Michigan Man used Pistol to Defend against Six Foot Alligator

Michigan Man used Pistol to Defend against Six Foot Alligator, Image from Tuscola County Sheriffs Department
Michigan Man used Pistol to Defend against Six Foot Alligator, Image from Tuscola County Sheriffs Department

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)--(Ammoland.com)- On Saturday, 20 July 2019, Derrick Fells was trapping minnows on his 17-acre property in Tuscola, County, Michigan. Fells was carrying a pistol. He heard a hissing sound and thought it might be from a possum. Instead of a possum, there was a six-foot alligator sunning itself next to the Sucker Creek canal on his property.

The Alligator came toward him, and he shot it. He immediately called 911.  From nbc25news.com:

Fells has about 17 and a half acres in Tuscola County's Dayton Township and on Saturday, ended up stumbling upon an alligator while catching minnows on his property.

“There was a 6-foot alligator sunbathing and when I spooked the alligator, it turned on me to come toward me. I pulled my pistol out and I shot it. That paralyzed him and then I immediately called 911,” Fells stated.

Defense against animal attack is seldom mentioned in the debate about Second Amendment rights. It is hard to consider a more legitimate case than a person defending themselves from an animal on their own property.

The alligator had escaped from a neighbor who was in the habit of rescuing exotic animals The neighbor has two other alligators, an emu, and rattlesnakes on their property.

Derrick Fells was concerned about what might have happened if it had been a child instead of him who had stumbled on the alligator.  The swing set in the upper left-hand corner of the picture indicates it was a valid concern. A loose alligator would not survive a Michigan winter. But winter is months away in July.

The case reminds me of the incident in Zanesville, Ohio, in 2011. In that case, the animal rescue person released 50 predators before committing suicide. Deputies had to shoot them for public safety. One deputy shot a wolf, a bear, and a lion, all in the same night. Many of the released animals were full-grown tigers. Tigers and lions are prolific breeders in captivity.

Shooting an alligator in Michigan, in self-defense, is little short of meeting up with Bigfoot on the probability scale. While defending against an exotic animal attack is unlikely, people use firearms to defend against animals regularly. In urban areas, defense against dog attack is the most common case.

In rural areas, residents use firearms to defend themselves and their property from multiple threats. The most common are raids on gardens, crops, and livestock by everything from bears to gophers and deer. Feral dogs are a common problem.

People who live in urban areas often have no knowledge about the necessity of defense against these threats. Too many find Fido to be a burden when moving or with a change of circumstance. They find it easier to abandon their dog in the countryside instead of delivering it to the local pound or animal shelter. The rural resident is left to clean up the mess of a starving animal trying to fend for itself. The irresponsible animal owner is able to imagine a farmer adopting a pet instead of one having to shoot a starving feral.

It isn't fun to put down someone's former pet turned feral. But someone has to be responsible and do it.

Farmers cannot take in every abandoned animal. They would quickly be eaten out of house and home. Animals can always breed faster than enough food can be grown to support them.

Alligators are not cute and fuzzy. We do not think of them as furry humans. They are not common as pets.

That is the reason a man shooting an alligator in Michigan is news, while a farmer shooting a feral dog in the same state, is not.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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    gcmCamotimras52Wild BillDr. Strangelove Recent comment authors
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    gcm
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    gcm

    At first I thought it could be a mother gator protecting its nest that the gentleman walked up on, but after
    telling that his neighbor had all sorts of exotic animals, that this one escaped from, its pretty clear that the
    Michigan man had Gator tail for the rest of his neighbors, if he has any, might be a few miles away. If the
    gator got away from his neighbor he might want to check on him. They might find him at room temperature
    with a rattler sleeping next to him.

    Camotim
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    Camotim

    The bad PETA (Im part of the good PETA—People Eating Tasty Animals) will probably have some stupid comment to make objecting to this incident.

    Morelia1776
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    Morelia1776

    I lived in a rural area not too far from FT Leavenworth, there were frequent dumps of cats and dogs whenever a class graduated from Bell Hall. The dogs formed feral packs that attacked livestock and a child once. The rural vs urban mindset is far from BS.

    823m/s
    Member
    823m/s

    Not sure I agree with the whole urban vs rural BS. Obviously Dean Weingarten has a stick up his ass about city folks and my guess is he’s never spent a minute in a place like South Central LA. I’ve lived in the city. I’ve also been shot in the city. Eventually I moved to the country where the biggest danger is ticks. The city is where people hope they don’t have to use their guns. The country is where people search high and low for reasons to use their guns. Shooting the alligator is a great example. If he… Read more »

    Morelia1776
    Member
    Morelia1776

    I lived in a rural area not too far from FT Leavenworth, there were frequent dumps of cats and dogs whenever a class graduated from Bell Hall. The dogs formed feral packs that attacked livestock and a child once. The rural vs urban mindset is far from BS.

    Witold Pilecki
    Member

    @823m/s: “The city is where people hope they don’t have to use their guns. The country is where people search high and low for reasons to use their guns.” That is the dumbest “logical” argument I’ve ever heard. After moving out of the “shitty”, you need to spend more time in actual rural culture with your neighbors. There you will learn about self-preservation and reliance. Property ownership and rights. When and how we in the country really USE our guns. We don’t need a “reason”, a Saturday afternoon get together with neighbors for some informal plinking and target shooting happens… Read more »

    Wild Bill
    Member
    Wild Bill

    @WP, 823 shows up, magically in a puff of smoke, one morning, with lots of inflammatory statements; claims that he knows how a mysterious population called “They” from the country and city think; doubts that anyone except himself has ever been on Alameda St. or Los Angeles street; and second guesses a person confronted by an alligator, with no other evidence beyond his own naked opinion.
    Gentlemen, I believe that we have found the author of the Mueller Report!

    1776 Patriot
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    1776 Patriot

    823m/s, it sounds like you’re having some difficulty assimilating into a rural community. I’ve lived “in the country” for decades and I can attest to the fact that one doesn’t need to look far to see the need to prepare for credible threats. Law enforcement is, at best, 15 minutes away and there’s hardly a week goes by you don’t hear on the news about some miscreant from the city thinking there are “easy pickins” in sparsely populated rural environs. Feral animals can be seen daily and rabies-infected animals are ALWAYS a good possibility. I have city friends, acquaintances and… Read more »

    Dr. Strangelove
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    Dr. Strangelove

    @823m/s: Are you kidding? I’d rather go in the country unarmed than any big city. I’ve never been robbed in the woods.

    ras52
    Member
    ras52

    823m/s, you could not carry Dean`s water. The stick is up your butt obviously.