Searching For Gators

Summer is the best time of the year to find them, although they come out of hibernation in April,  in the Texas,Arkansas, and Louisiana area.
Ive found alligators in rivers ,lakes and creeks or small streams in this area of the US. and , if you study them for a while, you will find that they have a routine, almost like clock work.
Having a fascination for them I always carry a inflatable boat with me, and it takes me about 30 mins. to be in the water, camera ready.


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Its probably not a great idea for everyone though, they arent really bashful about bumping your boat,  and the hotter the weather the more active the gators become.
 While I was watching one gator, over a 3 month period , he had become so used to me that he would come  right up to the bank where I was, almost like a puppy and his master.

The best times to observe  them in the summer :  usually early in the morning....  and late in the afternoon , thats when they like to feed. Remember:the alligators in our area are used to seeing humans , so they probablly want be afraid of you, so respect them and enjoy watching  one the truly unique creatures  that inhabit our planet.

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Alligators of Arkansas

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Awesome shot of a gator coming out of the water, In 2007 I,ll have photos of gators feeding at night, part of eXtreme photography page Im working on now.

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Michele helping me scout for gators

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No Hunting Gators in Arkansas, but you can get to know them. Texas- has a season for some areas of the state. Kelly Irwin watches over the alligator population in Arkansas for the Game and Fish Commision , I talked to him a while about hunting , found out that I couldnt.(and I really wanted to get a trophy gator)and talked to him about photographing the gators
Yep, its ok to do that, you cant feed gators or harass them, which is good,   like the bears in parks people used to feed, it came back to haunt them , when humans were attacked.
Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas have quite a few alligators. I  had a blast watching them! and I even named a  couple. I studied thier habits and movements and would paddle out close to them, the biggest I came across, was about 10 or 11 ft, but not the 14 to 16 ft ones Ive heard about from some other sportsmen, the more you know about gators , the less you you want to hunt them. and the more you want to save them for our kids to enjoy.

Log? nope its a 10 ft gator (click to enlarge)
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Alligator Info

American alligators are found in the southeastern United States from Virginia along the Atlantic coast to Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico Texas. This large freshwater alligator generally resides in swamps, rivers and lakes but can tolerate some salinity and brackish environments. This species can burrow and hibernate during cold seasons. Alligators can reach a length nearly 15 feet (4.5 M) and, historically, have been recorded at lengths up to 20 feet (6 M). Alligators are carnivores, feeding on small vertebrates including fish, turtles, mammals, birds and carrion.   

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If you only have a short amount of time to spare, and want to see  alligators up close, visit the Alligator Farm in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

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Alligator Range in USA

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If looks like a piece of wood , look again 

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More Gator Pics

Alligators 2009

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