Hi Bloodspade! Love this idea. I'm an avid hunter and fisherman, but I've got a fairly unique story first.
It's unconventional, but I recently got in to alligator hunting. From Florida over to Texas and up to North Carolina, there are people that will brave the swamp to pull out a big ol' gator. Last year, my dad and I figured we'd give it a shot.
I don't know if you've seen a show called "Swamp People," where they hunt alligators, but if you have, forget what you've seen. Where I'm from, you don't use guns; you have to drag that alligator out using a fishing rod, some large hooks, harpoons, and a power head (a bangstick to some). It goes without saying that you better be packing a knife.
After night blankets the swamp in an eerie black, it's time to hunt; you take a spotlight and shine the water, looking for alligator eyes. They reflect a vicious red, and that's when you judge the size of the gator. Our team likes to go for 8 feet (2.5 meters) or above. Then, you take your fishing rod and cast over them with snatch hooks. You set the hook under the gator, and it takes off, just ripping line off the spool.
You fight the gator for a while; sometimes they sink to the bottom to just chill. We had an 11 footer one time sit on the bottom for two hours without breathing. They'll eventually come up for breath, and then you get to pull more line in.
Once you get them close, you can harpoon them. The harpoon is a long piece of wood, between 5 and 9 feet with a driver on the end. The driver holds onto the dart, which is a sharp point with two barbs coming off of the side. The dart goes in, and the barb prevents it from coming out. Because the dart is attached to a rope, you can now wrangle the alligator.
If you don't harpoon the gator, you can toss a grappling hook over the alligator and set it like you would a snatch hook. The only difference is that the grappling hook is bigger than your hand and it (like the harpoon dart) is attached to the rope. On occasion, my team has utilized the harpoon and snatch hook just to bring in one alligator.
Once you've got the alligator close, you're in the endgame. Once the alligator stops thrashing and rolling for a second, you position the bangstick over the base of the gator's skull and slam it, which discharges a pistol, rifle, or shotgun round. This either stuns or kills the alligator; to finish the job humanely, you sever the spine and stick a rod in the alligator's brain. I always apologize out loud during this step.
Why do this crazy stuff? Other than the thrill, the alligator is a beautiful and versatile animal. Nearly all of the meat on the animal is delicious, and the skin makes top notch leather. I've got a belt, wallet, and bracelet from just the first alligator of last season. Really, really nice stuff.
If you took the time to read all this, thanks!
TL;DR: I went alligator hunting. It was pretty hardcore.
Here's a video of the end of the hunt! You can see me harpoon an alligator!
Legal business: Yes, all of our alligators are taken legally. You're entitled to two per Trapper's License. We only take what we're permitted to take and never engage in illegal activities like catch-and-release or the taking of undersized alligators. We tag our harvest immediately, as state law requires.