Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gator Hunt

There is excitement in the air around here... my son who moved to Hollywood last April is coming home for a visit tomorrow for the first time since he left!  We are killing the fatted calf that's for sure.  He also gets to meet his 9 mo. old nephew for the first time :)

So as I shared, Scott and I drive everyday to Sarasota for treatments.  We leave the house at 2:30 and arrive back home at 6:00.  I've always heard you can tell the health of your marriage if you have things to talk about.  We are putting that to the test, spending two and a half hours in the car with no distractions, Monday-Friday!  The scenery on this particular drive is... how shall I say... BORING BEYOND BELIEF... but more on that later.

We do pass over the Little Manatee River and the Big Manatee River going and coming, and the other day we reminisced about one fateful night, years ago.  Here's how it went down...

Phone rings...
Scott: "Hey Teri, a buddy of mine from work drew a tag this year so we are going gator hunting tonight."
Me: "Why do you have to go at night?"
Scott: "It's the best time to catch them." (said with authority... like he's been doing this his whole life)
Me: "Uhhh... ok. Have fun."  
(this was of course said without having any clue to what this actually meant, and of course I thought the chances of them getting a gator were nil)

About midnight the phone woke me up out of a sound sleep.  Scott's end of the conversation was said with major excitement and breathlessness...
Scott: "Teri!!  WE GOT A GATOR!!!!  It's huge! It almost got us.  It drug us around the lake for an hour with the boat in reverse!!!"
Me: (yawn) "That's nice honey. When will you be home?"
Scott: "I have no idea.  We are taking it back to the house to take pictures.  We still have to skin it and cut up the meat.  We are having the head mounted.  He's big! 
He weighs over 800 lbs. and is 13 ft. long."
Me: (yawn) "Great honey. Don't wake me up when you come in."

We lost the other photos which show the size better, but imagine the head was 2 feet long by itself.  See how small Scott's hand looks on his back.

As you can tell by my reaction... the size and weight of the gator did not register in my sleepy head.  Here's what I found out... He and 2 friends were in a 15 foot boat.  They drove around in the complete dark with a spotlight, looking for glowing eyes.  When they spotted the gator, they noticed how far apart his eyes were... they knew he was big.  They got up to him and hit him with a spear with a removable head connected to a rope and a float.  Scott was leaning over the side of the boat, and his buddy yelled at him not to do that... the gator could have easily jumped up and took his head off.  Obviously angry, the gator drug the boat around while they had it in reverse for over an hour.  He would not give up so easily.  Finally he tired out and they killed it with a "bang" stick right on top of his head. 
Now it was time to load it in the boat.  

Did you note the gator is 800 lbs... and 13 feet long???  They were trying to haul it up and over the side of a 
15 foot boat!!!!! 
My question is, where did they stand/sit once this monster was in???? Scott told me the boat had a center console, so the three men had to stay on the opposite side of the boat to try and balance the weight so the boat wouldn't tip over.

I did not in anyway appreciate the whole thing, until the next day, when in my den I stepped off 13 feet.  I was in shock!  A few days later the pictures came in... more shock. I can't believe they made it out alive.  They had the head mounted, but luckily, it only stayed at our house a few days, and went to the boat owners home to live :).

They were such heros.  One photo even made it into Scott's company national magazine. And oh joy... we had gator tail for dinner.  Taste like chicken!  


Meagan said...

I love that picture. What an adventure! Craig would love to do that, but I wouldn't want to know about it until he was home safe.

Karen said...

Teri, that is unbelievable! It was huge! Too scary for me. But thanks for sharing it.

High Heeled Life said...

WOW!! This is incredible ... I was showing hubby and he was very excited (being a deer hunter)...

Really enjoyed your something is missing post ...XO HHL

Cherry Blossoms said...

That is crazy.
A few years ago I was in Vero Beach (love that little place) and I thought it was so neat to boat thru the marshland and see the gators.

PS: Hope the treatments are going well for your husband and have a great time with your son.

Priscilla said...

Oh, boy! What a trophy.
Living near the Sierras, my husband did a lot of hunting (and fishing) but thankfully nothing nearly so dangerous as alligators - thank goodness.
Have a wonderful time with your son. Isn't it great when they come home? For a visit - not permanently!:-)

Mya said...

I am hoping that was a 'once is enough' adventure. That scared me just to read about it. Even a much smaller gator is dangerous.
Never eaten it, do not plan to, but my cousin also says it tastes like chicken.

Beth - In My World... said...

Holy smokes - that is one big gator!

I just found your blog and was thrilled when I saw "Sarasota" as this is where I journey to from Upstate New York every February for two weeks. It is a beautiful area...

So between Sarasota and also being a fellow francophile, I knew this was meant to be.

A Tale of Two Cities said...

My goodness--that is amazing! Must be fun reliving that one over and over. Hope you are enjoying having your son around for awhile!

Heather Pranitis said...

I'm a new follower! This post gave me a much needed chuckle this evening. And hmmm, I'm glad your hubby and his friend are A-ok in the 15 foot boat. :)

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