The one that got away was unbelievable! We snuck up on 20 to 50 gators a night. A vast majority were tiny a few or 6 to 8 feet. We were in a fan boat at night in muddy shallow water with a lot of weeds and Lillypad's. When you approach an alligator you literally have no idea if it is 2 feet long or 12. Or if it is 2 pounds or 800.
The second night we were approaching one. As usual I was standing in the fan boat at the edge next to Todd. We are only 6 inches above the water.
As we approach in the dark the light is off so as not to scare the gator. When we get close enough to fire the pilot turns the light on. As the light came on I begin to see the movement and I'm trying to determine how big it is. My arm is back ready to throw the spear.
What happened next is etched in my mind for life.
The head of a monster gator emerged 3 feet away. He was likely 12 feet long and His head was 2 feet long and a foot and a half wide. In an instant it saw us and swirled and thrashed to leave and I instinctively through my spear just as it disappeared in the muddy, weedy water.
We all agree my spear glanced off his back and Todd missed with the crossbow. It was a solid 12 foot alligator easily weighing 600 pounds or more. HUGE.
It all happened in literally a second. But that incredible head at 5 feet is something I'll never forget.
What was ironic is when I got my second gator it was much smaller and we both hit it three times the distance!