way back in the day,the early 60's when they'd had all the levees and dykes built in the everglades,from the Big O (lake Okechobbee) to the Tamiami trail something happend that would curse S.Fl. and haunt the gator species for years to come.
they'd finished the work and had set to predictin weather,rainy season,dry sason,and potential for hurricanes.during all this the'd made 3 bad calls 3 years in A row.
now, this has the potential for disisaster.the largest predator was the most affected.alligators depend on moisture for their nest.the temperature of the nest determines the sex.te eggs lower down in the nest where it's cooler develop into females and the warmer upper layer will be males.well,when you have flooding or drought the nest die off.
the FWC 2 years in A row predicted rain,they drained alot of the glades,the 3 rd year they drained to Big O into th basins and flooded them for drought.
them poor gators 'bout went extinct over the next 5-6 years.they'd been doin teir gruntin and breedin each year around april and by august they were done for,their nest flooded or drained to ruin.
along with the gator was the apple snail,which is the soul sourse of sustanance for the snail kite.they had the same dfficulties as the gators. they would lay eggs on grass and stalks of different types of vegetation.and with the fluctuation of the water levels the same thing comes about.
the kite population throughout the state was less than 50 and only 18 around the Micosukkee rez.
so,when all this was said and done the state of florida had sought outside assistance with this gator problem.they'd asked private individuals that were breeding gators to step up their program.
when they did this the facilities needed breeing stock.several different facilities sought breeding stock.
the word went out and their was this one old hunter in particular that caught them.well,he'd needed help so he got onea them clicker boys to help.
he had A lycoming 540 and the motor was hot(built for speed).
this feller was A drinker,and this night it was full moon,which was A good hunters night.
they'd bagged about 4 gators,which was usually the night,yet it weren't 11:00 P.M. so the trapper decided to bag some more gators.it didn't take 2 hrs. for them to haul 3 more gators in the boat.the thing about this is they start to pile up on each other.tha clicker boy was in the water,he'd splashed up another gator,it'd come across the clear water,and was turnin sideways,which was when the kid would grab the gator by the mouth and the leg opposite from him,then he'd roll it up to his chest and pass it into the boat.
it was about then them piled up gators had scratched around.they actually pulled the leg bands,the leg and snout bands were rings cut from tire inner tubes and were doubled or tripled as needed.you'd pull the legs back across their back and wrap them in tube rings.by now they'd scratched the leg bands off of one gators front legs,and in turn he'd released himself from the snout band.
that gator reached up and grabbed that trapper on his butt,he had one gator in his hands and one attached to his keester.that clicker boy was lightnin quick and strong for A 12 year old nd had always been fearless.he bailed into that boat and pulled that gators mouth apart.when the gator clamped his mouth shut that kid tethered him with another tube ring. just about that time the hunter fell in the water with the gator,and it was on.he was drunk,bitten and mad.he screamed for that boy to grab that gator,which he did.
well, they got things straightened out and te catch tied in.
they made it back to the ramp,still mad tha redneck fired the heads on his 'ol dodge truck.he spun tires,snatchin it from drive to reverse and back and forth.he got the trailer backed to the ramp,and set in the truck wile the kid pulled the boat onto the trailer.well the redneck,drunk as he was he romped on the truck gas pedal, , ,with the truck still in reverse.well,the boat pitched back into the water,and the truck had gone beyond the ramp,which at the base was washed out.well,he beat on the gas pedal,and the tires whirred,they slung water,and smoked,and the motor was tellin you as clear as A bell it was A big roarin v-8,but it couldn't take it.all of the sudden it's sayin hrrrra hrrrra dddd tick tick tick BANG BANG and it wheezed just as it got clear of the the hump.
so there they sat,blown motor,boat idlin and A kid worried to death about what was next.
ya just gotta love redneck ingenuity and how graceful they can be once the dust,or water as is with this case, settles.
he tells th kid to pull the boat onto the trailer,while he held the brake so it wouldn't push.then,as if by magic the boat,truck and trailer seemed to ease out of the water.the redneck had easd off the brake just enough to clear the shoreline.
at this time he drew his drunk self out of the truck.they tied the boat off with the usual straps.he goes back to the truck an gets A long 1/2 in. rope.they passed that rope back and forth tieng and reinforcing the boat to the trailer.the kid,lookin about wonderin what in the world.short of baby Jesus,they had no help.
so fellas,let me tell you what I thought about that night and how it broke down.drunk,A redneck knows what the bottom looks like,drunk,bit in the as$ and with A blowed motor they're goin home.
and how does A redneck get A passel of gators,A hellion gator snatchin kid,A boat,trailer and blown up truck home?
that kid thought the same thing,wanna talk about that tingly feeling in your stomach,well when your 12 years old,your behind the wheel of A truck,no power and it's clickin along about 30 miles an hour and all you can hear is that big 540 lycoming breathin fire.the drunk guy screamin that rebel yell and they're blazin down 107 ave headin home.and your lookin up it's 3:30 A.M. and folks are runnin out of the house to see this sight.
that night the clicker boy knew that baby Jesus was real,for he'd prayed this would work out.and now 38 years later,with A small tear in his eye that towhead clicker looks back.
he's done something that night,something not many others have done.got into the water to snatch gators,watched his friend get bit in the as$,saved him from more damage by wrestling with the gator,and flew down the road like A wild cowboy on A gale bronc.
he was alive and lived beyond the depths of normal society.it's no wonder he is still rough and tumble.he lived.
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