5 days in Florida for most people sounds like a fantastic time...sunshine, warm beaches, cold drinks and good food. For Coyote Peterson, Mud-Man Mark Vins and Chammp Swaggerty 5 days in Florida would mean mud, blood, lots of sweat and some of the most dangerous animals encountered yet for the filming of Swamp Monsters and Brave Wilderness.
The adventure began out to sea where the team would fish for two of the top predators in the ocean, sharks and barracudas.
Team work was everything on this trip and while it is usually Coyote capturing the animals, the high seas trophies truly went to Mud-Man Mark Vins who managed to capture a 4 ft barracuda and an 8 ft 350 lb Bull Shark.
Of course as soon as the barracuda was on board Coyote wasted no time getting his hands on it.
The barracuda is one of the fastest predators in the ocean and is considered a lethal killer, often times hunting in packs they have been nicknamed sea wolves. With those teeth it is easy to see why. Not a place for fingers!
Unfortunately the Bull Shark was far too large to get into the boat without risking someone getting seriously injured. While we captured some incredible video footage, no still images were taken of the beast. It was cut from the line and released back to the sea.
From the ocean to The Zoological Wildlife Foundation, a wonderful exotic animal preserve, where Coyote was going to have the oportunity to work with one of the most dangerous predators on the planet, the Spotted Hyena.
Famous for having one of the most powerful bite forces on the planet this was a very delicate situation. The camera crews were NOT allowed in the enclosure with the animal as it has often times tried to attack both handlers and camera crews in the past. For several hours Coyote had to sit and wait as the hyena became comfortable with him.
By showing signs of submission, seen here by keeping low to the ground and letting the animal accept him, Coyote was eventually able to make contact.
In the end a single small camera was introduced and some great up-close and personal footage was captured...it was a long process but so cool for the team to have worked with such a beautiful animal.
3 predators down...it was time for the most difficult challenge of the trip...the Everglades. Coyote and company would be taken deep into the saw grass infested swamps by air boat and dropped off into the complete wilderness.
With several species of venomous snakes, spiders, and of course monster alligators, the danger was often times lurking in waste deep water around every corner.
The first major animal encounter was the capture of one of the rarest creatures imaginable and the true Swamp Monster Coyote has been chasing, the Alligator Snapping Turtle.
It was an incredible set up and capture as the turtle was spotted back in a wooded cove. Just its nose peeking up Coyote had no idea how large the turtle was, but knew it was an Alligator Snapper and if all went well...this would be the catch of a life time.
Lunging into nearly chest deep water Coyote managed to get a hold of the turtle, then realized it was nearly as big as he was!
The battle was absolutely, and exhaustingly epic!
Coyote built a pretty cool harness using his pack, Survival Straps and a tree limb, then he and Mud-Man Mark Vins hoisted the turtle up to get an accurate weight...a whopping 82 lbs!
This is the largest turtle Coyote has ever encountered and the beast measured in at 5'7" in length! INCREDIBLE!
While the AGS was one treat of a capture, it was something the team could have never expected. The target predator... American Alligator.
So how exactly does one go about capturing an alligator? Glad you asked! Coyote was confident that he could build a noose using a Survival Strap and a tree branch, isolate a large alligator in shallow water, noose the upper jaw, get the gator to do a death roll and ultimately wrap its jaws up. With the jaws wrapped up, Coyote could then move in and wrangle the reptile to present to the cameras.
Fantastic idea in theory...and believe it or not...it worked, kind of.
Just before sunset the team happened upon a considerably large Alligator, 9 ft 300 plus pounds, shallow water. Coyote did his thing only the gator refused to roll...so what he had was a 300 lb monster on the end of a rope...jaws NOT under control and boy was it angry.
This was the moment of truth, time to Brave the Wilderness and Coyote went straight for wrestling the gator and getting him pinned, jaws armed and dangerous.
We will leave the details for the incredible footage that was shot...and as you can see the situation turned up in Coyote's favor...
That's not to say the gator didn't get in his licks...Coyote did take a pretty good bite, but escaped with just a little reminder that the Alligator has the strongest bite on the planet. The tooth puncture in his middle finger will be a reminder scar of that fact:)
In all the teams expedition down south to take on some of the summers most difficult challenges could not have been more successful.
Thank you so much to everyone for their continued support as both Swamp Monsters and Brave Wilderness continue to develop.
Next stop...the Wild West!
For more pictures from this expedition check out CP's Facebook Page!