The American alligator is the apex predator of the southern U.S. states including Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and North and South Carolina (see map below). Adult males can reach between 11-15 feet on average, while adult females generally reach between 8-9 feet.
Alligators hunt by stealth and kill by ambush, and are so well-designed for it that their bodies nearly haven’t changed or evolved since they were created. That being said, humans have hunted alligators for hundreds of years and alligator meat is a delicacy in many states (and yes, it does taste like chicken).
In a survival situation, if you can down an alligator you will have enough meat to keep you going for a long time (dependent on the animal’s size). Keep reading to check out a video on how to skin and harvest meat from an alligator.
This map shows the habitat and range of the American alligator:
When it comes to alligator meat, most of it comes from the animal’s tail. The meat from the body is a darker meat with a stronger, more pronounced taste.
In order to kill an alligator, your best bet is any rifle that you’d use to go deer hunting. Calibers such as the .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, 7.62×39, and the powerful 7.62x54R are all exceptional. If you don’t have a rifle, handguns work just as well but will be more dangerous since you’ll have to be closer to get that headshot. People also hunt alligators with bows, so pick your weapon of choice.
The following video demonstrates how to effectively clean an alligator, from removing its hide to harvesting the meat. At around the 11:19 mark in the video is when he talks about removing the tail meat.
Now you can’t just go kill an alligator and try to remove its skin and meat. In order to practice hunting this animal you will need to schedule a hunt in of the states it lives in. Florida, for example, has some great alligator hunting hotspots and information on hunting it can be found here on myfwc.com such as prices for tags and other requirements.
If you ever find yourself in a survival situation anywhere where alligators or other crocodilians live, find a body of water and hide somewhere high where you can spot one basking on the bank. A headshot is the safest way to kill the animal and keep in mind that you’ll have to retrieve the body. Do not shoot an alligator that is out swimming, or you’ll have to get wet to get the body – something not too wise since there will be other alligators in the water.