It's all about knowing where you're hunting. I hunt down on the coast, but I also know where I hunt there aren't any gators as the water is too shallow. I hunted her through teal season with no problems. If you've seen them there before be careful. I went the opening of teal season solo. Did an adequate check for red eyes using the flashlight that morning on my way in. Saw nothing. If concern is that great I recommend doing the same. You can always bring the dog the following day or next time out, but no hunt is worth losing your best friend.