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Swimming with Gators
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Hog Hunter    Posted 10-10-2003 at 13:21:17       [Reply]  [No Email]

It was the middle of May, my 10 year old son Luke, my friend Jerry and I decided to make a hunt on the Trinity River. We met at the river about 7:00AM to make a quick run before it got too hot. The three of us and four dogs loaded in the boat and headed north on the river. The dogs, Brutus a fence jumper, Twister a catahoula mix and Jerry’s pit bull female Honey and bay dog Bart were ready to hunt.

We reached the area we were going to target and unloaded on the bank. There was a lake that ran parallel to the river, which created a funnel on which a lot of game traveled. We were only 15 minutes into the hunt when Brutus an excellent strike dog started to bay. When Brutus barks you know he is looking at a hog. Twister and Bart, the other bay dogs joined in the chase. The dogs chased the hog the length of the lake, about a half a mile. Then they all piled into the end of the lake. When Jerry, Luke and I reached the end of the lake, much to our surprise there was boar hog about 125 pounds, our three bay dogs and an alligator in the water!

The dogs were baying the hog unaware of the alligator. The alligator was posturing making his body float up so he would appear bigger in the water. The gator was less than 20 feet away from the dogs, looking straight at them. The part of the gator that was out of the water, not counting what was under water was about 8 feet long. It looked big enough to take a dog or a hog. I yelled loudly,“There’s a gator!” as I reached the bank. I yelled a couple of times, the gator heard me, submerged and disappeared. Needless to say, we had a sudden urge to get all the animals out of the water, but the hog would not cooperate. He decided to swim the length of the lake and would not come close to the bank on either side.

We were very concerned for the safety of our dogs. I could just imagine a dog vanishing with a huge splash, just like we have seen many times on “National Geographic”. We finally got another glimpse of the gator. He was in the water near the opposite bank, between the cypress trees and the bank. He was watching all the action as it moved past him down the middle of the lake. The hog swam over half the length of the lake before he even started to look at the bank.

I moved into position by walking to the other side of the lake, in case the bay got close enough to the other side. Luke and Jerry stayed on the other side with Honey the pit bull. The bay started to move toward my side of the lake, so I tried to stay out of sight. As they neared the cypress trees in the water’s edge, I yelled at Jerry to release Honey. He was not real thrilled about putting Honey in the water with a gator near by. He did though and she swam across without a problem.

Honey reached the hog about 20 feet from the bank and latched on it. The other dogs also grabbed on. I quickly removed my rubber boots so I wouldn’t get swamped. I ran into the water hoping the commotion would be enough to keep the gator away. I grabbed the hog and yelled at the bay dogs to get out; they obeyed. Honey remained attached as I drug the hog to the bank. Luke and Jerry seeing the hog was caught started around the lake to help me.

Meanwhile, Honey kept dragging me and the hog down the muddy bank back in the water. That didn’t make me feel real comfortable not knowing where that gator was. So Honey and I held on to the hog till Luke and Jerry make it to us. We pulled the hog and Honey onto dry ground where we took some pictures and released the hog so we could enjoy hunting this boar another day.

My son Luke is a good hunting partner. He helps get the dogs off the hogs and ties them out. I am very proud of him. Hunting with friends and family will create memories that will last him a lifetime.

Maggie/TX    Posted 10-10-2003 at 22:53:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
WOW! Great, exciting story, Hog Hunter and Lenore! And yep, we've got way too many alligators in this area for comfort to my way of thinking. Last year I saw one caught on Old Cleveland Road, about a mile from our house. You would never THINK to look for a gator there, as there is no river or creek or even a good sized pond near there. Scared the stew out of me, as there are families with small children pretty close to where they caught it. For a couple of weeks after that, I was nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs if I had to go out in the yard after dark. I just knew a big ol' gator was waiting just outside the area of yard-light. Gators give me the heebie jeebies!

Hog Hunter, from your story, I would say that if it was me, I wouldn't take the pit bull next time. Honey almost drug you out there to be a gator snack. The pit bull didn't mind when you told her what to do. In a situation that may be life or death for you, your friends and your dogs, I would say that a dog that won't mind is a liability. IMO

OH, by the way! You went through all this life-threatening thing and released the hog?? NO bar-b-q?? Honey, I bet you sky dive too, huh? LOL! (just ribbing you a bit)

~Lenore    Posted 10-11-2003 at 07:10:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Maggie, that boy has the soul of an adventurer.
He let that hog go because he has a freezer full already. Sometimes he will capture one for a friend if they ask him to. He just does it to watch his dogs work and for FUN!

As a kid, his buddies loved coming over to our house. We lived in town but right across the street was the "bottoms" (the wooded overflow area where the Trinity River went when it flooded.) It was a pefect place for boys 8-12 yr old to play. They made rafts, tree houses, swam and fished; not one of them ever got bit or hurt. It was so much fun for them. I bet most of the other boys' moms had no idea what their boys were doing and where!

So it is no wonder that HH takes his son Luke on these hunts. He has been since Luke was eight years old. I am a total optimist and I never fear or expect them to be hurt. If I was a worrier, they would drive me crazy for sure!!

~Lenore, the fearless mom!

Cindi    Posted 10-10-2003 at 14:51:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey! Good hog hunting story! Where is the Trinity River? This has got to be Florida right? I'm guessing because of the hogs and the gator. I haven't gone on a hog hunt yet, but my kids all go and the tales they tell...well that's why I want to go.

In fact, my son just shot a hog back in our grove a few minutes ago. He says about a hundred and fifty pound sow. I wish my digital camera worked! The best I can do is describe it, but he hasn't gotten back up to the house with it yet.

Where abouts are you? We're in Hardee county, east of Tampa about sixty miles.

Another great story!    Posted 10-10-2003 at 14:26:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Great material for a movie scene.

At least, it would be the only way I could see something like this.:-)

Thanks Hog Hunter


~Lenore    Posted 10-10-2003 at 15:34:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hog Hunter is my son. He had me type that story up for him. He will submit it to "Bay Magazine", a hog hunter publication. He has had two other hog adventures published in the magazine. He has pictures to go with it but they are not on the computer.

He is a dyed in the wool hunter and especially a hog hunter. He carries a little picture album with pics of his hog dogs. He will bless anyone who gives him a chance with a short tale about each dog. If you seem interested it might not be short. LOL

He has stopped and read this board when he is here. I suggested he post the story on the board. It did not take much arm twisting to get him to share his adventure. Specially since it was in my documents and he only had to cut and paste it. ;-)

Oh, Cindi, that is the Trinity River here in Liberty County Texas.

Cindi    Posted 10-10-2003 at 16:33:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh, okay. I looked it up and aparently there is one in California too, or part of the same one, I don't know.

Well Jake's hog is solid black and he and his buddy Cory are right now arguing about the weight and trying to clean it. Cory says 130 Jake says 150, all I can say is that it was heavy, and....cold...and ick.

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