Gator hunting record
An alligator hunting record in Mississippi was broken for the third time in a week, wildlife officials there say, after the state's heaviest gator was caught.
A 13-foot, 6.5-inch gator weighing 741.5 pounds was taken by Dalco Turner of Gluckstadt, Miss., on Sunday morning on the Mississippi River near Port Gibson. It took Turner and two other hunters an hour to finally snare him.
"He broke three lines, and I had the only hook that stayed in him the whole time," Turner told the Clarion-Ledger.
It almost didn't happen. "We passed it by the first time," he said. "We really didn’t think he was big enough to go after."
Turner's record catch came a week after the state record for heaviest gator was broken twice within hours.
On Sept. 1, a 723.5-pound gator was caught by Beth Trammell in a canal near Redwood, Miss., according to MSNewsNow.com, breaking the previous state record of 697.5 pounds.
But Trammell's record was short-lived. An hour after the record was certified, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’ Alligator Program coordinator Ricky Flynt processed a record 727-pound gator that was snared by Dustin Bockman, a UPS driver from Vickburg, Miss., who took the 13-foot, 4.5-inch gator in the Mississippi River near Big Black River.
"He broke all the lines we could put in him," Bockman told "Gulf Live." "Finally put a snare on him and got him up high enough and put a shot on him. All in all probably took us four and a half hours to catch him from the first time we saw him.
"We're going to cook it for sure," Bockman added. "There's plenty for me and everybody else."
Both Trammell and Bockman's catches fell short of the state record for length. In 2008, a 13-foot, 6.5-inch gator was caught on the Pascagoula River.
That record stood until Turner's massive catch, which tied the mark.
"Having a state record for an alligator in Mississippi is a lot like living in a glass house," Brian Albert Broom wrote in the Clarion-Ledger. "It’s going to get broken."
Mississippi, though, has nothing on Texas. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a record 800-pound alligator was caught during a public hunt in May. The 14-foot, 3-inch gator was estimated to be between 30 to 50 years old.