Dealing with a gator

During my last fishing excursion this past spring I had my 1st encounter with a gator. The wind was blowing 25-30 out of the west so I put in at the Mims ramp on the Indian River lagoon and paddled along the shore heading south. I was observing some waterfowl feeding along the bank and didn’t notice the 8-10 ft. gator until I got 20-25 ft. from it. As soon as I made eye contact the gator rushed into the water headed directly towards me. My first instinct was to back paddle as quickly as possible and then turn 180 degrees and kick it into 3rd gear. I never looked back for the next 100 yds. but kept wondering what I would do if this thing flipped the kayak…I wasn’t going to have much of a chance with this thing ion the water. This tactic worked for me this time or I wouldn’t be around to ask the obvious question…is there a better defense, other than the obvious like don’t go near the bank or be more observant, that I should consider if it happens again.

Probably, the gator would not have
come that close to your kayak. I’ve had them pop up next to my kayak and hit them in the head with the bow. Mostly, they dive. Here in Texas, its still breeding season so they tend to be territorial, don’t know about in your area. But, you handled the gator appropriately.

Bad gator/sore loser
I would have told that Gator that the Tennessee Vols were getting ready to mess with him shortly among other items. I would also have smacked my paddle hard to the surface of the water to create a popping sound and surely you would have had the idea he doesn’t want to close. Otherwise there is the Crocodile Man’s move with the “Big Knife”.You did the smart thing and not my “wise mouth ideas” but I do not think well of Gators anyway.:slight_smile:

Actually, the paddle smack sometimes

What caliber pistol is needed to neutralize a gator? At least I haven’t seen them in Michigan yet.

Forget the pistol
Forget firearms, gators are not easy for the novice to kill with firearms. Paddle like hell in the other direction if you believe the gator is coming after you. On land, remember, gators can run up to 35 mph for a short stretch.

My grandfather swore by an axe and
shotgun for gators, but he wasn’t in a kayak.

With slugs and within 30 ft, maybe
Gotta hit a vital spot. The skull is thick and brain small and they seldom stand on back legs to give you a good heart shot.

A 10 foot gator was just trying to get
away. A 14 footer will stand his ground.

With a 14 footer, I’d let him have
his way while I ran, swam, or paddled a zig-zag course in the opposite direction.

Gators Mostly Avoid People
We paddled Okefenokee swamp a couple of times and the gators mostly avoided getting too close. One 4’ gator came to within paddle length of my wife but backed off when she turned and faced it. I have never met a really large >8’ gator while paddling but have met a lot of 4-6’ gators. typically the submerge when I get too close. On shore I watched a 12’+ gator in Lake Eufaula in Alabama. He looked scarey and I would avoid such a gator. Sounds like you did th eright thing but even scared to death you can’t outrun a gator in a kayak.