Fletch

Fletch's Freezer Filler Fun 2017

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Getting my 2017 journal prepared for my Georgia gator hunt starting 8/18/17.

I also have a NC deer hunt set up for me and my son for the beginning of October with Muzzleloaders and get him his first deer hopefully.

I'm excited about the upcoming out of state hunts. I am also excited about the real nice buck I've been seeing on camera over the summer. Hope he hangs around.

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Got the recurve in the mail today. First shot 20 yards:
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Now I have to put all the bowfishing gear on it.


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Finally in Valdosta! 1200 miles. Tomorrow it begins!!


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Dis you fly in to Valdosta? When my grandmother passed we flew in there and drove to moultrie where her bnb is. Tiny little airport.

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Drove all 1200 miles my 15 yo son can't drive yet. I'm so sick of driving right now!!


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Keep us posted and be careful, they don't let go once they latch onto something

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Night one was a bust. Lots of little gators a couple bigger sighted but no ops.


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Night 2
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9'3"
Wow what a night! I'll tell whole story in a couple days I'm beat!!


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So first let me say Valdosta is a long drive!! Thank heavens in 3-4 years when we have enough points to go again my son will be driving!! We left Wednesday night and drove to Lexington, VA. Thursday drove all day and got into the hotel pretty late.Friday we slept in waiting for my buddy, his wife and 3 of his 4 daughters to arrive. Aorund 11 or so we drove 20 minutes to our Plan A spot on a WMA where my buddy got one 4 years ago. The area has a lot of swamp with some cuts and holes that run along the trails. With john boat you could access a bunch more area but we were land bound. We were pretty bummed to not see much but my buddy had been checking the spot a couple times and had seen gators. The season started at sundown so we headed back to the hotel and cooked up some parking lot dinner and hung out a bit.

We drove to the spot around 7pm or so and got our gear all sorted out. Headlamps and lights, chirs, harpoon poles, bows, snatch hooks, drinks, bug spray cigars........you know the kitchen sink....Then my buddy gave a class on how to wind up and hold the cord on the snatch hooks and how to swing and release them. We did this for a good while to get compitent kinda. A couple other folks showed up as well being it is public land but they wroked another area and were good folk. We hiked all over looking for a good gator but to no avail. We did see a bunch of babies and a couple small ones under 4 feet. I did learn to keep watching where I was walking after running into two water moccasins the first day way to close!! We stayed until 3am and called it. We did have one crazy encounter. So they open the gates for this WMA the day before so you can drive a lot of these trails, we left the vehicle at the front and walked to try not to scare off any gators but every once and a while a local would drive through and spot some of the road side holes. So after hiking a few miles my son and I are sitting across from a decent hole with the dirt track in front of us and kid you not a taxi comes zipping by. Stops up a way and talks to my bud. He was lost and looking for the air base which this WMA borders. My bud gives him directions and he goes up turns around and heads out. Half hour later here he comes again and stops by me and says "your buddy gave me directions but I got lost again so I came back to ask again"!! I'm in the middle of a swamp in a WMA in bum fluck Georgia at midnight and I got a taxi driving by. It was just hilarious!!

So to also add it is very freaking hot in GA in August!! So Saturday we go out in the morning to check the WMA and not much luck. We did check out a second spot that was Plan B and that was the air base is supposed to open on the weekend. Well the gate is closed so we get ahold of someone and they said they had to delay that due to some small arms training an bla bla... so Plan B was dead. We looked at another big pond farther out but no good without a boat. We headed back to the hotel to try to sleep and the plan was to go out at 11pm and stay till dawn. This night it was me, my son, my bud, his wife and one of his daughters. When we got there there were a couple of guys launching a boat so that worried us but we also thought it might push some out of the back water to us. We started seeing interesting gators right away this night. With the headlamp a gators eyes will glow red. All the other beasties will be green or yellow, like frogs and turtles and deer...... You can get a decent idea on size by how far apart the eyes are and the size. My buddy found one back a ways in some pads that looked good and took a bow shot at him and must have went right under him. Water went all over and a clean arrow was retrieved. We hiked to the far back spots and nothing but little ones. We headed back to the front ponds and again ran into a couple intersting gators. They were back too far to get a chance at so we were going back and forth keeping an eye on a few spots. I spotted one that was closer and my headlamp was dying so I had my bow in one hand and my tactical in the other hand. I was trying to show my bufddy were it was. With spotting what you see from one angle is not the view somebody else gets. I'm trying to get my son to grab my tactical so I can still see the gator and pull the bow. This took to long and he went under. Dang it had eyes pretty far apart. From where I was I could see another one farther down so my buddy went to play down there and I kept my eys on the spot the one just went under. About 15 minutes later about 10 feet to my right I catch red eyes cruising right down the open cut by me. This gator looks good to my inexperience eye. All you can see are the eyes. The beast does not even make a ripple on the water. Amazing to me something that big can move like that. Shit I gotta do something fast so I have the snatch hook in my left hand and bow in the right. I set the bow down and get the hook ready and swing it out past him and start pulling in the cord. I feel it tighten into him and give it a good yank. Well that shook things up!!  I have never done this before so did not know what to expect!! Well an alligator over 9 feet long and over 200 pounds don't like being hooked and yanked on. He started splashing and pulling then rolling, the rolling is good cause it wraps him up which is what you want the hook would pull out eventually otherwise. He is pulling me good and my son jumps in and grabs the rope to help. We pull and get pulled and finally get him up against the berm and I'm yelling to my bud. His wife and daughter came from the one side and she got some good video and my bud came in from the other side running. He is the one with the pistol and finally gets where he can get a head shot and pops the gator. We grab him and get him up outa the water and what a beast. 9 feet 3.5 inches of dinosaur. We were freaking pumped. High fives and hootin all around. What an experience to share with my boy, my buddy and his family.

 

My bud then says that was the easy part now it gets hard!! We spent from 3am to 6:30am me and him skinning it out, butchering it all up right there in the parking lot. We figured do it at night when it was only 80 degrees out. And they might have got pissed if we did it in the hotel room!! Talk about exhausted. We salted the skin, cut off the head, put everything on ice and called it a night. We slept a few hours then checked out and headed to one of his buddies farms an hour north. He let my bud know they had a nuisence gator that we could get if we wanted. With two tags left sure. This one was 5.5 feet long so not as exciting and it was during the day. But gators are like deer the smaller ones eat better. My bud has one tag left and a a couple weeks left to try to fill that one.

 

We turned north from there and put in 300 miles before I couldn't drive no more. Iced everything and sacked out. Monday I drove 900 miles and slept in my own bed. It was a awesome experience and fighting a gator at night on his turf is pretty exciting. And we did it on public land!!

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Corresponding pics

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Moccasin
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Taxi anyone!
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Beast
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Something like 70-80 teeth
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Snatch hook



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