While the mother basks in the sun on the warm shore with her brood,
the babies make a continual whining and barking sound similar to that of a
litter of puppies. The young alligators also have a piping or grunting call
similar so that of a hen turkey. 'Gator hunters frequently imitate this sound
to attract their prey to the water's surface, catching the young with a dip net
and killing the mother for her pelt. The babies under 15 inches in length are
safe to handle, those longer have nasty dispositions and sharp teeth.
During the early settlement of Florida, farms and hunters frequently
lost hogs and dogs which were snatched from the banks of lakes and rivers
by alligators and devoured. The howling of a dog will quickly bring to the
surface any alligator within hearing. This has caused farmers to war upon
the creatures and few such cases are heard of today.
Although they are usually quiet, alligators have an astonishingly loud
and terrifying roar, or bellow, which sometimes resembles thunder. These
roars are heard most often in the spring of the year, during the breeding
There are several methods of hunting 'gators. One of the most
popular is to locate a "'gator-hole," when the water is low. Into this the
hunter thrusts a "'gator hook," a long pole to which is fastened a large hook
resembling a shark hook. Should the pole break, a long rope attached to the
hook serves in its place.
Thrusting the hook as far into the hole as it will reach and moving it
around until the 'gator is located, the hunter then tries to hook him. This
often brings exciting results, for though he may appear somewhat