The Backwoods Life headed to hunt swamp lizards with Seth and Chelsea Whitaker of Switchgrass Outfitters in Titusville, FL. We had four gator tags to fill in three nights. The hunts start at 5 p.m. and could go all through the night to 10 a.m. the following morning. So our shooting skills were about to be tested on little to no sleep.
It’s night one of the hunt, Jeremy is up to bat ready to sling some Muzzy Gator Getters with his Elite while Woody can’t wait to get on some action himself. It did not take long until Jeremy scores on a nice 9 ft. gator. It’s Woody’s turn to tag-out. Woody was having an extremely challenging day experiencing some travel issues with airlines and hotel accommodations, so he was ready to take out some aggression on a monster gator. The hunt was tough and believe it or not it was quite cold too. They never saw a shooter and decided to head back in to get some rest around 7:30 a.m.
Day two. Since Both Michael and I got there that afternoon and there was limited space on the boat, we decided to go in shifts, filling Woody’s tag first. After a good long nap, Woody wakes up in hopes of getting on a big one early. It was a challenging hunt, because there had been a lot of pressure on these gators. We were hunting late in the gator season, which means these big old gators got smart and were hiding out. Not to mention, the water was way down, making it easy for them to hide in the grass. Woody didn’t have much to choose from so he decided to take this 6 footer (picture below). He thwacked his gator just behind the shoulder. That just goes to show you how pumped he is about deer season making a shot like that. It was not the biggest gator killed, but I guarantee you, it will eat the best. Great job Woody!
Meanwhile, back at the hotel room, Michael, Kevin, and I were chomping at the bit ready to clean house. Once we got the call that woody tagged out, we were in the truck headed down to the boat ramp. We left the ramp at about 10:30 p.m. with the Elite knocked with a Muzzy ready to stick it to them. It was not long before we spotted a big gator across the lake and before we got to him, down he went. I was told by Seth to shoot an opening where he went down hoping he just went under and didn’t leave, but no luck. After some miles covered and issues with the spotlight, Seth decided to go try a different area that was not as pressured.
We saw some descent sized gators, but again, they were going under way before we got to them. At about 4:00 a.m. the gators we were seeing started getting bigger in size so we were moving in the right direction. Cold, wet, and tired, we were all anxious to close the deal. Just after 5 a.m., Seth spotted an 8 ft. gator in the shallow water in the grass beds. As we approached him, I drew back the Elite, aimed and let the Muzzy Gator Getter eat.
Now batting, in the clean up position, is Michael Lee. It’s one hour later with the sun on the rise and Michael is already at full draw on a 9 footer. We saw this gator a few times before in the night but he would never present a shot. This time, the big gator made a wrong decision. As the gator swims away with us following directly behind him, Michael lines up all his Spot Hogg pins on the gator’s back, sticking him just above his tail. Awesome shot Michael Lee! 4 tags filled for the Backwoods Life and time to get some rest, because we were hog hunting that afternoon.
While Kevin and I were headed to hunt some hogs on a nearby island, Michael, Woody, and the girls were off for an afternoon ride on the airboat. On the way in to set up the GhostBlind, Seth spots a group of hogs rooting up the land. Kevin is no stranger to putting some hogs in the freezer. Kevin is less than 10 yards from a white hog who has no clue we are there. Kevin draws back and sends a Muzzy 4 Blade right through the heart and we hear him crash not to far away. We look up and not even 30 yards away is a boar hog making his way towards us. I bet you can guess what happened next. We were 10 minutes into the hunt and two hogs were on the ground ready for the smoker.
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Seth: (407) 448-9069