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Day 1: Hunters enjoy alligator season

Hunters scan the surface of Lake Trafford in Immokalee to pick up the reflection of alligator eyes on August 15, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff

Photo by GREG KAHN

Hunters scan the surface of Lake Trafford in Immokalee to pick up the reflection of alligator eyes on August 15, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff

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  • Ernie Preshard, left, drags two alligators off his boat after getting back to shore as he and friend Bruce Essen finished their first hunting trip of the season on Lake Trafford in Immokalee on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Fort Myers lawyer Bruce Essen uses a spotlight to peer over the side of his boat and see the alligator he and friend Ernie Preshard killed on  Lake Trafford in Immokalee on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • As Fort Myers lawyer Bruce Essen, left, reels in an alligator to their boat, friend Ernie Preshard, right, prepares to strike using a harpoon, and then a bang stick, a spring loaded metal pole with a bullet that shoots when banged, as the pair hunt for alligators of the Lake Trafford in Immokalee on Sept. 2, 2010. The pair have been alligator hunting together for the last 10 years. Preshard plans on making his wife a pair of boots from the alligators he catches this year. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Ernie Preshard, left, takes a photo of friend Bruce Essen, right, posing with two alligators they killed during a hunting trip on Lake Trafford in Immokalee on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Bruce Essen, right, takes pictures of his kill during an alligator hunting trip on Lake Trafford in Immokalee on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Ernie Preshard, left, and friend Bruce Essen, right, use a tape measure to check the sizes of alligators they caught and killed during a hunting trip on Lake Trafford in Immokalee on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • After returning to shore, Bruce Essen checks out the alligators he caught and killed on Lake Trafford on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • A dead alligator lies in the blood soaked water of Lake Trafford on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Ernie Preshard, left, begins to reel in another alligator as friend Bruce Essen, right, re-loads a bang stick to kill the reptile as the pair hunt for alligators on Lake Trafford in Immokalee on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Ernie Preshard, left, shines his head lamp onto the bow of the boat as Fort Myers lawyer Bruce Essen, right, uses a hunting knife to cut the spinal cord of an alligator after it was dragged aboard as the pair hunt for alligators of the Lake Trafford in Immokalee on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • After using the bang stick to kill an alligator and taping its mouth shut, Ernie Preshard drags the reptile onto the bow of his boat while Bruce Essen looks on while the pair hunted on Lake Trafford on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • A family heads out on an airboat during the last light of the day during the first night of alligator hunting season at Lake Trafford in Immokalee on August 15, 2010. Hunters are allowed to begin their search for alligators one hour before sundown. Each hunter who receives a permit to hunt alligator is allowed to catch two. Many who get a permit  will team up with another permit holder and combine tags to pull in more alligators on their hunt. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • A man pulls his bait net from the water at Lake Trafford as an alligator circles nearby on the first day of alligator hunting season in Immokalee on August 15, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Hunters Jeff Sciarrino, right, and Jian Wu, left, prepare their boat as others do the same on the first day of alligator hunting season at Lake Trafford in Immokalee on August 15, 2010. The first day of alligator hunting season has become an event for sportsmen looking to bag their own alligator. Their families come to watch the hunters from shore, hoping to see them return with a prize alligator. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • An alligator's eyes glows as a light is shined it its direction during the first day of alligator hunting season at Lake Trafford in Immokalee on August 15, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Hunters scan the surface of Lake Trafford in Immokalee to pick up the reflection of alligator eyes on August 15, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Marc Huling, right, and Darren Ehrman, left, are the first hunters back with an alligator they estimate at 12 feet, the largest catch of the first night of alligator hunting season at Lake Trafford in Immokalee on August 15, 2010. The season goes until Nov. 1. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, more than 2,000 alligators are harvested each year by hunters to manage the reptile's population. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Fort Myers lawyer Bruce Essen uses a spotlight to scan the surface of the Lake Trafford in Immokalee as he and friend Ernie Preshard hunt alligators from a boat on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Fort Myers lawyer Bruce Essen, left, and friend Ernie Preshard, right, use a spotlight to scan the surface of the Lake Trafford in Immokalee as they hunt alligators from a boat on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Fort Myers lawyer Bruce Essen, left, and friend Ernie Preshard, right, use a spotlight to scan the surface of the Lake Trafford in Immokalee as they hunt alligators from a boat on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • Fort Myers lawyer Bruce Essen uses a spotlight to scan the surface of the Lake Trafford in Immokalee as he and friend Ernie Preshard hunt alligators from a boat on Sept. 2, 2010. Essen said he participates in alligator season because he loves the thrill of the hunt and being out in nature. Greg Kahn/Staff
  • An alligator floats along the banks of Lake Trafford in Immokalee on Sept. 2, 2010. Greg Kahn/Staff

Hunters take to Lake Trafford in Immokalee to find alligators.

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