Gator Season: Florida expects lots of newcomers to a dangerous sport

Earlier this year in the wake of three highly publicized fatal gator attacks, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission increased the number of permits available to hunt the reptiles. They sold in less than one day. So, the state expects a lot of first-time gator hunters this year. But how many have any idea what they’re getting into, asks this Orlando Sentinel article. Here’s what a few veteran hunters told the paper about the sport:

--"People go around the world to hunt big game, but I'm not sure they'll get any more of a thrill than we do right here with the gators. There is a real rush to it. It can get a little hairy if you're not careful. That's part of it. When you go out, you just hope everyone comes back in one piece." --"Sometimes, they aren't as dead as you think they are. Every one is different. Until you bring them close, you aren't really sure what you have. They don't come without a fight. That's why you bring an ax." -- "The whole thing can be pretty intimidating for someone who never has done it before. Sometimes, when you get that really big gator, it's just like riding a bull, and you're only along for the ride. When a gator turns and starts attacking the boat, it can be a little unnerving."