Alligator hides...

Panhandler80

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
351
Location
NW Florida
So I had a few adult beverages last night and decided to unroll the hides that I have on hand. We’ve got to do something with them at some point. They keep stacking up and I literally just sit in a Tupperware bin doing nothing.

If anybody ever wants to go kill a couple of them let me know. I’m thinking about taking this year off. I have pretty much guaranteed tags. And typically kill between two and 10 every year. Application period is about to start. 68B1D11F-A03E-4977-AC96-55F38FAE6F29.jpeg D2FEBAAA-5A8E-4ABD-A7EB-5DBA98546B16.jpeg 9406B710-209D-4C86-AF2F-9F905240385A.jpeg B9F23B57-C295-4F46-BA7A-5CEC5E0715D7.jpeg BD7235BA-3A84-4814-AB07-B63EC0A392FA.jpeg
 

rooster440

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2017
Messages
298
How do you preserve them? I have zero experience with gators. Do you flesh them out? Salt?
I’d love to hunt them some day, I’ve eaten it a handful of times and liked it.


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realunlucky

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
10,504
Location
Eastern Utah
I'm thinking about going to South Carolina this year to kill one although I'm not sure what I'd do with it either

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Sevens

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Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
107
Location
Dallas, TX
Lot of boots and purses right there. Seems like there would be plenty of market from boot makers?
 

FLAK

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
2,291
Location
Gulf Coast
Yeah, I'd be selling them suckers.

Thinking about getting back in the draw again over here on Mobile Bay.
 

ChrisCarson

Junior Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
13
I should have a tag in SC this year. Do you skin and treat them on your own? Is it like tanning a snake skin? Thanks in advance for the advice,
 
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Panhandler80

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
351
Location
NW Florida
Did not put in for any tags this year. Have a two year old (turns 2 in a few days anyway), recently took delivery of a 20 year old 42’ boat that needs an engine rebuild, and going to Alaska 2022 for moose hunt.

As far as hides go…. I sometimes skin and flesh myself. If I skin and flesh, I’m
Also cleaning and processing meat. The hide (if you intended to garment grade tan) is a major pain. Other times I drop off whole alligator for process and flesh / salting off hide. In don’t eat dark meat. Rest of meat is excellent IMO up to 9 or so. Over 10 it can get a bit funky. Also depends, like everything, how quickly it was chilled and dealt with. Although considering I hunt at night and they cold blooded out of water, you have way more time to work with them warm blooded mammal.

Skinning… To be so tough in some spots, it’s really easy to cut hole in others (namely belly and armpits, which are last place you want to cut hole ). To flesh I use pressure washer. For storage I roll them in salt and then keep in brine until all are ready to be shipped to tannery. I do it that way so that hopefully all go in same batch with hopes of reducing variation in color hue or intensity. The brine is salt (can’t use too much and I add a few pounds every time a a hide goes in), a little bleach, and borax. There are some preservation brine recipes online. I think state of FL has the one I use in back of their alligator hunting guide, but it may be Mississippi. Tie salted hides in roll and make sure all air is out as you submerge by slowly rolling about every axis giving time for bubbles work their way out. To ship, pull hides out on a Sunday morning, rinse clean, place in shade and let dry. Re-roll with new salt once dry. Tie on roll. Double bag in contractor bags. Include your name, tag number, contact info and desired color / finish on a ziplock inside trash bag. I usually fill up one Walmart touch pliable plastic bin with hides. Tape shut and place inside house to cool. Monday take bins to UPS and ship to tannery. I have used Sebring Tannery with good results. Sebring, FL. American Tanning, or AmTan, in Georgia is supposedly better, but like 2x the price. I’m
Not spending 2x on wild caught alligators.
 

ChrisCarson

Junior Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
13
Did not put in for any tags this year. Have a two year old (turns 2 in a few days anyway), recently took delivery of a 20 year old 42’ boat that needs an engine rebuild, and going to Alaska 2022 for moose hunt.

As far as hides go…. I sometimes skin and flesh myself. If I skin and flesh, I’m
Also cleaning and processing meat. The hide (if you intended to garment grade tan) is a major pain. Other times I drop off whole alligator for process and flesh / salting off hide. In don’t eat dark meat. Rest of meat is excellent IMO up to 9 or so. Over 10 it can get a bit funky. Also depends, like everything, how quickly it was chilled and dealt with. Although considering I hunt at night and they cold blooded out of water, you have way more time to work with them warm blooded mammal.

Skinning… To be so tough in some spots, it’s really easy to cut hole in others (namely belly and armpits, which are last place you want to cut hole ). To flesh I use pressure washer. For storage I roll them in salt and then keep in brine until all are ready to be shipped to tannery. I do it that way so that hopefully all go in same batch with hopes of reducing variation in color hue or intensity. The brine is salt (can’t use too much and I add a few pounds every time a a hide goes in), a little bleach, and borax. There are some preservation brine recipes online. I think state of FL has the one I use in back of their alligator hunting guide, but it may be Mississippi. Tie salted hides in roll and make sure all air is out as you submerge by slowly rolling about every axis giving time for bubbles work their way out. To ship, pull hides out on a Sunday morning, rinse clean, place in shade and let dry. Re-roll with new salt once dry. Tie on roll. Double bag in contractor bags. Include your name, tag number, contact info and desired color / finish on a ziplock inside trash bag. I usually fill up one Walmart touch pliable plastic bin with hides. Tape shut and place inside house to cool. Monday take bins to UPS and ship to tannery. I have used Sebring Tannery with good results. Sebring, FL. American Tanning, or AmTan, in Georgia is supposedly better, but like 2x the price. I’m
Not spending 2x on wild caught alligators.
Thanks!! Awesome Info! Good luck this year!
 

Doepee

Newbie
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
7
Location
MO
They make great wallets! The wallets make great gifts for guides. I've still got a few hides left from my trapping days that I need to send in for another batch of wallets.
 
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Panhandler80

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
351
Location
NW Florida
They make great wallets! The wallets make great gifts for guides. I've still got a few hides left from my trapping days that I need to send in for another batch of wallets.
Where have you sent? I have yards and yards and yards of material but have done nothing with it. Been hesitant for fear of waste and price.
 

Doepee

Newbie
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
7
Location
MO
Not sure if they still do it, but I used Central Florida Trophy Hunts. Its probably been at least 6 years ago. The prices were reasonable and the quality was good. Got wallets, boots, belts, and a gunsling done. All have held together well.
 
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