Alligator meat is low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein. It has a mild flavor and can be substituted in most chicken, pork, veal, or fish recipes. Always thaw alligator meat in the refrigerator. Discard any used marinade to avoid bacteria from raw juices. After handling raw meat, thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges, and hands with hot, soapy water. Alligator tail and jowls are the choicest cuts, they are mild-flavored white meat with a texture similar to veal. The legs and ribs are darker meat with a stronger taste and texture, similar to pork shoulder. Leg meat is best when it’s chopped fine or ground to make patties and sausage or used in recipes such as tacos or spaghetti. Alligator meat can be enhanced with seasonings, sauces, and marinades for jambalayas, soups, and stews. Use a meat mallet to tenderize fillets and flatten meat to the desired thickness for extra tenderness. Cook alligator meat using either a short cooking time with high heat (searing, pan frying, or deep frying) or a long, slow-cook method such as simmering in a sauce, stewing, or braising. Find delicious and nutritious alligator recipes at FreshFromFlorida.com/Recipes/Seafood/Alligator.
You can only sell the meat if a licensed alligator processing facility processes it. Green hides, meaning those that have not been tanned, may only be sold to licensed fur and hide dealers. View our list of licensed Florida alligator meat processors and hide dealers. Tanned hides, as well as skeletal parts (including skulls), may be sold to anyone. Records must be kept showing who the parts were transferred to.
If done correctly, a brine solution for curing and storing alligator hides is one of the best ways. Close attention must be paid to keeping the brine saturated with salt, and hides should be checked frequently to ensure proper curing. View our alligator hide care page for more details on skinning and curing.
For up to two days, you can store fresh alligator meat in the coldest part of your refrigerator, near 32 degrees F. If you plan to marinate the meat, do so before freezing it. Prepare meat for the freezer by wrapping it tightly to prevent freezer burn. Also, write the date and type of meat on the package. You must label each package using permanent ink with the CITES tag number and the license holder’s name. You can store the meat at 0 degrees F for up to six months.
Please follow these guidelines for disposing of an alligator carcass: DO: Double bag carcass using 55-gallon commercial grade trash bags and make it available for trash pick up Double back carcass using 55-gallon commercial grade trash bags and take it to a landfill or a local government trash disposal site. Bury it on private property. DON’T Dispose of carcasses in ditches, waterbodies, or anywhere the public might see them.
You will need a steady table at a comfortable height, good lighting, and a sharp knife and sharpener. Watch this Florida Sportsman video to learn “How to clean, fillet, debone, and skin an alligator.” Remember to thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges, and hands with hot, soapy water after handling raw alligator meat. See cut lines for skinning an alligator for commercial sale or use in the making of alligator leather products: View our alligator hide care page for complete details or skinning and curing an alligator.
You may skin and butcher your harvested alligator yourself or take it to a permitted alligator meat processor. If you plan to sell any meat, you can only legally do so if a licensed alligator processing facility processes it. View our list of alligator meat processors and hide dealers. If you would like to process the alligator yourself, several videos on YouTube show you how. You must label each package of alligator meat with the CITES tag number and the license holder’s name using permanent ink.
Alligator meat can spoil quickly under warm conditions, making it unsafe to eat. It is important to get your alligator under 45 degrees F within four hours of harvesting it. To do so, we recommend the following: When the alligator is harvested, cool it by covering the carcass with wet material such as blankets or burlap sacks. Moving blankets are an effective and inexpensive option. Keep the material wet until you reach a refrigerator, or can apply bags of ice. As soon as possible, completely cover the carcass with bags of ice. Take the carcass directly to a processor or other facility where refrigeration is available.
We do not practice captive-breeding.
The hogs on our properties are derelict trespass animals attracted to our vegetation and livestock.
Guides pre-scout for hog activity daily and use dogs to help track hogs quickly.
Our hunts have a high success rate because they are fully guided and use a swamp buggy and dogs.
We could not guarantee the opportunity to see hogs if it were a treestand/blind hunt experience.
A hunter who won’t be happy unless he gets a kill…
doesn’t want to do a buggy hunt with dogs because they feel it’s too easy…
doesn’t want to do a treestand/blind hunt because it’s a low success rate…
Is a very difficult hunter to be!
A canned hunt is hunting animals that have been captive-bred on game ranches until they are mature enough to be killed, typically for trophy collections.
Many hunters determine if they feel a hunt is canned based on difficulty, property type, hunting style, and many other factors.
It is an extremely debatable topic and is dependent on the individual.
If the guide intends to present an unrealistically high chance of success for the hunter, reducing the experience to more of a shoot than a hunt, it is understandable why many feel this is not hunting.
If the hunter foregoes a hunt in a wild setting in favor of a guaranteed or quick kill, where does one draw the line between hunting and shooting?
A free-range hunt means an animal is free to roam and not confined by artificial barriers such as human-made fences.
You will struggle to find a hunting property in the United States that is truly free-range with no fences—in reality, they do not exist.
There will be artificial barriers at every hunting property, be it a park border, a fence on a neighboring property, or a barrier to public roads.
A better question to ask yourself is:
what size hunting area is large enough to be classified as free-range to you?
According to Florida property law, Florida is a “closed range” state with strict liability for trespassing livestock.
The properties we hunt on are active cattle ranches and contain livestock.
Property owners may be civilly or criminally liable for cattle that stray onto public roads—so you may see fences or gates.
These fences or gates are not capable of containing wild hogs.
However, if you don’t want to possibly see wire fencing or drive through a livestock-type gate, our experience may not be right for you.
Wild hogs do a great deal of damage to net wire fences generally used to confine cattle, deer, and goats.
They tear through fences and lift them off the ground to gain access.
Boar can also jump over fences less than 3 feet high—pigs fly!
Chain link fences or heavy-gauge hog wire buried at least 12 inches under the ground or electric fencing are the only way to prevent wild hogs from coming onto a property.
Not all high fenced properties are created equal.
For one, not all high fence situations are commercial operations.
Many are private hunting properties.
Some are small acreages.
Some have adequate cover.
Others are more open with less cover for game to elude the hunter.
Some have purposely concentrated a high number of animals within a given space to ensure game will be seen.
Some let the available habitat dictate population density.
Some artificially manipulate the quality of game for maximum trophy potential.
Others rely on natural breeding and available food.
In short, this is not a one-size-fits-all issue.
How and where we hunt is a choice each of us makes as an individual hunter.
It is also a matter of personal choice whether you believe hunting within a game-proof fence (where legal) is an acceptable practice, acceptable under certain conditions, unacceptable, fair chase, or should not be considered hunting at all.
We hunt using a swamp buggy.
According to Boone and Crockett, chasing an animal with a motorized vehicle is not ethical hunting.
We also use dogs to track down hogs, which may be considered an unfair advantage.
Depending on your personal hunter ethics, you may or may not consider our experience fair chase.
Fair chase is a term hunters use to describe an ethical approach to hunting big game animals.
North America’s oldest wildlife conservation group, the Boone and Crockett Club, defines “fair chase” as requiring hunted big game animals to “be wild” and “free-ranging.”
“Wild” refers to an animal that is naturally bred and lives in nature.
“Free-ranging” means an animal that is not confined by artificial barriers.
According to the Boone and Crockett Club, fair chase hunting is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the game animals.
In simpler terms, it means hunting without taking advantage of the animals and allowing them a fair chance to escape in defense.
Some basic rules of ethics that fair chase hunters live by:
When hunting, obey all laws and regulations.
When away from home, respect the land and customs of the locals.
Adapt and follow a specific personal code that will bring out favorable abilities and sensibilities as a hunter.
Never draw out the death of prey. Try to attain the best shot to make the kill as quick and precise as possible.
Keep the personal code in mind and let it dictate behavior. It is the responsibility of the hunter not to dishonor the hunter, the hunted, or the environment.
The ethical approach also states a hunter may not take an animal if:
The hunter herded or spotted the animal from air and then quickly landed to pursue.
It was herded or chased by a motorized vehicle.
Electronic communication devices are being used.
It is confined by artificial barriers or transplanted for commercial shooting.
It is trapped or drugged.
It’s swimming, trapped in snow, or helpless in any nature.
The hunter is using another hunter’s license.
Laws or regulations are being broken.
We have three different alligator size-ranges to choose from. Our 4 to 6 alligator hunt is $800. Our 6 to 9 foot alligator hunt is $1,500. Our 9 to 12 foot alligator hunt is $2,500.
All of our hunting times have been proven successful. Morning hunts are recommended in the summer as it tends to get warmer later in the day. Afternoon hunts are recommended during the winter months when it's colder in the morning.
Daytime alligator hunts are a lot more exciting! There is nothing like seeing a wild alligator thrashing in the Florida sun! Nighttime alligator hunting is for experienced hunters only. Hunting alligators at night can be fun, but you can't see much in the dark.
You will have as many hours needed to complete your hunt. Your hunt is over once each hunter in your party has killed an alligator. How long your hunt will last depends on many different factors such as alligator size, weapons, hunting style, and how many hunters are in your party. On average, you can 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.
No, not at this time. Public land hunts have a lot of restrictions when it comes to where and how you can hunt. Since the properties have not been pre-scouted there is no way for your guide to know where you'll have the best success—that's a lot of pressure on him!
Tags are only for public land hunts. If you participate in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s lottery system for public land hunts, the cost of the tag with licenses can add up to over $1,000.00—not including boat rentals or guides!
A $52.00 alligator farming agent license is all it takes to hunt with us—no matter where in the world you’re from! The license is issued instantly! Visit our licenses page for more details.
Yes—and naked too! Our alligators vary from native residents to derelict dog killers and baby eaters brought to us for being a nuisance.
Each hunter is guaranteed one alligator in the size-range they reserved.
Many times a hunter will shoot at an alligator and believe they missed, however, most likely they wounded the alligator, and days later it will float up dead. Snagging not only ensures your success by preventing the alligator from swimming off, but it also is a humane way to hunt.
Growth rates may vary from 2" up to 12" per year, depending on the type of habitat in which the alligator is living and the sex, size, and age of the alligator. Growth rates slow down as alligators become older. Male alligators will grow faster and larger than females. Males can grow to approximately 13'+ in length and attain 500+ pounds. Females can grow to approximately 9' in length and 200+ pounds.
The Florida state record for length is a 14 foot 3-1/2 inch male from Lake Washington in Brevard County. The Florida record for weight is a 1,043 pound (13 feet 10-1/2 inches long) male from Orange Lake in Alachua County.
A rifle or bang stick is 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.
Cousin Lisa stands at 5’2, 125 pounds. 38, 26, 36. She has beautiful light gray eyes, long blonde wavy hair that hangs down to the middle of her back. She loves fishing, hunting, and talking to Y O U.
No. We work with property owners directly. We only work with properties who meet our quality standards. When you book with Ron’s Guide Service you are backed by quality assurance. If a problem arises, we step in to make things right. From planning your experience to the day of your adventure, Ron is with you every step of the way.
We do not allow you to bring your own hunting dogs on our wild hog or alligator hunts. Companion animals are welcome depending on experience. Please call us for details.
If You wish to cancel Your Booking, You must notify Us by calling (863) 866-7667 at least 24 hours prior to Your Experience. Your reservation deposit is not refundable and will be treated as a credit that expires one year from the date issued. Credit can only be applied to reservation deposits and not a due balance. If one or more, but not all, of the members of Your Booking Group cancel, no allowance or refund will be made for any part of Your Booking not used or taken. The reservation deposit from the canceled member of Your Booking Group cannot be used as credit towards the balance due. The spot can be filled by another member or remain as credit on the Lead Names account and expires one year from the date issued. There is not a reservation deposit cancelation grace period in which a refund will be made. If You cancel the same day of Your trip, You will forfeit Your reservation deposit and any credit. Depending on the Experience, You may be charged the balance due on the credit or debit card You provided when booking Your Experience. In the event you are required to pay the remaining balance, We reserve the right to charge Your credit or debit card without permission from You.
We pride ourselves in upfront and transparent pricing. Visit our rates page for a “cheat sheet” of our pricing.
Since our experiences are private, once an experience time is taken—it's taken! We recommend making reservations as soon as you have a set date and time in mind. Many of our clients will book months in advance. Occasionally we do have last-minute requests which we will accommodate if possible. November through May are some of our busiest months so make sure you plan accordingly.
We offer hunting experiences in Okeechobee, and Venus, Florida. We offer freshwater fishing on Lake Okeechobee. Visit our locations page for more details.
Paying a deposit goes towards the cost of your experience. It means you are entering into a contract with us and intend to use our service. A lot of time and resources go into making your experience happen. Since our experiences are private, when you pay your deposit it means no one else can book the time you reserved because it’s being held for you.
It’s your way of saying, “I’ll be there at this date and time.”
It’s our way of saying, “We promise this is your spot and we will be there!”
When you pay your deposit it shows you are serious! It avoids no-shows and holds both parties accountable. Even though deposits are non-refundable, you don’t lose them if you cancel. Deposits are treated as credit and good for a whole year. Please read our terms and conditions for more details.
You will have as many hours needed to complete your hog hunt. Your hunt is over once each hunter in your party has killed a hog. How long your hunt will last depends on many different factors such as weapons, hunting style, and how many hunters are in your party. On average you can complete a daytime hunt within one to two hours.
Unlike treestand or blind hunts where you’re relying on the activity of the hog, we actively pursue wild game on our experience, so it does not matter what time you start. Morning hunts are recommended in the summer as it tends to get warmer later in the day. Afternoon hunts are recommended during the winter months when it’s colder in the morning.
No. You do not need a license to hunt wild hogs in Florida.
Most of our kills run in the 90 to 175-pound range. We recommend hogs in the 80 to 100-pound range for the best meat.
Wild hogs in Florida can reach weights of more than 150-pounds and measure 5 to 6 feet long. Weights depend on genetic background and food availability. Generally, males can reach larger weights than females. Average weights vary but run 200 pounds for adult males and 175 pounds for adult females.
Florida is estimated to have over 500,000 wild pigs in a relatively stable population. Some of the highest population densities can be found north and west of Lake Okeechobee—which is where you’ll be hunting!
Guaranteeing a specific type of hog would involve our guide trapping a hog and making sure it meets the criteria that you want (size, color, tusks, etc.) before your arrival. Our guide would then place the hog in an enclosed area for you to shoot. The cost for a guaranteed trophy hog hunt is $500, which includes his trapping fees. You must contact us to arrange this type of hunt.
Yes. We have a special rate, two hogs for $500.00. The same hunter must harvest both hogs. Contact us for additional offers.
Our $275 rate includes the harvest of one wild hog. We do not guarantee a specific size, sex, or color of a wild hog—or if it will have tusks.
Yes. The hogs you will hunt are derelict trespass animals.
If you shoot and miss, your guide will continue to look for more opportunities. If you shoot at a hog and wound it, your guide will make every attempt to retrieve it, however, our guarantee policy does not apply to poor shots. If we cannot find a hog you wounded, it will still count as a kill.
We try to allow some discretion when it comes to being selective—however, we cannot keep passing on hogs because you want a hog that is a specific size, sex, color, or has tusks. It’s also very hard to call dogs off once they have bayed up an animal. If you are concerned about size—we do not allow hunting of small hogs which are less than 15 inches high at the shoulder.
From shipping services to flying and driving, visit our transporting meat page for solutions.
Wild hog meat or wild boar meat, as it’s popularly known, has a rich, almost nutty flavor that far surpasses that of conventional pork. Wild boar meat is very lean and extremely low in fat. It is considered gourmet cuisine. Typically a young hog will have the best tasting meat.
Yes. Visit our butchers page for a list.
Transporting meat is not a service offered by Ron’s Guide Service, and most of our guides will not transport meat. If your guide agrees to transport your meat, this would be an arrangement between you and your guide. Ron’s Guide Service is not responsible for any arrangements you make with your guide regarding transporting meat.
Your guide’s job is to cut the meat down to a manageable size to fit in your cooler. Special requests are at the discretion of your guide. We suggest taking your meat to a professional butcher. Visit our butchers page for a list.
While we encourage and believe in eating what you hunt, we understand you may not be able to take your meat with you. Any meat not taken will be donated to local food programs. Hides and remains of carcasses go in the deep freeze for the alligators.
No. You will need to bring a cooler and ice with you in order to transport your hog meat.
We recommend bringing a 40-qt. cooler which should hold enough meat from one hog, and two bags of ice. It’s very important to get your meat on ice right away. Do not place meat in plastic bags or leave it in a hot car. Meat and ice should be layered in your cooler like a lasagna—meat, ice, meat, ice, etc. Your guide will help pack your cooler correctly to prevent spoiling.
Our guides skin hogs so fast you would think they had zippers on them! Your meat is typically ready to go in 15 minutes.
No. Hunting dogs help guarantee your success which is why we use them on all of our wild hog hunting experiences.
Your guide will make sure you have a clear shot to avoid injuring the dogs.
Our hunting dogs are a mix of hound and bulldog. We also use pure redbones.
Well trained hunting dogs help ensure your success. Even though guides scout daily for hogs, we rely on our dogs’ incredible sense of smell to track them down quickly.
Hunting hogs on foot is dangerous, as wild pigs like to charge and attack at random. For the sake of your knee caps, and to be able to keep up with the dogs, we use a swamp buggy. You can get off once we spot a hog, but while we are tracking you should remain on the swamp buggy.
Most hunters will get off the swamp buggy once the dogs have a hog at bay to get closer to the action. Sometimes a hunter will shoot from the swamp buggy. It’s all situational—it comes down to getting the best shot!
Swamp buggies typically have five seats, including one for the driver. They also have railings which allow guests to stand. Swamp buggies generally hold six to eight passengers depending on the size of the guests. We have many swamp buggies and other vehicles for larger parties.
Yes. Visit out our transporting weapons page for details.
Yes! You will be able to sight in weapons at the hunting grounds.
For logical and safety reasons, not everyone will be shooting at the same time. You can share weapons with your party members.
No. Weapons are kept on-site. Choose when you arrive.
No. You may purchase ammunition when you arrive at the hunting ground.
Loaner firearms are $40 per hunter. Choose either a shotgun or a rifle—we’ll even include ammo! Spears and knives are always free to use!
Check out our loaner weapons page.
Yes! You’re welcome to bring your weapon. If it doesn’t work out, we have plenty of loaner weapons to use.
Of course—just ask him! However, your guide’s primary responsibility is to keep you safe while you go in for the kill. If you want pictures or videos of you in action, you might want to ask someone else in your party to capture those intense moments so your guide can focus on your safety.
Most of our guides are Florida natives. They’ve been hunting since they were babies and love the outdoors.
Yes! Friends and family can participate in the excitement of your experience as “non-hunters.” for only $30 per person, non-hunters get to take photos, videos, and be part of your adventure—they just don’t kill anything!
No! We specialize in large parties so bring your whole crew!
Yes! Even if you are a solo hunter, it will still be private experience.
No! Your hunt is completely private. It will just be you, your guide, and anyone else you bring with you.