You can hunt Gators in South Carolina during the day or at night. Gators are more active at night but 10′ plus gators have been taking during the day light hours as well. The style of hunting is similar but there are a few differences.
For Gator Hunts in South Carolina you have your choice of weaponry. You are allowed to use a bowfishing bow or cross bow. You can also use a harpoon, snare or weighted trouble hook attached to a strong fishing rod, think ocean fishing. Let me tell you, even a 5ft gator will put up a hell of a fight on a rod and reel – a real good viral video potential too.
During the day it is best to glass for a gator then make you approach towards him.
While being as quite as possible keep trying to close the gap until a shot can be made. If the gator goes down watch for a trail of bubbles telling you the direction he went. This is a good time to try to snag him on the bottom if you can cast a hook over the trail of bubbles. If the gator didn’t move try looking for him to be sitting on the bottom. You can also try to snag him.
The most common way to find a gator at night is to scan the banks with a spotlight and look for the red glowing eyes. That’s a dead giveaway of a gator. While keeping the light on the gator slowly sneak up on him using the trolling motor. Everyone needs to be quite on the boat. Even the slightest noise can scare a big gator making him go down. Continue to creep upon the gator till he is in range to take a shot.
It is a good idea to get more than one line in the gator. Multiple lines will help you pull him up and you will always have a line in him if one pulls out. Now that you have more than one line in the gator start to work him up next to the boat. Be patient and wear him out like a fish. Just don’t let him rest. This could take a couple hours. Once you get him up next to the boat you can now dispatch the gator. We use a handgun, but bang-sticks work to. Or you can use a knife to severe the spinal cord.
Now the hard part, getting the gator in the boat. First make sure to tape the gators mouth shut. Use lots of tape here. I like to fold his legs over his back and tape them too. If you shot a trophy gator start with getting his head in the boat. Now grab a leg and try rolling him. Just make sure the gator is dead.