Imagine you’re a bowhunter 20 feet up in your stand hunting whitetail deer over a pile of corn when an absolutely enormous alligator wanders into view. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Georgia hunter Mike Dupree in Macon County this November. He was hunting in a pine forest nearly a mile from the nearest water sources, the Flint River and a retention pond where alligators are known to live, according to Georgia Outdoor News which shared a short video of the giant alligator that Dupree recorded from his tree stand.
The thing makes an entrance like Godzilla, one swaggering step at a time, wagging its enormous head from side to side. The scene is wrong on so many levels that I don’t know where to start. There are no herons, crabs, nor fish in these woods. There’s no water lapping at the shore. No docks nor jetskis. If it was me in that tree stand, I’d start wondering if I’d picked a stout enough tree. Gators can’t climb, can they? I’m sure they can’t. But on the other hand, I bet that if the big gator really wanted to shake you out of a tree, it would find a way to do so.
The big gator’s behavior gives you no clue as to why it’s there or what it’s after. And I don’t know enough about gators to even hazard a guess about its size. But the way it moves is singular—it’s undoubtedly the Big-Thing-That-Knows-It’s-The-Boss. The gator takes a few steps, nears the pile of corn, and then it just lies down. This lowers its body from its walking position, which had elevated it about 18 inches off the ground, back to prone. Then the alligator adopts the age-old camouflage tactic that its species is known for, which is to lie dead still. Maybe it’s hoping to ambush a deer that comes to the corn? Gators are quick as lightning over short distances.
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Perhaps the scariest part of the whole ordeal? Once it got dark, the alligator got up and walked off in the direction of Dupree’s truck. Dupree shared the 51-second video with his friends at work the next day, and now, with the rest of the internet, so I guess he made it out just fine. But that must have been one scary walk out.