Welcome Y'all

Are you looking for a hunting experience that's out of the ordinary? Ron's Guide Service offers an affordable and exciting alligator hunt  that is open to residents and non-residents year-round. Our fully guided hunts are conducted day and night on private ranches and leased lands. These properties consist of wetlands, small lakes, ponds, canals, and marsh which are prime alligator habitat. Our experienced guides pre-scout and monitor all of these hunting properties daily to stay knowledgeable on the best spots. There is so much to learn about alligator hunting, especially for first time hunters which is why we recommend you read this entire page for the most detailed information on our alligator hunt. You can also use the "section shortcuts" found below to view a specific section. If you need help or still have questions don't hesitate to contact us.
See ya soon!



Section Shortcuts:

1. Success Rate

2. Hunting Times

3. Recommended Hunting Time

4. Hunting Length

5. Private Hunts

6. Weapons

7. Recommended Weapons

8. Ammunition

9. Sighting In

10. Hunting Vehicles and Vessels

11. Hunting Method

12. Florida Alligator History

13. Alligator Size

14. Alligator Taste

15. License

16. Age Requirements

17. Experience Level

18. Non-Hunters

19. Alligator Skinning & Butchering

20. Taxidermy Preparation

21. Transporting Meat

22. Transporting Weapons

23. Hunting Zone

24. What to Bring

25. What to Wear

26. Lodging & Campgrounds

27. Nearby Airports

28. Map & Directions

29. Guest Policies

Success Rate
Hunting alligators can be both thrilling and dangerous! There are hundreds of alligators from 4 to 13 feet and our guides can get you the alligator you have been searching for without risking your safety. Smaller alligators can be very fast and a good shot is key. Larger alligators require a lot of strength to get it close to the boat or land. Every alligator hunt is different as the hunting terrain and methods vary but one thing is for sure, we will work hard to make sure you get the opportunity to hunt an alligator in the size range you reserved.

 

Hunting Times & Season

Our alligator hunting is conducted on private property which allows us to offer this experience seven days a week, year-round! Do you have a date and time in mind? Check out our availability calendar page.

Year-round, Monday-Sunday:
9:00 AM 11:00 AM 1:00 PM 3:00 PM

 
Evening Hunting Times:
5:00 PM 7:00 PM

 

Hunting times are not based on how long you have to hunt. For example, just because you arrive at 8:00 AM does not mean your hunt will end at 10:00 AM. We have time slots to prevent too many hunters arriving all at once and to assure everyone gets individual attention.

 

Recommended Hunting Time

Your success rate during an afternoon of hunting is just as good as a morning of hunting. All of our fully guided hunting times have been proven successful. Earlier time slots are recommended in the summer as it tends to get warmer later in the day.
 

 

Hunting Length
You will have as many hours needed to successfully complete your hunt. Your hunt is over once each hunter in your party has killed an alligator. How long your hunt will take depends on many different factors such as weapons being used, alligator size, and how many hunters are in your party. On average you can successfully complete your hunt within two to four hours. Some hunters combine wild boar hunting, fishing, or another of our exciting experiences with their alligator hunt. Check out our value packages page for ideas!

 

 

Private Hunts
Your hunt is private and consists of your party and guide. There is no minimum or maximum number when it comes to party size. Our hunts are especially nice for first time hunters who need one on one assistance from an experienced guide.

 

Weapons
You are welcome to bring your favorite weapon or we can provide you with one free of charge. The chart below shows some popular weapon choices and which loaner models we have available.
Weapon
Free Loaner Available
Free Loaner Model Type
Bangstick
YES
.44 mag
Bow
NO
 
Crossbow
YES
 
Knife
YES
 
Handgun
YES
 
Muzzleloader
NO
 
Rifle
YES
.243 mag, .22 mag
Spear YES  
Recommended Weapons

A rifle or bangstick are by far the preferred weapons for alligator hunting. .243 and 30-30 rifles are popular choices. For bangsticks we recommend a 357 magnum for smaller alligators and a 44 magnum for the larger ones. Long bows, compound bows, recurve bows, and crossbows with a minimum draw weight of 60 pounds are also sufficient. If you use a bow fishing rig attachment the line should be in the 200 to 300 lb size class.

 

Ammunition
100 grain is plenty for our 243 rifle. Ammunition can be purchased without a license anywhere in the state of Florida.
 

Ammunition is not available for purchase at the hunting site.
 

 

Sighting In
You will be able to sight in your weapon when you arrive at the hunting area.

 

Hunting Vehicles and Vessels
We use a variety of vehicles and vessels for alligator hunting depending on the situation. Swamp buggies allow us to get around on the terrain easily and are used on all of our fully guided hunts. Our swamp buggy is loved by kids of all ages and is especially helpful for our clients who have trouble walking. We have three buggies, each buggy accommodates eight passengers. A Utility ATV, Jeep, 4x4 truck, or powerboat are used if conditions require their need. The type of vehicle or vessel that will be used during your hunt is at the discretion of the guide, however if there is a particular vehicle or vessel you would like to use we are happy to accommodate your request if possible.

 

Hunting Methods
Alligator Day Hunting

Daytime alligator hunts are more thrilling than night time hunts and are recommended for all alligator sizes and skill levels. We typically start out on the swamp buggy in search of alligator. Once an alligator is located we snag it with a fishing pole rigged with a treble hook. Once the gator is snagged, it will put up a fight! At that point you can kill it with the weapon of your choice. Alligators often require more than one shot to kill them.
The average shot is 25 yards, so when using a rifle it should be sighted in at 25 yards. We can get in even closer, about 5 feet away, if you wish to finish them off with a spear, hammer, or knife. We do not recommend shotguns, in order to preserve the gator hide for taxidermy. Last thing we want is a gator blown to smithereens! The .243 caliber rifle we have on hand should do the trick, make sure to bring a box of .243 ammo if you want to borrow this weapon! The 22 mag rifle is also popular, bring a box of magnum shells if you would like to use this weapon. One box is good for 3 or 4 people.

 

Alligator Bow Hunting

Bow hunting can be exciting for any hunter, but requires professional skill and some special equipment. Lean, muscular, and agile swimmers, alligators require an experienced bow hunter in order to get the job done. You can try to bow hunt alligator at night or day without using a fishing pole to snag it first, but if you continue to miss then a pole must be used to guarantee a kill.
Once we snag the alligator on a line for you, the average distance is about 10 yards away from the gator to shoot it safely. You should bring at least two arrows with you, broadhead arrows are not recommended, we always recommend fiberglass muzzy fish tip arrows with a 60 lb draw weight bow that is fitted with an AMS bow fishing rig. We have a crossbow that you can borrow if you don't own one. We always recommending practicing a nice and clean 10 yard shot before attempting bow hunting. Bow hunting is not recommended at night or for beginner hunters.

 

Alligator Night Hunting

Alligator hunting at night is our least popular method as it is less exciting than daytime hunting. We set off on a 28 ft by 8 ft wide pontoon boat late in the evening. We use a spotlight and look for the evil glow of the gator's eyes on the water. Much like Cousin Lisa, alligators can be very active at night. We do not use firearms during our night hunts! The only recommended weapon is a bangstick, which we provide. Once the gator is spotted it is snagged with a grapple hook. The bangstick, which is a stick with a 2 inch long barrel, and packs a 44 mag punch, is used to strike the gator. The shell is then activated and penetrates the skin of the gator, finishing it off. It all happens very fast, and the gators definitely put a lot of fight in at night but it can be difficult to see. We recommend that only the strong of heart with no visual impairments should participate during our night time gator hunts! We do not recommend gator hunting at night for smaller sizes since it is difficult to see them in the dark water.

 

Early Spanish explorers who encountered these reptiles named them “el lagarto” meaning lizard. Eventually settlers called them “allagarto”, which was then corrupted to “alligator”. Alligators are found only in the southeastern United States, mostly in Florida and coastal portions of Louisiana. Alligators are olive-brown to black with creamy white around the jaws, and on the neck and belly. They have a broad snout, and 74-80 conical teeth, some of which can be as large as your little finger. Below each tooth is a replacement, which appears when the primary tooth is damaged or worn. However, these teeth are not designed for chewing, they are used for grabbing and holding. The muscles that close the jaw can exert literally tons of pressure, but muscles for opening the jaw are weak, and an alligator’s jaw can be held closed with a thick rubber band. This fact is skillfully exploited during most alligator wrestling shows. Some 1.5 million alligators live in Florida, many of them in close proximity to people. Alligators are carnivorous. Baby alligators eat a variety of insects, small fish, frogs, and snails. Larger alligators will eat almost anything including fish, turtles, mammals, birds, reptiles, carrion and even other alligators.  They also eat stones, sticks and aluminum cans.  The stomachs of harvested alligators have been found to contain stones, fishing lures, aluminum pull tops, dog collars, and plastic debris. A large gator living in a pond in west Florida had a stomach full of dog collars when it was finally killed. Trappers had been led to the dog killing-gator by a radio collar on a missing hunting dog. The alligator had eaten the dog radio-collar and all.

 

Florida Alligator Size
A large adult alligator can weigh as much as 1000 pounds and can live for decades. The longest alligator on record was killed deep in a Louisiana swamp by E. A. McLlhenny in the early 1900’s. The beast was too big to get out of the swamp so he estimated the animal’s length using his rifle. The alligator measured about 584 cm (19.1 ft).  The record for Florida is a 531 cm (17.5 ft) alligator killed at Lake Apoka in 1956. The amount of meat a hunter will get depends on how fat the alligator is. On average a hunter may get 15 to 25 pounds from a 9-12 foot alligator, 10 to 15 pounds from a 6-9 foot alligator, and about 5 pounds from a 4-6 foot alligator. Even though meat from the tail is the most popular part of the alligator, the tenderloins, legs, portions around the ribs, and jowls are also worth harvesting.

 

 

Alligator Taste
As cliché as it sounds, alligator tastes a lot like chicken. It is white meat with a tougher texture similar to calamari.

 

 

License

The FWC requires all alligator hunters to be licensed. The hunting license is NOT included in the price of your hunt and must be purchased directly from the FWC. The average cost of licensing is $52. Your guide will assist you with obtaining the hunting license upon arrival! We would like to make hunting preparation as easy as possible for you, so there is no need to obtain any licensing prior. We will help you buy the proper license from the FWC on the day of.

 

 

Age Requirements
We allow youngsters who are at least six years old to hunt. Children as young as three enjoy riding on our swamp buggy.

 

Experience Level
Ron's Guide Service welcomes all levels of experience. Our guided hunts are perfect for first timers and advanced hunters. Our guides are experienced and patient to ensure you have a memorable hunt.

 

Non-Hunters
Our $20.00 per non-hunter rate permits a friend or youngster to tag along and watch, film, and participate in the excitement of the hunt.

 

Alligator Skinning & Quartering
Skinning and quartering of your alligator is provided free by Trophy Gators Inc. You get the head, hide, and all meat from your alligator. It is important to understand that alligators are cold blooded and their nerves take time to die out. If you do not have time to wait for your alligator to be skinned and quartered Trophy Gators Inc. offers additional options to choose from. You can also choose to skin and quarter the alligator yourself or take it to a butcher of your choice.
 
Option One:
 
Once your hunt is complete your guide will transport your alligator to the skinning facility at Trophy Gators Inc. After your alligator has had adequate time to cool, it will be skinned and quartered. Allowing enough cooling time is very important if your looking to tan the hide or do taxidermy. Please allow up to one day for this option. If you are staying in the vicinity of Okeechobee, you may pick up your alligator head, hide, and meat when its ready or the taxidermist can ship it to you. Shipping costs apply.
 
Option Two:
 
After your hunt Trophy Gators Inc. can immediately provide you with quality vacuum sealed processed alligator meat without any fat or grizzle in exchange for your alligator ( including head, hide, and meat ). This is perfect if you don't have time to wait for your alligator to be skinned and quartered and are not looking to keep your hide. The chart below shows the amount of processed meat you will receive per alligator size. You can also purchase additional meat from Trophy Gators Inc.
 

We do not skin alligators on Sunday.
Taxidermy Preparation & Taxidermy

Taxidermy preparation is provided free by Ron's Guide Service which entails cleaning out the head of the alligator or other requests you may have. Sometimes taxidermists require certain preparation before you bring them the animal so it is important to speak with your taxidermist prior to your hunt. After preparation of your kill you can take it to your taxidermist or your guide can assist you in finding a local taxidermist.

Ron's Guide Service DOES NOT provide taxidermy. Aside from skinning, quartering, and taxidermy preparation, anything else that happens AFTER your experience is not the responsibility of Ron's Guide Service. We are not associated or affiliated with any taxidermists. Ron's Guide Service strictly handles your actual hunting, fishing, and tour experience, not what comes after it. We are not responsible for any recommendations made by your guide regarding taxidermists. Any arrangements you make regarding taxidermy is between you and the taxidermist. It is your responsibility to get the contact number of the taxidermist or your guide if he is handling any taxidermy request.

 

 

Transporting Meat

There are many options for getting your meat back home. Visit our transporting meat page for detailed solutions.

 

 

Transporting Weapons

Visit our transporting weapons page for detailed solutions.

 

Hunting Zone
According to the Florida hunting regulations handbook Glades County is classified as the south zone and Highlands and Okeechobee County are classified as central zones. These areas are considered to be the finest hunting zones in Florida. The official hunting zone, as specified by the FWC is Zone A, which incudes all of the Lake Okeechobee area.

 

What to Bring

Bringing a poncho or raincoat is advisable in order to be prepared for the temperamental Florida weather. Drinking plenty of liquids such as water during your Ron's Guide Service experience is also recommended. Sunscreen is essential anytime you go out into the Florida sun. A hat and sunglasses will also help keep the sun out of your face. Over-the-counter pain medications help to soothe aches and pains after a long day of hunting. If you plan to rent a car or drive while in Florida, bring small bills and coins for Florida's many toll roads. Bring your camera and extra batteries, as well the charger and extra memory cards or film. We recommend a large ice cooler (60 qt. or bigger) to pack your meat in. You will also need to supply your own ice.

 

Coolers and bagged or dry ice is not available for purchase at the hunting site. Please pick up ice before your hunt.
 

What to Wear
Camouflage is fun but not necessary. When visiting Florida in the warmer months, generally between March and October, pack comfortable, lightweight clothing to help keep you cool during the day. During the cooler season, bring an assortment of short-sleeved and long-sleeved clothing items, as well as a lightweight jacket or two because temperatures often fluctuate from day to day during the winter. We recommend closed-toe footwear such as sneakers and rubber boots.

 

Lodging & Campgrounds

There are plenty of nearby accommodations to fit your needs and budget. Some even offer discounts to our clients! Visit our lodging & campgrounds page for places to stay.

 

Nearby Airports

We are located about 70 miles from Palm Beach International Airport and about 13 miles from Okeechobee County Airport.


Palm Beach International Airport
1000 James L Turnage Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33415


Okeechobee County Airport
2800 NW 20th Trail
Okeechobee, FL 34972
 

 

 

Map & Directions

The wonderful thing about Ron's Guide Service is our experiences are conveniently located to all popular Florida vacation destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, Key West, Vero Beach, West Palm Beach, and the Walt Disney World Resort. In order to know exactly how far we are from your starting location click on the attraction you are interested in using the map below. A bubble will pop up. Select "Directions". A new page will open in Google maps. Enter your starting address and click "get directions".


Every experience must be reserved prior to your arrival. Do not come to any of our locations without a reservation.

 
Wild Boar and Alligator Hunting Location
1921 Fulmar Terrace, Okeechobee, FL 34974

 

Lake Okeechobee Fishing, Duck Hunting, and Tours Location
Fast Break Bait & Tackle at the Marathon Gas Station
1505 Florida 78 West, Okeechobee, FL 34974
 
Cudjoe Key Fishing Location

Cudjoe Gardens Marina
477 Drost Dr, Cudjoe Key, FL 33042


 

Guest Policies
  • We encourage hunters to utilize all meat and leave nothing to waste. Meat not taken will be donated.
  • We offer a money back guarantee in the event our guides are unable to provide you with an opportunity to kill an alligator in the size range you reserved. Our money back guarantee policy does not apply to poor shots. We will make every attempt to retrieve an animal that was shot at and wounded.
  • No alcohol of any kind is allowed to be consumed on or prior to your hunt. If you are unable to come sober, please don't come.
  • Ron's Guide Service does not provide shipping, taxidermy, lodging, or professional butchering and is not responsible for the quality of service you encounter. We are not affiliated with other businesses and are not responsible for any recommendations made by your captain, guide, or other staff.