Updated 12/20/2010

Alligator hunt with Drake Dawson
Alligator hunt with Drake Dawson


Who has the best smile?
Who has the best smile?

Nice Head Shot
Nice Head Shot


Alligator Gar
Alligator Gar


Mike's Gater
Mike's Gater

Front Yard
Front Yard

Swamp Boat
Swamp Boat

The Swamp
The Swamp















































   Alligator Hunt
    by Gary Tennison
   

     Drake Dawson is a friend of mine that I have known through SCI for many years. He was once a Regional Representative in Region ??. We have spent several SCI National board meetings together over the past several years. I always told Drake that someday I would go down to the Louisiana swamps where he is an alligator guide and hunt alligators with him. I was always only about half serious.

     Drake and I served together on the National Guides and Outfitters Committee. For several years he always went to the Smithers B. C. Outfitters meeting as a representative of SCI. Their meeting always fell on Thanksgiving and no one else was particularly interested  in spending their holiday in Canada where our Thanksgiving does not match  theirs.

     In 2008 Drake got off of the committee and since I was the closest committee member to Northern Canada I was asked to attend their Association meeting. No one told me that Drake always donated an alligator hunt to this Association’s fundraiser and that I would be the one that ended up buying it, but that is exactly what happened. The trip was for the year 2009 but I was not able to go at that time so it was pushed back to September of 2010.

     Mike Scriver who claims that he “always wanted to catch a gaiter” joined this trip to Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. This huge lake approximately 20 miles by 15 miles has a maximum depth of eight feet, and is surrounded by miles and miles of swamp, bayous, channels, mosquitoes, and alligators.

     We flew to New Orleans and drove to Drake’s camp on the lake. We found that most of the camp and surrounding home were anywhere from a few inched above the lake level to a few inches below the lake level. A situation that did not appear to be unusual or of any concern to the locals.

     On our first evening we went into the lake and swamp to set baits. These baits are hunks of fish hung about one to two feet above the water with a hook in them that is attached to a 30 foot 1/8” nylon line. Once an alligator swallows the hook all you have to do is pull him in close and shoot him, several times in some cases is not nu-usual as we found out. Mike got his gator the first day and shot it with a pistol. I took mine on the second day with a muzzleloader.

     One night we set baits out for alligator gar fish. These are baits set on a three foot wire line attached to floats. They are just thrown out into the lake and then tracked down the next morning. Fifty baited floats were put out and the next morning three of them had a gar hooked to them. The small one was just over sixty pounds and the largest was just over eighty pounds.

     This was a really fun and very different hunt that either of us had ever been on before! No water was over eight feet deep, but no land was over three feet dry and there was very little that was dry at all. We learned that we did not want to get lost in the swamp!

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