Hardy Gator Hunt

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback


Lake Sherwood is a private manmade lake just north of Hardy.

Apparently a new resident has taken up living quarters on the lake side.

Several reports of a sighting of a young alligator prompted me to take to the waters in search of the Hardy gator.

Lake Sherwood would actually be a pretty good place for an alligator to live.

Relatively little activity, lots of fish to munch and plenty of shoreline on which to bask in the sun.

Hardy's mayor Nina Thorn ton lives on the lake. She says she saw the small gator last fall.

"First time I just didn't tell anybody but the police chief and my daughter and my husband. And then we figured it would die out in the winter but that was last fall but it didn't evidently die. So there's been several people who've seen it since then. "

I really hoped to be one of the lucky few so I climbed on board a pontoon boat with Elwin and Shirley Jane sharp and the mayor and we headed out to see where the gator was last seen.

Thorn ton says the gator probably poses no threat to humans according to what she has been told by wildlife officials.

"It's not going to be after humans because it's able to eat and feed and take care of itself. And it was in a secluded spot were the ones that came up on it. "

There have been several attempts to trap the gator including night time expeditions by the fish and game department. None have been successful so far.

Even taking the low threat into consideration Shirley Sharp says she now looks at the water in a different way.

"I did find myself instead of looking for snakes, looking for eyes. But other than that, I'm not scared. "

Sharp is disappointed that she has not seen the reptile yet but she keeps looking as her and her husband spend time on the water.

On the East bank you can see the trap and the camera they are using  to either capture the alligator or get a picture of it. And they are having just about as much luck as I am.  Mayor Thorn ton thinks the gator may have moved because there is so much activity near it's slide and sun area. The residents home near the gator's area are not full-time residents on the lake.

Elwin Sharp decided to try his luck at catching the gator or a fish with rod and reel.

Neither fish or gator took the bait.

As fun as the idea seems, you can't load up the family and come gator hunting.

Lake Sherwood is a private lake.

Mayor Thorn ton says you must be a dues paying property owner to get into the water. "The boat ramps are locked so it's not come out at your own free will plus the Game and Fish has told us that it needs to be as quiet as possible to go ahead and capture the alligator.

Today's hunt was unsuccessful so we turned around and headed out of the residential area.

When the alligator is finally captured it will be removed to a more gator-friendly area of Arkansas to live.

As of right now, no one has a clue as to how the alligator actually wound up in the lake.

©2009 KAIT
ll rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.