Once the alligator has been captured and brought adjacent to the boat it may be dispatched. Hunters are required by law to bring the animal boatside or to shore before attempting to dispatch the alligator. The animal may be killed with the use of a bangstick or a handgun (any caliber). To use a bangstick, the hunter should first allow the alligator’s head to go below the water’s surface. The hunter should then discharge the bangstick just behind the base of the skull/neck junction. The animal also may be dispatched by discharging a handgun at the base of the skull. Both the bangstick and the handgun should be aimed at the brain, angled slightly forward from just behind the rear of the skull. Hunters should note that the improper placement and discharge of the handgun or bangstick can occasionally only knock the alligator temporarily unconscious. Remember to only discharge a bangstick underwater. Alligators may not be transported in a boat or vehicle alive.
Do not shoot an alligator between the eyes or on the top of the skull. The skull is very thick and a bullet may ricochet off of the skull. To humanely kill an alligator, a shot must be directed to that portion of the neck/head juncture where the neck meets the top of the skull plate and angled slightly towards the skull (see illustration).
The alligator needs to be directly alongside the boat and the shot should be directed downward.
NEVER ASSUME THAT ANY ALLIGATOR IS DEAD.