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Gators on the trail and such (rambling)

Grey Mouse

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Grey Mouse

Now I know that you guys and gals have been both here and there but many have never been close to a wild gator. Yes there are "tame" pet ones that are not so friendly. Often I see discussions on bears, cats, etc but most people don't cover gators. No if your hiking in the neck of the woods that have them such as near Andalousia on the 27 mile Connecuh Trail or parts of the Florida Trail they'll warn you about them. We also have a might few here and on average the small ones (six feet and under) will just leave you alone unless your fishing (they like orange bobbers) and will often just run/swim away. Now the medium ones (seven to twelve feet) are man eaters because their young enough and not too heavy yet. The large ones are generally too slow to catch you unless your in the water due to bulk and weight..that is unless your foolish enough to be real close (rolling my eyes and whistling innocently).

Back to the trail. If a gator is facing any way other than at you then you have a good chance of getting away (if your from the city) as a gator can run forward quickly but is lousy at turning (movement wise). A gator that is in one to three feet of water is the deadliest as he is half buoyant and doesn't weigh much the first few feet of his "rushing at you".  He may look like he's swimming in a deep ol' pool but he's really eating the fish that got trapped in a shallow pond after the river swelled. If the gator is on the trail you have a good chance of giving him a wide berth and safely navigating around him but look out because he may have friends or she may have a nest near by. I mention the water depth above because if your crossing at the moment and he gets the drop on you then he'll have a nice lunch. I know that it goes without saying but never run uphill from a gator although I never run from a gator anyways.  

How do you know how big he is ? Well. Look at his tail. How Long is it ? Compare that to the body and head to find out. For example: Four foot of tail is normally about three to four feet of torso and three feet of head. That's about eleven feet long at most which is too much to wrestle by yourself. A four foot gator can hurt you so stay away (disclaimer there) unless your Acadian and then ...well you know .... add a little salt, pepper, and holy trinity to the gumbo :P Remember... a six foot gator you can wrestle over and flip him but an eight footer will get you wet when you jump on him (never wrestle a gator in the water if avoidable) in the dark. You'll need two people and a six pack for an eleven footer. If he's wide then it's three people and a bottle of SOCO (Southern Comfort). I saw two four footers and a nine footer two weeks ago while fishing. Man that would have been some good eating but the wife was all like "Don't stop !" when I slowed the boat down. I told her that "He was too big for her to hold in the boat and we needed to drag him". The look that I got when she realized that I meant bringing the four footers in the boat  and dragging the medium one B)

We have a gator hunting season here and the record is like fifteen feet but I have personally seen a sixteen footer come up next to my 14' boat. My buddy had just gotten a flip cell phone with a camera (like 1mp lol) that he didn't know how to use so he was splashing his hand in the water like a fish so that he could get a picture of her. She came over to check us out but fumble fingers wasn't educated enough to work the phone's camera. She was impressive and since we didn't have any liquor (bourbon) so we decided to let her pass. Btw... the liquor is for drinking and adding to gumbo while you cook the meal on the river to avoid the warden. He'll take your food and eat it while slapping your hand and patting you on the back at the same time. It was also "closed season" for gators but only for city fellers.

Edited by Grey Mouse
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