August 27, 2015
*Warning: Graphic Content
Recently, the outdoors website Wide Open Spaces, shared our 'gator cleaning video, and provided some helpful insight with it as well, check it out, here.
In the seminar above, Florida Sportsman's Trey Wheeler met up with the staff at All American Gator Products in Ft. Pierce, FL to learn how to properly skin and clean a Florida 'gator. If you are considering cleaning your gator kills on your own this year, this video will take you through the entire process from start to finish with professionals that have been in the business for over 20 years.
"During the 2012 Florida alligator harvest I was lucky enough to draw and fill two tags. The first gator I took down was no monster, measuring in at eight feet, but it was big enough for dinner. I decided with my first gator that I would skin and fillet the gator myself. I had spoken with a few guys who had cleaned their own and they told me it wasn't all that hard. Armed with a knife and what I thought would be a good instructional YouTube video I began the process.
Step by step, I followed the video making slow process as I played, paused, and rewound to play the video over and over. After a couple hours, dull blades, and a scene that belonged in a blockbuster Slasher film, I had finally finished “cleaning” my first alligator. It was not easy to accomplish cleaning my own gator without proper instruction. It was nothing like learning to fillet a fish with Dad standing over your shoulder telling you each step. Note: Do not cut open the stomach!
The second alligator was larger, measuring in at 10 feet long on the dot. After my first attempt, I figured it would be much more beneficial to have a professional do the skinning while I took a few notes. Watching the experienced alligator skinner work showed me the dos and don'ts of cleaning an alligator. What had taken me a few hours to accomplish he did in less than one hour.
I now know the steps to take for cleaning an alligator for future opportunities. I was not lucky enough to pull tags in 2013, but lucky enough that my brother and father did get tags. I will use the steps taken by the experienced skinner and apply them on my own this year to make cleaning an alligator a much better all-around experience." - Trey Wheeler