Gut Rumbles

April 08, 2006

barking gators

Have you ever heard an alligator calling for a mate?

A couple of days ago, I went to visit catfish. He killed a bunch of gators in his pond last year and he thought he might be rid of them this year. He thought wrong.

We went down to the pond to see if the fish were biting, but I think it was too windy and the wrong time of day for fishing. We didn't catch anything. But while we were sitting in lawn chairs down there, we heard a strange sound issuing from the nearby woods and marsh.


"Hear that?" asked Catfish. I heard it, all right, and I knew exactly what it was. It was a barking gator. Those dinosaur throwbacks make that noise this time of year because it's mating season and that song is supposed to sound like Elvis to a female. "Whonk! Whonk!"

"He's trying to sing up some pussy," I observed.

"I hope he gets some, because I'm gonna shoot his ass the first time I see him," Cat replied. "Maybe he'll get a bang before he goes out with one."

Have YOU ever heard gators bark? Maybe "bark" is the wrong word, because the sound is a combination grunt/bark/cough noise that makes me think of a bullfrog on steroids combined with a very hoarse dog. We never actually SAW any gators, but we damn sure could hear them.

It's a strange sound...


Yep. I have heard them and I have also saw them out roaming around looking for a mate and doing their gator crooning. The big males can be aggressive sumbitches during the rutting season and it is best to stay away from one on dry ground because thir scrawny front legs cad do about thirty miles and hour and those big hind legs can haul ass!

Posted by: GUYK on April 8, 2006 11:39 AM

I've never heard that sound but have seen plenty of them swimming past my house from the headwaters after storms. They can run as fast as quarter horses in a straight line. If one ever gets after you, you should run in a zig-zag pattern, assuming you haven't already had a heart attack, and have the presence of mind to remember what to do. What does Catfish do with the ones he kills?

Posted by: Tessa on April 8, 2006 11:54 AM

First time I heard it, I was at Bear Lake in NW FL...(should've been called Gator Lake)...and I sat up the rest of the night with a gun handy, heart pounding, vowing never to camp during gator mating season again...

Posted by: DixieDarlin' on April 8, 2006 12:47 PM

Jeeez. First the bugs and now gators. You got me all scared up about living in the south again. I don't understand how running zigzag would help if you're being chased. Wouldn't the gator just catch up to you quicker cause you're wasting time going back and forth?

Posted by: Libby on April 8, 2006 12:50 PM



Posted by: Evilicious Blonde on April 8, 2006 02:21 PM

Libby: I was told by a Florida tour guide years ago that alligators either move along slowly dragging their tails, or can walk on their toes with the heels of their hind feet and the majority of their tails up off the ground. If they do the 'high walk', they can run really fast for a short distance, but only in a straight line and they have no endurance. They can chase you down if you run in a straight line, but they tire easily and can't turn quickly if you run in a zig-zag pattern.

Posted by: Tessa on April 8, 2006 05:00 PM

Are you guys armed with sufficient caliber when you head out fishing, considering that you may encounter a gator, and if so, what caliber? Shotgun? .45?

Posted by: David Drake on April 8, 2006 07:30 PM

Thanks Tessa. So it sounds like a wide zig zag is the way to go. I will remember this if I'm ever chased by an alligator.

Posted by: Libby on April 8, 2006 08:08 PM

Good grief...haven't ever heard; don't ever care to hear gators' mating call.

But from what you describe it kinda sounds like the "bark/hacking" of Felix Unger from the Odd Couple as played by Tony Randall.

Posted by: Maggie on April 8, 2006 09:19 PM

Shoot them if you like, but you won't get rid of them. Just like a big mouth bass, you can pull one out every day and it will be replaced by another. As my dad used to say "That's why rent is so high"

How do you cook them?

Posted by: Ivan Ivanovich on April 9, 2006 08:54 AM

Gators , no .

Crocodiles on the other hand...

I was by a bunch of lagoons , where there are several hundred crocs spread out over the better part of a mile.

The noise was .. disturbing .. given that a few of them were several feet longer than the 15' dingy I was in at the time.

Posted by: LC EFA on April 9, 2006 06:35 PM

My old roommate had a couple of boa constrictors. One night I heard this strange fricking noise and went upstairs to investigate.
It was the bigger of the two snakes. He was upright with his mouth wide open and barking or calling or something loud. The cats and the dog were just staring at it through the glass.

My roommate still hasn't seen them do that. It was very strange.

Posted by: Veeshir on April 10, 2006 07:22 AM
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