Saturday 18 November 2017

US alligator hunters break record for biggest beast ever caught – three times in a week

From left to right: Jimmy Greer, of Canton, Dalco Turner, of Gluckstadt, and Jennifer Ratcliff and John Ratcliff, of Canton, pose by their record setting catch, a 741.5-pound male alligator, caught Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2013, in a backwater area of the Mississippi River near Port Gibson, Miss. This harvest shatters the week-old state record for heaviest alligator at 727-pounds
From left to right: Jimmy Greer, of Canton, Dalco Turner, of Gluckstadt, and Jennifer Ratcliff and John Ratcliff, of Canton, pose by their record setting catch, a 741.5-pound male alligator, caught Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2013, in a backwater area of the Mississippi River near Port Gibson, Miss. This harvest shatters the week-old state record for heaviest alligator at 727-pounds
This the new record female alligator caught by the hunting party of Brandon Maskew of Ellisville MS. It measured 10ft and weighed 295.3 pounds. It is now the current length and weight record for a female alligator taken by a hunter in a Mississippi alligator hunting season. It was taken in the South Central Zone on the Pascagoula River
From left to right Cole Landers, Dustin Bockman and Ryan Bockman (brother of Dustin) pictured with their record setting alligator weighing 727 pounds (330 kg), and measuring 13 feet (3.96 m)
Dustin Bockman is pictured with his record setting alligator, weighing 727 pounds (330 kg) and measuring 13 feet (3.96 m), captured in Vicksburg, Mississippi
Dustin Bockman lies on top of his record setting alligator, weighing 727 pounds (330 kg) and measuring 13 feet (3.96 m), captured in Vicksburg, Mississippi

Hunters in Mississippi have broken the state’s record for the biggest alligator ever caught – and have done so three times in one week.

The annual seven day hunting season, described as crucial by the state’s wildlife department to control alligator populations, clearly couldn’t come soon enough.

It may be that there’s something in the water this year – a group of hunters in Redwood caught a 723lb (328kg) beast just after midnight on 1 September, breaking last year’s record by the enormous margin of 26lb (11.8kg).

Yet just one hour later they were trumped by another group which took an alligator weighing 727lb (330kg), and measuring 13 feet 4.5 inches.

Hunters continued to take to the waters in the days which followed, with a seemingly insurmountable record to beat.

Yet on Sunday morning, novice hunter Dalco Turner broke the record yet again, with a male alligator weighing 741lb (336kg). He told local reporters his group initially passed by the animal when the first saw it, before they realised just how big it was.

It is the new record for the largest alligator ever caught by hunters in the Mississippi hunt, in which just 923 people are given permits and allowed to kill two of the animals each.

Click here to see a gallery of images from this year's multi-record hunt

Independent News Service

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