Alligator defense question

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Alligator defense question

#1

Post by Interblog » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:53 am

I searched about 5 years' worth of threads and didn't see any focused discussion on gator defense strategy. I saw stories about a Grandma who got a permit and shot a gator that had eaten her mini-horse, a gator that treed a teenager and had to be shot by a LEO, an 800-lb gator found in Sugarland, stories about a gator having eaten a Florida woman, the legendary gator that ate a pet dog on the University of Houston Clear Lake campus, and that genius in Orange County TX who was killed by a gator a few years ago after having been warned not to go swimming in the animal's lair. But nothing about how to deal with one personally.

There's a story going around about a super-sized gator lurking in 'our' little section of Rayburn (husband and I have a shack in a small waterfront community). No human encounters have been reported, but the stories have been enough to keep some of the local kayakers out of the water.

I realize that the odds of encountering a nuisance gator are very low, but (a) I like to kayak and (b) I like to have a contingency plan in my head, just in case. How would you handle it if you were in a one-person non-motorized craft and you were suddenly faced with a twelve-footer? This was the question I was asking myself yesterday as I was paddling carefully along the shore.


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Re: Alligator defense question

#2

Post by glock27 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:04 am

Carry while you kayak. If it comes toward you shoot it. Deal with the legalities after you save your live. If their are any which I doubt
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Maxwell
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Re: Alligator defense question

#3

Post by Maxwell » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:15 am

I don't know if any "carry-able" pistols would have much effect on a large gator. However the noise might scare them off or at least delay their approach until you can get out of the area.

Best suggestion, a jon-boat, or even a canoe, would be less likely to tip over but you have a bigger problem. Lake Sam Rayburn is Army CoE. A firearm in your boat would be a federal crime if I understand the laws correctly.
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Re: Alligator defense question

#4

Post by Wag2323 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:28 am

I was almost in a situation like this hunting in Louisiana swamp. I was still pretty warm after Thanksgiving and I nearly walked on an alligator that was under some floating vegetation. He came up and thrashed around and I quickly backed off.

If I had needed to shoot him. I would have and then called the game warden to deal with what ever legal ramifications occurred.

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Re: Alligator defense question

#5

Post by J.R.@A&M » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:42 am

This goes more to the premise of the OP's question. I recently posted a question about alligator risk while hanging around/in the creeks of the Sam Houston National Forest, where I hike and hunt. Out of curiosity, I inquired of a professional alligator removal service in the Houston area. His response is below (he played down the risk, based on the context of my question). In my specific situation those creeks are probably too intermittent to sustain large alligators unless they travel back and forth from Lake Conroe further downstream. Nevertheless, I carry a .357 revolver for potential 4-legged or 2-legged risks. And a 30-30 during rifle season.

My Post: Hi. I do a lot of walking in pondy, intermittent creek channels like Little Lake Creek up in the Sam Houston Natl Forest. I bowhunt while walking in creek channels. Right now that creek is waist deep. Ok with my waders, but what is risk from alligators while slowly wading? I have never seen nor heard about them west of Lake Conroe or SH State Park. Thanks for any thoughts. John R

------------------------------His Answer-----------------------------------
"They dont eat people. Nearly no risk so long as you dont catch a nesting momma, and they give lots of warning. Mature gators actually big enough to hurt u, are smart enough to keep their distance. I am in the water with them all the time."
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Re: Alligator defense question

#6

Post by flechero » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:15 am

I think if the risk was that low, he would not be employed in a gator removal business. ;-)

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Re: Alligator defense question

#7

Post by PriestTheRunner » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:27 am

Maxwell wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:15 am
I don't know if any "carry-able" pistols would have much effect on a large gator. However the noise might scare them off or at least delay their approach until you can get out of the area.
https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-460xvr

Darn, need to buy a new gun for 'gator protection'... lol
:mrgreen:

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Re: Alligator defense question

#8

Post by RPBrown » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:42 am

I have been hunting in the swamps east of Houston all the way to Louisiana and have seen many a gator. All of which went away from me. Now, if you happened upon a nesting mother then all bets are off.
Also, my ex father in law had a place on a backwater creek at Lake Livingston. They had an old 12 footer that would swim out of the creek into the lake to a nearby island in the mornings and back in the evening. Kids swam in the creek all of the time. He would always stay up so you could see him coming and when he was seen, everyone would come out of the water and give him a clear path. Worst that ever happened was we had left quite a few fish on a stringer at the dock and when we went out in the afternoon to get them, all that was left was the heads.

State law says you actually have to call a licensed nuisance gator removal expert to have it removed. Several recorded instances of people shooting gators "in self defense" and being fined. I have not found a single instance locally (TEXAS) where a gator was killed in full self defense. The closest I found was 2 guys in a boat called 911 because an 11' gator was coming at them in their 10' boat so they shot it. The were eventually charged.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Fishe ... 83165.html

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/fort-wo ... rities-say
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Re: Alligator defense question

#9

Post by Rob72 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:53 am

I thought Barnes used to offer a solid copper, flat-nosed, slug, but I couldn't find them. This is probably a fair round: http://www.selwayarmory.com/buffalo-bor ... of-20.html

or the Barnes 160 grain Hone Badger
http://www.selwayarmory.com/black-hills ... of-20.html

Gator hide is thick and tough, so expanding projectiles won't do a whole lot.

Personally, a Ruger Alaskan, in .44 Mag, in a chest-holster, with a hefty flat-nosed loading, would be a reasonable carry. Statistically, your odds of being attacked by an alligator are low. Those odds do increase, every time you meet them, and every time they meet other humans, and become less reluctant to eat, ah, I mean, "meet," you. ;-) Just like wild dogs. just like bears. Just like large cats...

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Re: Alligator defense question

#10

Post by bblhd672 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:02 pm

Don't the "Swamp People" gator hunters generally use a .22LR?

Having grown up in Louisiana, I never had a gator come toward me faster than I was moving away from it. :biggrinjester:
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Re: Alligator defense question

#11

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:21 pm

The problem with shooting a gator in "self defense" is that it can be seen as you over reacting to the simple presence of a gator. Reality of it is, you are not likely to see the gator that grabs you and by the time that happens, shooting it is gonna be a very difficult process. Common sense tells you that if you see a gator approaching you, you should move out of the way.


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Re: Alligator defense question

#12

Post by Interblog » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:29 pm

Maxwell wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:15 am
..... Lake Sam Rayburn is Army CoE. A firearm in your boat would be a federal crime if I understand the laws correctly.
Can anyone expound on this please? The property adjoining the lake is private property. At some point there is an invisible line on the shore where we step onto USACOE property (dry land) as we approach the water's edge. Is the entire water surface (submerged land) considered "federal" for firearms purposes? What about the guys who pile into the john boats to go hunt in areas of the National Forest that are only accessible by boat? (Well, very little is ONLY accessible by boat, but many areas are far, far easier to get to that way.)

I've known not to take handguns into USACOE campgrounds, for instance. The rest is a bit unclear to me.

Edit: I sorted out the Wiki entries and came up with this list of federal lakes in Texas:

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Re: Alligator defense question

#13

Post by LimaCharlie3 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:01 pm

I have no personal experience in this, but an old coworker used to hunt alligators, legally. He only used a crossbow since “no bullet is effective”, he’d say. His scary story was when on a Jon boat, he inadvertently came too close to a nesting mama gator. It nearly broke the boat in half. Caught off guard, .357’s were “bouncing off her head” and only served to distract her long enough for him to move away from her protected area.
Now normally, alligators that aren’t starving for food are not aggressive. A neighborhood pond here freqently has a lone gator visit for a week or so. I’ve watched many try to capture them but it’s always a game warden, a loaf of wonderbread and a roll of duct tape that snags it. Pretty cool to watch that kind of skill.

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Re: Alligator defense question

#14

Post by Maxwell » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:13 pm

PriestTheRunner wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:27 am
Maxwell wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:15 am
I don't know if any "carry-able" pistols would have much effect on a large gator. However the noise might scare them off or at least delay their approach until you can get out of the area.
https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-460xvr

Darn, need to buy a new gun for 'gator protection'... lol
:mrgreen:
And can you fit THAT in an AIWB? I know, I know, "Why yes, that is a Smith & Wesson but I am glad to see you anyway..." "rlol"

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Re: Alligator defense question

#15

Post by bigtek » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:42 pm

Interblog wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:29 pm
Maxwell wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:15 am
..... Lake Sam Rayburn is Army CoE. A firearm in your boat would be a federal crime if I understand the laws correctly.
Can anyone expound on this please? The property adjoining the lake is private property. At some point there is an invisible line on the shore where we step onto USACOE property (dry land) as we approach the water's edge. Is the entire water surface (submerged land) considered "federal" for firearms purposes? What about the guys who pile into the john boats to go hunt in areas of the National Forest that are only accessible by boat? (Well, very little is ONLY accessible by boat, but many areas are far, far easier to get to that way.)
COE waters are off limits to civilians with firearms. The Army brass forswore their oath to defend the constitution, and decided to intentionally and knowingly infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
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