Alligator Hunting Panama City Beach FL

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The Gun Shop
(850)784-4828, (850)784-4820
2233 East 15th Street
Panama City, FL
 
C And G Sportinggoods, Inc.
(850) 769-2317
137-139 Harrison Avenue
Panama City, FL
 
Pauls Southside Gun & Pawn
(850) 535-4858
3234 Main Street
Vernon, FL
 
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
(239) 353-8442
3860 Tollgate Blvd.,
Naples, FL
Other Activties
Hunting

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
(321) 861-0667
Titusville, FL
Other Activties
Auto Touring; Boating; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Visitor Center; Wildlife Viewing

Mor-Guns Llc
(850) 785-6250
3022 Stanford Rd Bldg E
Panama City, FL
 
World-Wide Gunsmithing
850535685
3224-A Hwy 79 South
Vernon, FL
 
National Forests In Florida: Apalachicola-Ocala-Osceola
(850) 523-8500
325 John Knox Rd
Tallahassee, FL
Other Activties
Auto Touring; Biking; Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Historic & Cultural Site; Horseback Riding; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing

Okeechobee Lake
(863) 983-8101
525 Ridgelawn Rd
Clewiston, FL
Other Activties
Biking; Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
(561) 732-3684
10216 Lee Road
Boynton Beach, FL
Other Activties
Boating; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Visitor Center; 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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