Hook and line required to hunt alligator

By Craig Nyhus

Lone Star Outdoor News

It’s an unfamiliar hunting method to most. A hook and line is set, often hanging from a tree branch. Dangling a few feet above the water’s surface is often a store-bought chicken. The hunters wait, hoping an American alligator has taken the bait.

Once hooked, the gator is reeled in and usually dispatched with a shotgun loaded with buckshot.

This is one of only a few methods allowed to take a gator, with the others being an approved alligator gig, archery equipment with a barbed arrow and at least 300-pound-test line attached or a hand-held snare with an integral locking mechanism.

The method restrictions for taking gators are for safety issues. Most hunting areas in  Southeast Texas are wide-open marshes and bayous, meaning officials want to avoid shots fired over open water. Recovery of the animal can also pose a problem without a line attached.

The fall season, which begins Sept. 10, is open in 22 counties in Southeast Texas.


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