WATCH: Duck Hunter Fires Shot at Approaching Gator in Florida Swamp

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Rubberball Productions/Getty Images)

A duck hunter named Danny in South Florida experienced a potentially dangerous gator situation in January, and documented how he handled it for YouTube. Danny was out early to go duck hunting on STA public land. STA stands for stormwater treatment area and they’re used for waterfowl hunting in places like South Florida as part of Florida’s wildlife management area system.

On the YouTube channel Swamp N Stomp, Danny headed out early on a January morning to hunt duck. He sets up in the reeds and makes a few good shots before he and his hunting group end up with a gator in the area. The video makes a note that intentional harassment of wildlife is illegal and that they didn’t instigate the encounter. But, the gator had other plans for them.

The gator looks like a pretty good size, it’s head and tail out of the water as it snacks on something. Perhaps it was attracted by the fresh kills. The gator swims toward where Danny and his fellow hunters are standing in shallow water, and he fires his first warning shot into the water in front of the gator. He’s hoping to scare it off and deter its path. But the gator keeps coming.

Danny aimed his second shot closer to the gator’s snout, not aiming to kill or main the animal if he doesn’t have to. The second shot explodes in the water right in front of the gator’s snout, stopping it in its tracks. Later, in a canoe, Danny paddles close to the gator to gather his spent shells. The gator looks unharmed but seemingly stunned by the shot.

Duck Hunter Evades Gator Attack With Warning Shot

The video continues, chronicling the rest of the hunt. But, Danny and his group of hunters narrowly avoided a gator attack that day.

“Danny sets out on a duck hunt in the STAs, some South Florida public land,” the video description reads. “These wildlife management areas are known for high density of waterfowl, fish, and also American Alligators. Danny has a close encounter with a gator, and shows how to deal with wildlife attacks.”

He went for a non-lethal approach because at the time the gator wasn’t actively attacking. Additionally, it is illegal to kill alligators in Florida without special permits. There are certain instances where you could claim self-defense if you kill an alligator that is attacking since Florida is a stand-your-ground state. But, overall, killing an alligator without a hunting permit is a felony in Florida.

“[Danny] manages to deter [the alligator’s] deadly attack with a carefully placed shot right in front of its snout,” the description continues. “He took this non-lethal approach because we have no intent on harming these beautiful creatures, and he felt there was enough time for a follow-up shot if it did not work. Encountering alligators is sometimes a part of wading through the swamps, and you should always be aware of your surroundings.”