One of Florida's top reptile fighters is calling it quits - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

One of Florida's top reptile fighters is calling it quits

Port St. Lucie, FL -

(NBC) – There's a job opening in Florida's St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. It's a government position, you get to work outside, and there are incentives for bringing in extra business.

Still, Carl Davison says you might want to think twice before you apply for his job.

"I think they're going to have a tough time filling my shoes, I really do," he said. "It sounds exciting but the novelty wears off really quick."

Davison is one of about three dozen nuisance alligator trappers employed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

His job is to catch gators that come dangerously close to homes, people and pets. He carries a gun and a fishing pole, but he says his best weapon is his experience.

"You have to learn to think like an alligator, know what he's going to do and outsmart him," said Davison.

Over the past 11 years, Davison estimates he's trapped more than 6,000 alligators.

That includes a 14'3" long monster of a gator he caught in a pond in the Tesoro neighborhood of Port St. Lucie. He's submitting the measurements for a possible world record.

Davison says his worst injury on the job didn't come from trapping a gator, but from transporting one home.

An RV rear-ended his truck, injuring Davison's back. He hasn't been the same since.

"I figure I'm going to get out while I'm still ahead. I hate to lock up on top of a big gator and let him win," he said.

He earns a $30 stipend for the state for each gator he catches, but he makes most of his money from the meat and skins, which he processes and sells.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.

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