I grew up in east central Florida during the beginning of the manned space program (1960’s). The Malabar/Palm Bay/Melbourne area of south Brevard was a small sleepy beach town with farming and ranching skirting the flood plains of the St. John River (freshwater) and Indian River lagoon (salt water estuary system).
Some of my earliest memories were of my father sharing his love of fishing and hunting with me. We camped on the banks of local creeks, rivers and inlets and I was amazed by Dad’s outdoor knowledge and skills.
Florida has some very unusual wildlife that were regulars in my childhood: manatees, armadillos, portuguese man-of-war, to name a few… and then there was that pre-historic dinosaur-like giant lizard - the American alligator.
Putting Baby Gators to Sleep
As though it weren’t exciting enough to see them from a distance, while fishing, my Dad would catch small gators and rub their bellies until they fell asleep.
He did this often and once I started fishing solo, yes I would do the sleeping gator thing too. My fascination of anything alligators started very early and to this day I learn something new each time out in the lakes and swamps.
Match Maker, Make Me a Match!
(or Oh, What a Catch!)
I want to share a more recent story, one the women will appreciate. It’s hard nowadays for men and women to find suitable partners, especially me with my alligator hunting and outdoor hobbies. So when it came time for me to venture into the on-line dating world, I put my profile picture of a 12-foot freshly killed alligator and me up. Boy, did I get some not so nice messages.
Then Cindy found me and we started dating. She agreed to come along on a night gator hunt and things got a little wild. My helper and I had just harvested a 9 plus footer and while hunting for gator number two, the 9 footer started to move and crawling around in the bottom of the boat.
Cindy in just a second or two leaped from her seat and straddled the motor’s cover and said she was jumping in. My helper Al and I couldn’t help but laugh. There were gators everywhere in the water and they didn’t have their mouths taped shut!
Cindy became my wife and my number one gator hunter helper, and just think, it all started with an alligator picture on a dating site!
Jerry and Cindy’s Gatortooth.com Website
My wife and I participate in Florida’s public gator hunts, catch gators and have them processed. We keep all the non-eatable parts and make all kinds of products for sale. We take great pride in making our products and are always looking for new ideas. We hope you enjoy our site and products.
If you have a request for a gator hunt souvenir, please let us know! We will see what we can do…