty of experience, because there is no margin for indecision or error if things take a wrong turn, and they can. David is a fun guy too and always a pleasure to be with. For information on his hunts call David Mills on his cell at 863-303-4726. Visit David on the web at www.teamsrr.com.
Williams Wildlife Preserve is a huge 8,000 acre farm with miles and miles of irrigation canals, a perfect home for a large alligator population. We saw scores of gators. The lodge and other facilities were roomy, comfortable and modern. Excellent in every way. We had wanted to hunt wild hogs too but ran out of time. However, there were plenty of wild feral hogs. David offers stand hunts for hogs as well as stalk hunts. He also offers whitetail deer hunts and trophy buck hunts. The Florida archery deer season is the earliest in the country. For information or to book hunts contact David Mills at 863-303-4726 or on the web at www.teamsrr.com
EQUIPMENT COMMENTS: We used equipment from the Muzzy Gator Getter kit. Muzzy sent us solid aluminum and solid carbon arrows. I used the aluminum ones and Fred and Chef shot the Carbon ones. Muzzy’s Gator Getter head proved up to the task. It hammered through bone and the barbs held tight. I was impressed with it. We switched from the 600# test line to the 400# test line because it shot smoother. (On my previous gator bowhunts I used the 600# line but we were hunting from airboats and the shots were very close, sometimes only a few feet from the boat, and the heavier line worked ok. But hunting the canals and ponds the shots were 10 to 20 yards and the 600# line created a little drag in the reel and the arrows went low.) The Retriever Pro reel is a big innovation for bowfishing big fish or gators. Muzzy’s bright yellow buoy was up to the task.
The other piece of equipment that we used regularly, even in the airboat, was the ThermaCELL. Florida is known for its mosquitoes and ThermaCELL held them off on this hunt.
GATOR WARS HOME PAGE – See the list of all the 2010 Gator Wars bowhunts.
- We are bowhunting Florida Alligators at Williams Wildlife Preserve. For information contact David Mills at 863-303-4726. Visit David on the web at www.teamsrr.com.
- This alligator bowhunt is sponsored by MUZZY Bowfishing Equipment. We received Muzzy Gator Getter Kits with gator arrows, bowfishing reels and line, floats and other necessities. Visit them on the web at www.muzzy.com.