This morning David drove us to an area with a major “Gator Slide.” He stopped and we got out to let me get a closer look at it. You can see it to the left of David in the picture below.
Just like deer and other wild animals, alligators use trails to and from food sources, water holes, their main living areas and places where they hang out. Gator Slides are used often where there are dikes, dams or hills that drop down to the water. An alligator can hide in the weeds and underbrush at the top and watch the area until they want to use the slide to go down to the water.
Here is a closer look at this big gator slide. You can actually see gator tracks and tail drags in the sand.
Brother Turner met us. He wanted to show us some secluded water holes on his expansive 12,000 acres of private land that we were hunting today. Definitely, Brother took us off the beaten track. We got, you might say, down and dirty.
We went to both small and large ponds where Brother knows that mature alligators frequently hang out. Below David Mills carefully scans a nice waterway with his binoculars.
We also splashed and mudded our way to small secluded ponds that gators are known to call home.
It’s been said that Mother Nature is a harsh mistress and this cow I saw would agree to that cliche.
Here is another small, nearly hidden pond.
After a few hours of looking over Brother’s sprawling area of coastal marshes, swamps and ponds he and David decided we were going to hunt in one of the marshes where we had seen gators. Earlier, Colton had parked a John Boat and he picked it up and we drove to our marsh.
A high bank borders our marsh on all four sides. Colton unhitched the boat and we drove to the place where we had seen the gators earlier.
David went to work. He “rigged a chicken”, one of the opportunistic gators favorite finds. But this chicken was specially prepared to help us locate a mature gator.
David ran a strong salt water fishing line through the fat chicken and tied a 2 inch wooden dowel to the end of the line. Then Colton and I followed him down to the water’s edge and he sunk a long stake in the mud and attached the chicken to it so it was over the water.
As he did this Colton tied a red and white AMS Bowfishing float to the other end of the line.
When we got back in the pickup and drove away I said, “It seems to me it’ll be almost impossible for an alligator to find that chicken any time soon.”
David told me that chicken juces would drip onto the water and spread out. Alligators have an excellent sense of smell and they would pick up on it and come to the source of the chicken odor. The chicken was large enough that a young gator could not swallow it. And he added that we would return tonight after dark and he’d bet breakfast at Clock’s that a big gator would have found that chicken.
As you may know already, Ive gator hunted with David several times before, and I’m fully aware that he totally knows his stuff. But it seemed to me that the odds were more in favor of a gator not finding it that soon. Yep, I felt like David would be buying my breakfast tomorrow morning.
But I was wrong…
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