Gators, beware: There are predators stalking the swampland of the South, capable of bringing down creatures up to four times their weight. These menacing forces have bows in their hands. And occasionally in their hair.
Take Cammie Colin. The 16-year-old from White Knoll High in Pelion, S.C., is the youngest girl ever to receive a permit for the state's public alligator harvest—and almost certainly the first cheerleader. In the middle of the night of Sept. 13 Cammie, a veteran bow hunter who was on her first gator hunt, used a crossbow to plug a 10-foot, 353-pound alligator in the murky headwaters of Lake Marion.
Two days later, in the marshland between Lake Washington and Lake Winder in Brevard, Fla., another 5'4" distaff gator slayer struck. Arianne Prevost, 23, fired a crossbow from her airboat and nailed her quarry—an 11-foot 400-pounder—between the eyes. Prevost was also on her maiden alligator hunt. "I would've gone last year," she says, "but at the time I was pregnant with my daughter."
Neither kill set a state record, but each was big enough to elicit the same reaction from the ladies' friends and fellow hunters: disbelief mixed with awe. "My friends couldn't believe that I did it," says Prevost. Adds Cammie, "Nobody at school really believed me. But I think girls shouldn't be scared and just go for it." Her classmates have a new nickname for her: Killer.