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  #1  
Old 03-20-2007, 07:44 AM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Does this house come with Gators?

I was sitting out back yesterday morning, it was 72 degrees at 8:00am and the weather was beautiful.
I noticed that the people across the canal had their house up for sale and they were having some people over to look at the house.

As I sipped my coffee, I could almost follow what was going on over there as the owner showed where he replaced the roof after the last storm.
A young couple was listening intently, they had a small boy who was very interested with the canal.
I thought to myself “if they buy this house, they better put up a fence across the back to keep that kid out of the canal.”

The show was getting boring and I was about to go inside when I noticed some movement just at the water line behind the house.

It was a large Iguana, he was coming out of the water about 20 feet from the group of people. I thought to myself, that’s odd, Iguana’s don’t usually go that close to people.

The owner saw the Iguana and pointed to it to show the couple the wildlife that lives around the canal. The wife scooped up her child in a flash, they do kind of look like a gator, from the look on her face she didn’t quite believe it was harmless.

But the best was yet to come, to everyone’s surprise, about 10 seconds after the Iguana surfaced, a 7 foot + Gator (alligator for you folks up north), came running out of the water just behind the Iguana. He was hot on his heels and looking for a quick breakfast.

The wife let out a scream, “Bill, look at that!!!”, as she ran for the house with the boy under one arm. :willy_nilly:

The owner seeing that the sale was heading south, said “They are more afraid of you then you are of them”. I think the wife would have agued that point had she stuck around long enough. She didn't look back!!!

Well, with all the distraction, the Iguana got up a nearby palm tree and the Gator was left in the middle of the yard with people screaming at him and running around.

The owner picked up a rake and started towards the Gator to get him to turn and run for the water.

Normally this would have succeeded, but a new problem came into the picture, the owners dog had gotten out of the house in all the confusion and was running around the Gator, barking and raising hell.

The Gator, who was still short a good breakfast, decided to try for the dog. He swung his tail and caught the dog in the chest sending him flying back. Fortunately he caught the dog with the broad part of the tail. This sent the dog high ( 4 to 5 feet)in the air and over the Gators awaiting mouth. That’s two meals he missed. The dog landed on the ground shaken but not hurt, he had the air knocked out of him.

The Gator, not going to let this meal get away, charged the dog on the ground, but the owner who had run over to check the dog was now in between the gator and the dog. This kept the Gator off the dog until the dog caught it’s breath and ran for the house.

The gator decided to retreat for the water and hunt in another location.

This all happened in less then 10 seconds, for a moment I thought that I was going to see that gator eat the dog, it was real close, a matter of inches.

Needless to say the sale didn’t go through, I think I could hear the couple peeling out as they left, so much for living on the water in South Florida, I bet they go buy a condo.

FYI::thumbsup:

By the way, for 10 to 25 feet, a gator can move a lot faster then you can, so if you ever get around one, keep your distance.

Twice a year the gators move inland into the waterways to breed and stay warm, they usually hunt at night, so seeing one hunting during the day around here is unusual.During this time of year they are real aggressive, they are in a breeding season, they WILL attack.

They feed on small wild animals along with dogs (they love dog) and cats that get too close to the water. I didn’t think that a Gator would eat an Iguana, but this guy was sure it would taste good.

The canal we live on is 100 feet wide and it connects to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades. Yes, we are surrounded by water

There’s more to Florida besides golf courses and beaches. I can see the ad now, "a Gator in everyone 's pool", so much for home sales.:D

Tim
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2007, 05:04 PM
Peter Peter is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

WOW Tim...quite an exciting show. Glad all ended well. Being from up north, i've never seen a wild gator. I have watched the crocodile hunter though.

Thanks for the story,
Peter
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2007, 08:39 PM
Big-Un Big-Un is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

I lived in the Palm Beaches for 40 years and hunted the everglades in boats, swamp buggies and airboats and have seen my share of 'gators, both all peaceful like on a sunny day and in very aggressive moods during their breeding season. The bull 'gators are especially mean and will attack a human if he is in their territory. The old saying among the hunters was if you will be going after an alligator, the best bait is a small yipping dog, preferably a poodle! Of course any dog will do, but the yippers really bring the 'gators out! By the way, a 'gator's brain is about the size of a walnut, which makes them very hard to kill. I once shot one eleven times from about 4 feet off the back of a pickup truck, my boss shot him another nine times, which finally got him to spinning (a gator's death roll) and when he was still, it took four of us to load him into the truck. But, he wasn't through yet! As we were loading him, he started wiggling, making us drop him like a lead ballon, and we beat the mess out of his head with an iron pipe! He was nine feet nose to tail with the spread across the "horns" down his back at a little over 18 inches and his tail measured 34 inches in circumference at the base. We estimated he weighed around 350 pounds, but I'll tell you this, he was good! Most people think the tail is the best part, but the jowls are the prime meat on a 'gator. If any game wardens read this, I lied.
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2007, 07:08 AM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

They have Gator hunts now in Florida, the Gators have become a real problem in numbers in some areas, so they issue permits for a hunt each year.
Had my share of gator tail and yes the jowls get fought over.
Fish and Game pulled a 13 foot @ 450+lbs out of this canal last year, that's big enough to eat a human, not just take pieces.

Since we live on the water, the noise at night during breeding season around here is something to hear. It gets so loud that you have to close the windows to sleep. Right now I would guess that there are about 15 Gators within a 1/4 mile of our house, I'm guessing but the differnt tones at night can give you a clue to how many are around.

Not a good time to take night walks along the water, if you do, you should bring a dog along on a leash. They can hear the gator before you get close to it, this will keep you from stepping on it in the dark.

You can tell the big ones from how deep the croaking is, the deeper the sound the bigger the gator. There's a good sized Gator hole two houses down and across the canal from us, we heard something get eaten last night just behind the house. A loud scream, water splashing, then silence, erie to hear.
Another duck bites the dust.
Tim
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2007, 10:33 AM
Peter Peter is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

Sounds like gators could be a REAL hazard to the unsuspecting passerby. Around where I live in CT we are starting to have frequent bear sightings and a few home invasions by them. I encountered them a couple of times myself.

One was a cub that scrambled across a rural road about 50 ft in front of me while I was out for a cruise on my motorcycle. It was surprising how long its claws were for a small bear.

The other, I also saw on a very rural road. Was traveling uphill on very crumbled pavement and noticed a BIG black object in the distance. As I approached this rather large bear was curious but not concerned as I apprehensively cruised by. It just stood at the edge of the road looking at me on my motorcycle. If it had been inclined to attack, I probably would have been an easy victim as the road was too narrow to make a U turn and I was within about 20 ft of the bear. I would guess it weighed about 300 lbs.

I was in Florida some years back in the Longboat key area. The little lizards I saw everywhere were kind of cool....actually some were NOT too cool as they didn't seem to know enough to get out of the sun prior to frying to death!

Peter
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Old 03-21-2007, 04:14 PM
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Danny C Danny C is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

That was all fun to read - where's the pics? Don't you keep a camera handy for just such occasions?
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2007, 06:59 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

I usually do keep a camera around, but you can never have it ready soon enough for these kind of pictures.

It happens so fast, it's like trying to take a picture of a "falling star". By the time you get the camera pointed in the right direction, it's gone.

I have picture of the Iguana, he and his mate live in the almond tree out back at night.
The male is about 9 feet long, most of it tail. The female is smalller, and there are a few that show up with him from time to time.

The Gators aren't very good at posing for pictures but if I can I'll get a shot of one, I will.
I saw a baby Gator about a foot long in the back yard by the water the other day, I've yet to see Mama.
This time of year I wear a .45 if I'm going out back after dark, just in case, at least the wife will hear the shots before I'm dragged under.

We have a boat ramp that makes it even easier for them to get out of the water, so I keep that in mind.

It's not like they look to run into humans so it is usually a mutual retreat when you run into one, they head one way, you head the other, if your smart.
But it will load up your shorts when you run into one over 8 feet, that's one time the wife will be able to smell you before she see's you.

God won't let you live in a place with this kind of beautiful weather and water without having to have something to keep the area from getting too crowded
What would keep everyone from moving to Florida? How about, mosquitos big enough to put a saddle on, with snakes and Gators, and to keep things from getting too boring, hurricanes.
Every place has something, snow, ice, tornadoes, earthquakes, desert's, it works.
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:38 PM
Big-Un Big-Un is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

A few years ago the Fish and Wildlife Commission posted a picture of the results of a python trying to eat a gator...they both died! The gator was a six footer so you can imagine the size of the snake. Also, a few years back a boy scout on a conoeing trip with his troop was attacked and killed by a gator in full sight of his friends. The water was only two feet deep and the scouts were pushing their canoes to shore when he attacked. They found the boy stuffed under an embankment, the logical place to look as gators stash their prey under water to "age" so they can be eaten more easily. Not a pretty sight, but that is the way nature is.

Yes Tim, I understand gator licenses are issued by the Game Commission, and I applied for one every year until I moved to NC in '02, but it is by lottery and somehow all the ex-poachers always got a license while us poor saps obeying the law (mostly) never got drawn. I won't say it was rigged, but it sure was funny how the "experienced" hunters were always chosen.

If you run across any young gators, leave them alone! Bull gators eat the young and Mama gator is fierce about protecting them. We ran across a gator nest in the everglades while hunting and decided to play with them. They were less than a foot long overall, but when Mama gator started charging us through the knee deep water and sawgrass, it was all we could do to get back on the swamp buggy in time. They are faster in their element than on land, and they are extremely fast there. I can't reiterate it enough...LEAVE THE LITTLE ONES ALONE!

Last edited by Big-Un; 03-22-2007 at 12:42 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2007, 04:13 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

Yep, you've been in the Glades, nothing like tromping through knee deep water wondering which is going to bite you first, a Gator or a snake.

Now that's a good way to spend a weekend!!!

When I worked, I designed the pumping system upgrades for the Everglades Parks Assoc., they had me out in the Glades to all their pumping stations by Airboat designing the retrofit of the control systems.

I got them a grant from FEMA for the retrofit because I designed the system to be replaceable in 3 minutes or less. This qualified them for a 406 grant from the government through FEMA.

At that time the Boa scare had just started and they found that snake and gator that you mentioned.

Seems that people in town started to release their pet snakes in the Everglades, since Boa's were very popular they were one released.
They adapted to the Everglades with ease and started to gain in numbers,,,,,and size.

Now I think there is a bounty for any Boa caught or shot in the Glades, it seems I heard $50. But that could be wrong.

Good advice for anyone thinking of going hunting down here, don't do it without someone that knows the Glades.

Besides Gators, there are about 10 different types of poisonous snakes that will do a number on you too.

Tim
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:57 PM
Big-Un Big-Un is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

It seems as if you have been all over the 'Glades! I guess you are familiar with the Miami Canal and the pumping station at Twenty Mile Bend, where my son and I saw one of the biggest gators I have ever seen...period! We were paddling a 16' canoe just south of the pumping station and ran across what looked like a floating log with water hyancths all around it, complete with a few cattle egrets on it. We passed within about twenty feet of it, and that was when I noticed the eye humps. As you probably know, a good way to judge a gator's size is to estimate the distance from his eye protrusions to his nostrils in inches and that will roughly give you his length in feet. Well, this guys eye/snout distance was about the length of my forearm, about 18", meaning he was close to 18 feet long. I really doubt he was actually that big, but he sure looked it from my point of view. Almost immediately he submerged, just sank like a rock, and my son and I made eye contact, didn't say a word, but started paddling quickly out of there. We weren't sure if the gator was hungry or just disturbed, but we were not going to hang around and find out!

Also, I got an e-mail last week with pictures about a huge gator at Lake Istokpoga near Sebring. It showed aerial photos of him in the water with a full grown deer in his mouth and one with him getting ready to stash it under water. They later showed a picture of him hanging from a boom truck after being killed by the Game Warden and said he was 23' 6" long and weighed nearly 1000 pounds. My instincts tell me it is all probably fabricated, but I was wondering if you had seen it or heard about it. Lake Istokpoga has some very good fishing but I didn't know it had gators like that there.

Last edited by Big-Un; 03-23-2007 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:57 PM
Big-Un Big-Un is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

It seems as if you have been all over the 'Glades! I guess you are familiar with the Miami Canal and the pumping station at Twenty Mile Bend, where my son and I saw one of the biggest gators I have ever seen...period! We were paddling a 16' canoe just south of the pumping station and ran across what looked like a floating log with water hyancths all around it, complete with a few cattle egrets on it. We passed within about twenty feet of it, and that was when I noticed the eye humps. As you probably know, a good way to judge a gator's size is to estimate the distance from his eye protrusions to his nostrils in inches and that will roughly give you his length in feet. Well, this guys eye/snout distance was about the length of my forearm, about 18", meaning he was close to 18 feet long. I really doubt he was actually that big, but he sure looked it from my point of view. Almost immediately he submerged, just sank like a rock, and my son and I made eye contact, didn't say a word, but started paddling quickly out of there. We weren't sure if the gator was hungry or just disturbed, but we were not going to hang around and find out!

Also, I got an e-mail last week with pictures about a huge gator at Lake Istokpoga near Sebring. It showed aerial photos of him in the water with a full grown deer in his mouth and one with him getting ready to stash it under water. They later showed a picture of him hanging from a boom truck after being killed by the Game Warden and said he was 23' 6" long and weighed nearly 1000 pounds. My instincts tell me it is all probably fabricated, but I was wondering if you had seen it or heard about it. Lake Istokpoga fas some very good fishing but I didn't know it had gators like that there.
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:00 PM
Big-Un Big-Un is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

Oops, hit too many buttons!
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:10 AM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

I was born in Miami, yes, I know that pump station, it's MS #23 if my memory serves me correctly. On the deep side of that station/lock is some of the best fishing in the area, Peacock Bass that grow to 8 or 9 lbs, Black Bass even bigger.
Your lucky that Gator wasn't hungry, they have been know to turn over a canoe either on purpose or because the canoe is so unstable and the gator bumps it trying to get away.
When I was a kid my father used to take me hunting all over the Glades, we spent a lot of time on the west coast in Bonita Springs.
We had some land way out in the swamps, it was really in the boonies.
Last year we went over to the west coast, that land way out in the boonies is now a Golf Course.
I wish he hadn't sold it in '70, I'd be a rich man with 10 acres in that location now. @^%*%&$&*(%^ Translation?,,,Don't even ask!!!

Tim
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:04 PM
Big-Un Big-Un is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

I know what you mean about the land values and the population explosion. The last house I built was near Loxahatchee and was right where I used to airboat. They didn't call it the Loxahatchee Slough for nothing!

We were lucky with the gator and the canoe. Good fishing was the reason we were there.
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:10 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Does this house come with Gators?

Does anyone know if I can put sound on the forum, there is a racket going on every night outside.

I was surprised to hear it until 10 am this morning, they are usually asleep by then.

There is a real small gator and at least two big gators right around my house this morning.
They make a kind of croaking sound that gets deeper and louder the bigger that the gator grows.

I could hear them through the closed windows loud enough to tell they were real close.
I'm talking about within 50 - 75 feet of the house, it get's real loud outside when they are all croaking back and forth.

I'll keep an eye out for one out where I can get a picture, but I will be able to tape the sound of them much easier.
It's something to hear, and then I think about the fact we live in a residential area, right near two schools.

One Baptist Church school owns property right up to the water three lot south of us, kid's play in that field every day.

I may sound like some old fart in the nieborhood, but I'm going over there and tell someone about the gator activity in the canal these days.
If they think I'm nuts, so be it, at least I told someone to watch out for the kids.
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