While on a working trip to Florida, Kip carved out some time to go hunting and took his wife and kids along. The whole family got in on some alligator hunting action, Kip says his kids had the opportunity to tag some gators, his youngest taking a 7 to 8-foot gator and his oldest shooting a 10-footer. He notes how exciting the hunt was and how great it felt to get his kids involved and let them experience gators in a very up close and personal way. When it comes to his own gator, the road to landing the behemoth was exciting. Having set out jug lines, Kip says they saw a jug floating way out in the pond they were hunting. He and a couple of friends as well as his daughter paddled out in a 10-foot jon boat to retrieve the line and pull the gator back, with the intention of letting his daughter tag it. However, once they reached the jug and pulled up the line, Kip says an enormous head surfaced that they weren’t expecting. This massive gator was bigger than the jon boat they were all sitting in. Kip says it was definitely exciting, however he was a bit concerned as his daughter was in the boat with him. With the gator on the line, Kip says getting to the point where they could get a shot to effectively dispatch it was intense. Often, gators will come up kind of lethargic and calm, and you can ease their heads up before they even really know what’s happening, so you can get a shot. However, this gator wasn’t lethargic, and he was ready to fight. Kip explains how the gator pulled the boat around the pond, fairly quickly, and his daughter became upset. While trying to reassure his daughter that everything was fine, the huge alligator was doing death rolls beneath the small boat, banging on the bottom. Then the gator started to bite the boat, putting holes in it. After a fairly intense period of time, Kips says they were finally able to get the head of the gator up, so they could get a good shot. In the aftermath, the jon boat they were all sitting in began to take on water as he and his friends paddled quickly back to shore. In the end, Kip walked away with a 12-foot gator and an incredible experience, one he got to share with his family. The hunt will unfold for viewers to see on Season 12 of “Red Arrow”.
When alligator hunting, the kill spot is small, slightly bigger than a quarter. Kip highlights the importance of shot placement and how it can be difficult to achieve when a gator is rolling and thrashing. Not only is an accurate shot important so you can kill the gator quickly and ethically, but as Kip notes, you also don’t want to further aggravate the beast at the end of the line, so precision is important. Aside from firearms, Kip will also talk archery alligator hunting.
Sticking around for an extended interview, Kip also talks archery hog hunting. Hogs are smarter than most people give them credit for and they are really tough. Without the right equipment, taking them down can be difficult as you have to get past their shield. Kip says, in general, he likes a big expandable broadhead for hog hunting. However, a few years back he began to do his own research after getting nervous that the broadhead he was using may not be enough to effectively knock down a hog, elk or other tough animals. As a result of his own research, Kip says that he became a believer in Afflictor Broadheads. The most compelling reason for switching was the side by side ballistic gel tests they did with every major brand of broadhead and how the Afflictor Broadheads out performed and penetrated the competitors, not just by inches, but by feet. That kind of penetration is what is needed for tough animals. Kip says he has worked with the Afflictor team and produced a Red Arrow Signature Series featuring both a fixed and mechanical broadhead for others who are looking for that same kind of performance. While in Florida, it wasn’t just alligator hunting, Kip did a little hog hunting too and was able to kill a 200-pound boar using these broadheads. If you are ready to go on an archery hog hunt, Kip says he highly suggests asking people with plenty of experience what they recommend that will effectively penetrate the shield. He’ll also talk shot placement and spot and stalk tactics.
Finally, Kip highlights how trail cameras with data plans can be incredible tools for hog hunters. Upon arriving in Florida, Kips says they set out 2 trail cameras in the areas they were planning on hunting. Because these cameras send photos to your phone as they are captured, Kip says they were able to save a lot of time by not going to sites where there was limited, or no activity at all. There can be a lot of sign in an area which can look promising to a hunter, however, if they aren’t there you are wasting your time. Kips says from one day to the next, hogs can move on quickly. The cameras allowed them to maximize their time and go to different locations where they could be successful instead of unknowingly sitting on a site lacking activity.
Get outdoors y’all, and take your kids!