Trapper Nelson

Vincent Nostokovich a.k.a. Trapper Nelson was born in Trenton, New Jersey. Standing at six foot four inches tall and weighing at 240 lbs, he was no small man. He was the "Tarzan of the Loxahatchee River" though today could be better described as the Florida version of Steve Irwin.
He owned land northwest of the wild Loxahatchee River where he built his camp and zoo. Nelson was very interested in real estate and owned up to 800 acres of land. Tourists including celebrities such as Gary Cooper and Gene Tunney came to see the wild man wrestle alligators.

As the years progressed, this flamboyant trapper turned in to a hermit. He was convinced people were trying to take his land away from him and took steps to keep people from getting near his camp. He cut down trees to block the south side of the Loxahatchee River as well as put up gates. The only method he would accept company is by appointment.

On July 24th, 1968, Nelson arranged to meet a friend at the John DuBois house. When he didn't show up, John went to his camp. He found Nelson laying in the sand next to his hammock shot to death. Many speculated as to the motive behind his death. Some believed he was murdered particularly by a jealous lover but the coroner's jury listed it as suicide.

We may never know how he actually died. But now, it is believed the home he spent so much time concealing is still being protected by his spirit.


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