Ive wanted to take an alligator with a bow so In feb. 2019, I will drive to the Sunshine state to hunt gators and hogs with a bow. Im only including hogs because Ive taken hogs in 3 states already and they are a fun bow hunt and good to eat. The only issue with bowhunting these two species is that I will need 2 different bows because the bow I use to do all my bowhunting is not set up for bowfishing or for gator hunting.
I will use an old compound bow for the gator bow and set it up with all the gear I need. The first step putting arrow rest on the bow that will support the 1000+ grain solid fiberglass arrow. I have an old NAP Quicktune 360 rest that I can use but the arrow support (launcher) is a bit too narrow and I can envision the arrow falling off the support during the rigors hunting of so I will need to modify it to fit my needs.
The factory launcher needs to be narrow to clear fletching for typical bowhunting and using arrows with fletching but because my gator hunting arrows wont have any fletching, I can tolerate (and want) a wider launcher with more support to make sure the arrow does not fall off the rest.
The standard launcher shown below.
I designed a new launcher and fired up my 3D printer and made a wider launcher. Here you can see the original and the replacement I made.
The newly installed launcher.
Next up is mounting the bowfishing reel with the line that will connect the arrow (and hopefully the alligator) to the bow.
Last Edit: Sept 11, 2019 12:53:54 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
We depart in about a week for the gator and hog hunt. Ive had the gator bow setup for a while and have been shooting it. For the hog portion of this hunt I will use my usual Bowtech. The gator bow is an old Oregon brand bow I added a big game reel to. Its set to 55 pounds draw. I designed and 3D printed a mount for my Ultimate Predator Adventure cam (like a GO Pro but better)
Ive been experimenting with metal arrow slides rather than the tip. Plastic ones and a variety of fish points.
For the hog portion of the hunt Im falling back on a tried and tru Woodsman. Ie taken hogs and deer with them in the past with great results. All of these have passed through one species or another and have been re-honed and ready for service. With the adapter, they are 150 grain.
We will drive as far as Chattanooga TN for the first leg and then to Clearwater the next day where we will vacation for several days before heading to the hunt destination in Inglis FL.
Last Edit: Feb 10, 2019 17:33:12 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
The first leg of the gator and hog hunt is under way. I need to acclimate to the environment in Florida. The week before departing WI we had temps with wind chills around -50F and 10 inches of snow last week so I thought it proper to slowly get used to the local conditions.
Im back home after a week in sunny Florida. The trip was great. The weather was great (never saw a drop of rain)
The trip was a great success. I was able to get an 11 footer. Lots of great meat. I'll have the hide tanned and do a euro mount of the skull and preserve the claws. We spent a lot of time glassing and doing spot and stalks on several gators. They have better eyes and ears than I thought. This potato, corn, bean and watermelon farm has a lot of free range, wild gators roaming the irrigation canals. We wore out a lot of boot leather and sun screen and bottles of water.
We did a stalk on a large gator sunning himself in the pads, I got to within 10 yards directly above him, drew the 55 pound bow and unleashed a 1700 grain arrow which hit a scute (boney bump in rows down his back) and the arrow bounced off. I got zero penetration on that shot. Hitting a scute with a arrow, results in a pissed off gator and lots of splashing and nothing more.
Link to the Video of the hunt below.
Last Edit: Feb 25, 2019 7:11:50 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas