Alligator hunting has taken off in popularity due to the game management programs across the southern states, where gators are known to thrive. The number have greatly improved! It is important to keep a balance of gators, because they have no other predators other than man. If we get low on the numbers, we have an over-population of beaver, nutria rats and other pesky animals. And if we get too high, the gators themselves pose a risk to pets and humans alike.
In Florida, southern Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, the state game management has had seasons and been issuing permits or tags for hunting the big ones. It is important to hunt with an experienced guide that knows the proper techniques, is aware of the laws, and knows what to do if things go in the alligator's favor. And these things do happen!
It is also important to have the right kind of equipment for your alligator hunt. What is legal in some areas may not be legal in others. In some states, alligator harpoons, snatch hooks, snares and bang sticks may be used.
Safety is a key concern when hunting. Most gator hunts are conducted at night. Make sure you are using bug spray, snake chaps (when not in the boat), good lighting, and wear your life jacket, even if you are an excellent swimmer. If you fly out of the boat and are knocked unconscious, you won't be doing much swimming. Another thing to make note of is the bacteria in an alligator's mouth is particularly nasty. Even if the gator is gone, a little scratch from the teeth can cause a terrible infection. Avoid being scratched or bitten.
Things to look for when scouting for fresh alligator sign are matted down grass and claw marks on the water's edge. Often times the ground is barren because alligators love to just sit and bask in the sun. When the hunt is on, look for eyes and nostrils to be exposed. The eyes reflect light. Remember that alligators are territorial and protective of their young. Nobody needs to get between a mama and her babies.