alligator bootmaker

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by wEstSidE, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. wEstSidE

    wEstSidE Senior member

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    i want to go to florida, kill a gator, and have it made into a pair of shoes.

    who can make the shoes for me? bespoke preferred, obviously.
     


  2. bullethead

    bullethead Senior member

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  3. wEstSidE

    wEstSidE Senior member

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    Who is Troy? Link? Shipping the carcass is expensive, so I prefer someone in Florida
     


  4. Leaves

    Leaves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    That's probably very illegal.
     


  5. TheSizzle

    TheSizzle Senior member

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    I wouldn't be so bold as to say that.

    Florida strives to maintain a certain population level for alligators, and, so long as the proper permits were acquired, it might be feasible. Whether the individual seeking to do this was a resident of the state or not, they could still acquire the permits.

    As far as making them into shoes, I don't see how that would be any less legal than taxidermy. Now, with regards to getting the shoes made, he might have to verify the legality of shipping the materials across any state or national borders.

    Alligator leather has to come from a dead animal, and while hunting one simply for shoes might not be the most ethical endeavor, it could be legal. If it were being hunted for population control, to consume the meat, and use the hide, that could be a bit more morally justified. If the whole animal is used and respectfully, the hunt may proceed.

    So, going down to bag a gator without permission would certainly be illegal, the vague nature of the OP doesn't lead me to the conclusion that poaching was the objective.

    To the OP, please be courteous in your inquiries to avoid, or minimize, conflict with animal rights activists and members leaning more in that direction.

    Here's the link regarding Florida's alligator permits/hunting:

    http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/alligator/harvest/
     


  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I guess I'm stating the obvious here but the alligator hide would need to be tanned.

    Beyond that, wild alligators fight and are also subject to parasites that can damage the hide. Also some care would be needed with regard tot he placement of the kill shot.

    And to make matters worse, large, trophy alligators would yield a hide with very large tiles...not really the best stuff for dress shoes, although usable in a pinch, I suppose.
     


  7. TheSizzle

    TheSizzle Senior member

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    Now, that was an insightful post, DW. I guess it takes a man who makes shoes to point out the obvious stuff that someone just tracking down a gator might overlook.

    Perhaps, the OP has two interests here that should be separated:
    1.) Hunting (and consuming/making reasonable use of) an alligator in Florida.
    2.) Purchasing a new pair of bespoke alligator shoes.
     


  8. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    Send it to Vass shoes in Hungary and they will make you a pair in any design.
     


  9. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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  10. scotchman

    scotchman Well-Known Member

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    I'm moving to Tampa in June and would also like to know if there are any local tailors for gator skin. I imagine there HAS to be somebody...it's Florida.
     


  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I meant to add also that not all tannages are equal esp. when it comes to alligator. It's not like taxidermy. I have had folks approach me with requests to make shoes from wild hunted alligator and I always ask to see the alligator first. I would be very selective about how the alligator is tanned simply because as a maker you can't predict how the leather will react to wetting and stretching.

    Also, if you're contemplating this, you ought to try to imagine yourself skinning one on these beasts esp. since the premium tiles are in the belly and you would have to cut the hide off the animal...head to length of tail...starting in the heavily armoured areas over the backbone. If the animal is more than five feet long say, this is gonna be a big nasty smelly job.
     


  12. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Well, most people have two feet. I presume you too.

    To get a pair of boot/shoes where the design/texture of the tiles from left to right foot matches as close as possible you will need two hides. (If you only have one large hide you will have to cut from different parts of the animal and a mirror match is not possible.)

    [​IMG]

    Bespoke shoes by Gaziano&Girling


    That's where alligator farms come in. Only farmed animals from the same sub-species of alligator, hatched at the same time, raised on the same diet and in the same environmental conditions, and killed at the same time will make a close match possible.

    By all means, do your "White Hunter, Black Heart" number, shoot your big alligator, take a picture of yourself with the dead beast, then stuff it and fix it over the mantle piece, While you out there, call in at one of the alligator farms and buy two small hides (preferably tanned) to be turned into shoes/boots.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013


  13. hookem12387

    hookem12387 Senior member

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    Alligator hunting: It's not the most sporting of hunts, but you typically go hang a giant fishing hook, basically, with a big piece of chicken over the body of water in which the gator lives. At some point, it takes the bait, get's hooked, and eventually you get by to put a .22 between the things eyes to put it out of its misery. The .22 minimizes the amount you mess up the hide. From there, take the dead alligator to someone that processes and tans the hide. Take the hide to your desired bootmaker. Profit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013


  14. Victor Elfo

    Victor Elfo Senior member

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    Boy, that's the most amazing/funny/imaginative thread that I've ever read.
    Kill an alligator, take it to someone that processes and tans the hide, take it to a bootmaker, profit. What could go wrong? Subscribed.
     


  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Sure and everybody's seen "Swamp People" on The History Channel. But as Bengal Stripe says you're better off doing the hunt for the "trophy" and buying matched farm raised skins for your shoes.

    Best of all, of course, is to let the maker select the skins.
     


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