Alligator Hunting Athens GA

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Franklin Gun Shop Inc
(706) 543-7803
3941 Atlanta Highway
Bogart, GA
 
Ayer, Laurence P
603881567
33 Ferry Rd
Nashua, NH
 
Allatoona Lake
(678) 721-6700
P.O. Box 487
Cartersville, GA
Other Activties
Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Historic & Cultural Site; Horseback Riding; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing

Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
(478) 986-5441
718 Juliette Road
Round Oak, GA
Other Activties
Hunting

Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge
(912) 652-4415
1000 Business Center Drive,
Savannah, GA
Other Activties
Hiking; Hunting; Interpretive Programs

Lynch, Christopher
603594984
500 Main Dunstable Road
Nashua, NH
 
Bonanza Gun & Pawn
(770) 586-5626
54 North Broad Street
Winder, GA
 
Hartwell Lake
(706) 856-0300 or 888-893-0678
5625 Anderson Highway (Hwy. 29)
Hartwell, GA
Other Activties
Biking; Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing

Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge
(478) 986-5441
718 Juliette Road
Round Oak, GA
Other Activties
Auto Touring; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Visitor Center; Wildlife Viewing

Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge
(912) 652-4415
1000 Business Center Drive,
Savannah, GA
Other Activties
Boating; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Wildlife Viewing

Alligator Hunting: Big Business Across the South

Stretched taut, the rope led into the dark water, holding a prehistoric animal in an extremely bad mood at the other end.

The guide snatched the cord with a rake-like pole and pulled it toward the flatboat. Grabbing the rope, he pulled with all his might. Tangled in the aquatic vegetation, the prehistoric reptile erupted from the murk, snapping at anything it could find. Flinging vegetation and spray, the gator attempts a "death roll." Unable to chew, alligators snap their heads and roll repeatedly to rip prey apart with their razor teeth or destroy enemies. The powerful tail, almost as dangerous as the toothy jaws, whipped the black water into froth.

"Aim for the head between the eyes," the guide shouted to the guest who drew his .357 revolver. "Gators have small brains and it takes a well-placed shot to kill them. Even after they die, their nervous systems still cause them to writhe for a long time."

When the Spanish explorers first began to trek across Florida and into North America about 500 years ago, they discovered "dragons," dubbing these giant hard-to-kill toothy reptiles, "El Lagarto," or "the lizard." Over the centuries, English-speaking people corrupted the Spanish phrase into "alligator," known to scientists as "Alligator mississippiensis."

Once fully protected, alligators made a remarkable comeback in the last 40 years. They became so numerous that they caused problems in many states that now allow strictly managed hunting opportunities. Alligators range from Texas to North Carolina and as far north as eastern Oklahoma, southern Arkansas and parts of Tennessee. Living more than 50 years, alligators can grow to more than 14 feet long and can weigh more than 1,000 pounds. E. A. McIlhenny of the Tabasco pepper sauce fame claimed to have killed a 19-foot, 2-inch alligator on Marsh Island, Louisiana, early in the 20th century, but that length remains in dispute among alligator biologists. The largest Florida alligator on record measured 17 feet, 5 inches long.

Possessing impressive teeth and large jaws capable of crushing bone, alligators look fierce and can take down an adult deer. They occasionally bite or even kill humans, but generally act timid toward people. However, settlers along the Gulf Coast considered them vermin and attempted to eradicate alligators, shooting them on sight for centuries. Fortunately, they usually lived in isolated, swampy places or nearly inaccessible marshes. Even after centuries of "target practice," alligators numbered in the millions along the Gulf Coast until after World War I. In the 1920s, products made from alligator leather became chic.

A few intrepid Louisiana gator hunters walked those marshes with long hooked poles. When one located "gator holes," or a wallowed out depression in the marsh, he probed it with his poles. If he hit an alligator, the trapper thrust the hooked end into the wallow and attempted to snag the beast at the bottom. After pulling up a snagged alligator, the trapper...

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