Yep, we got some big ones in FL …
But no matter how big very, very few will give you any problems. One group that will are females guarding their nests or hatchlings under two months old but only if you walk or paddle close to their nest or young 'uns. If you’re quick about leaving the area you’ll be fine.

The other, which is by far the most dangerous, are ‘human-habituated’ type. These are the killers. They are gators that have lost their natural fear of humans due to being either directly or indirectly fed and/or harassed by humans. You see, a 10 ft. gator’s cerebrum (the reasoning part of the brain) is roughly the size of a poker chip) so when fed by humans their minds cannot separate the food being fed to them by humans from human themselves.

You may also want to keep an eye on those living around any urban area. Even if never fed by a human they do become accustomed to being in our presence and lose their fear of us in that manner and since they are opportunistic feeders don’t swim alone, don’t dangle your feet over a culvert or dock, don’t take a nap on a bank or even turn your back for any length of time on or near a bank of a body of water where a gator may reside, and don’t get high on crack and go running naked through a swamp in the middle of te night (those of us living in the Tampa Bay area may remember this very incident a few years ago. I still chuckle thinking about that one).

Lastly, I had an occurence with a about a 13-14 footer while guiding a group at our local state park. The park’s guide canoe is a small SOB (sit on bottom) green w/ black trim Dagger Tupelo. It was the middle of last October and I’ve paddled by this gator many times without any problems. The weather was still warm. The first time I paddled by him that day he came off the bank and at about ten feet into the water started bellowing. We were laughing about it as we could still hear him bellowing two bends downriver.

All that changed on the way back.

As soon as he saw the guide canoe again he came off the bank and was making good speed on the surface in my direction. I told the folks in the other canoes to hang close to the inside bend while I faded to the left. Instead, they sat motionless as this gator got to within 20 feet of me before I smacked my paddle on the water, pointing it at “Ole Moe” and told him in a rather loud voice, “I’m not what you want! Really!” I guess he didn’t know what to think of the situation as he came to an abrupt stop, did a hard turn to the right and swam off as he sank beneath the surface. I kept paddling and as I turned to look back there he was, on the far side of the outside bend, looking somewhat bewildered. Sorry about breaking his heart but I’d rather educate him on about the reality of the situation before he had to find out the hard way I wasn’t a potential mate (which may have lead to some unfavorable consequences for both of us!)

For more info on gators just type in “alligators” on any search engine and you’ll get a whole heap of information.

Yup. Them too…

…Give them a wide birth.

Only once did I ever have anything close to a problem with one. It was on a Mississippi swamp,

and he was challenging me for the campsite.

He ignored shouts, handwaving, and rocks. Finally, I put a .357 round about a foot in

front of his nose. He left.

If the campsite had been bigger, I wouldn’t have


Mostly they are curious. I think their eyesight is poor and they were not sure what the canoe