We checked our gator hunting gear in Colton’s pickup to be certain we had everything we would need tonight. Then we set out for a new area. Daylight was signing off for today.
It was dark when we arrived at the next place David had picked out for tonight’s gator bowhunt. We drove around in a muddy area with lots of shallow water marsh.
This was a huge area that is flooded with overflow from the adjacent swamps. The area had a network of faint two-track roads. David shined particular areas and we spotted gator eyes in three different areas. They turned out to be 5 and 6 footers and weren’t the larger, older and more mature gators we were searching for. Below is an owl that is watching us navigate through its immediate area.
Later on we stopped near a deeper place in the marsh and were pleased to shine up a set of reddish gator eyes. When Colton glassed the gator he saw a big boy in the binocs. I got my bow and David took the battery powered spot light and we walked slowly through the reeds and marsh plants in ankle deep water … toward the gator.
When we stopped David called and we saw the gator splash in the water and got a good look at him, a fat mature bull gator. A second splash got our attention, it was another big gator off to our left. Both gators started in our direction.
We tracked their positions by the movement of the reeds and marsh plants as well as by the noise they made in the water as they got closer to us.
So far tonight we hadn’t had any problem with mosquitoes. But now, all of a sudden, mosquitoes showed up big time. Back at the truck I had put my ThermaCELL in my pants pocket just in case they gave us a visit. I turned it on. It takes a little while before it gets going enough to back them off and they continued to hammer us as the gators got closer to us.
Each alligator was roughly 45 degrees from us, one on the right and one on our left. When they were 15 yards from us they both stopped and hunched down in the water plants. We couldn’t see their eyes any more but they were there, underneath the cover of the aquatic leaves.
David said quietly but earnestly, “Sometimes, on a gator hunt, you have to have balls of steel.” Standing in ankle deep water watching two gators come to us from 60 yards away, Colton and I didn’t dissagree.
David called again. The gator on the right made audible grunting sounds. I had an arrow nocked and was ready to shoot if got a good look at one of the alligators.
We waited, trying not to swat the horde of biting mosquitoes. David didn’t want the gators to pick up our movement. In a few minutes the ThermaCELL gave us some relief on the mosquitoe front.
The gator on the right swirled quietly in the shallow water and the reeds moved and marked its progress as it went back towards where it came from.
We waited on the other gator but did not see any indications that it was still there or that it had left.
Afterward, we decided to call it a day and drove back to David’s home. He had a busy “gator hunting” day planned for the three of us tomorrow.
To Bowhunting.Net: Alligator Bowhunt 2012 Home Page
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