Bswiv--Lightning is spooky, and while there are generalities, it obeys no consistent rules. You guys lucked out big time.
That tree probably saved you by being a more inviting target than you were. Glad you made it OK.
Nice 'gator! Don't have those in my part of the woods. I expect there are plenty of good-to-eat bits there--Do you save the hide also?
Old guys get to be old guys by a combination of luck plus not doing TOO many really dumb things as young guys.
And we (I count myself as an old guy) need to stick around to inspire and teach the up-and-comers.
Glad you included the pix. I'd love to hunt a 'gator some day myself, but not likely to happen.
God Bless America