Trapper Stays Busy With Nuisance Alligators - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/21/03

Trapper Stays Busy With Nuisance Alligators

There's one less alligator cruising the bayou behind Handsboro Community Center in Gulfport.

After getting several calls about a pair of nuisance gators, Sam Searcy captured one.

As boaters and jet skiers and fishermen hit the water, they increasingly cross paths with alligators. When the gators lose their fear of humans, they're declared a nuisance and the Gator Man gets a call.

Sam Searcy headed toward the bayou on another nuisance removal job.

"I believe this is my seventeenth year, I think. I'm not sure 'cause I've been doing it so long, I can't keep up with it," he said.

A light rain fell as the bayou gator made eye contact with his pursuer.

Searcy tells us the seemingly small gator should be a fairly easy capture.

"If you've ever been deep sea fishing, it's just like that," he said, as he cast a large weighted treble hook over the waiting alligator.

He snags the gator, which quickly mounts a thrash and roll defense that breaks the eighty pound fishing line.

"Yeah, he broke it," said a disappointed Gator Man.

Searcy replenished the tackle, while the reporter kept an eye on the now wary gator.

"If you want, I'll let you walk over there with a camera and maybe you can make him move away where I can get to him," Searcy offered.

Moments later, he unleashed another perfect cast.

The gator tried the flop and roll again. It worked, just like the first time.

"And that's how he's doing it, he's doing all that rolling and stuff. Normally they run like a fish does," he explained.

Nearby pleasure boaters seem oblivious. Searcy is certain the third time's a charm.

Another successful snag. And the ultimate reporter involvement. He handed me the pole, with an angry six footer at the other end.

"Don't pull him on the bank man, just hold him," Gator Man instructed.

The frightened gator had one more twist and splash.

"All right! That's it. It's over for his butt," said an excited Searcy.

Sam offers to let me duct tape the gator's mouth shut.  But I choose a less risky assignment.

"You just hold this rope, and don't give it any slack. Because he'll bite me," he explained.

 I squeezed the line with a rope burn grip, while Gator Man put his duct tape to good use.

Moments later, he headed for the truck.

"He gave us a good run for our money," said Searcy.

By Steve Phillips

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