A group of hunters bagged a 727-pound alligator Saturday, breaking the state hunting record for the biggest alligator ever caught in Mississippi, the state's Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks has reported. They broke the record that had been set just hours before. In fact, according to a Sept. 2 Christian Post article, hunters broke and re-set three records in two days during the first week of alligator hunting season.
Alligator hunters took the saying "Records are made to be broken" quite literally this weekend, that's certain. On Friday, the length and weight record for a female alligator was broken by Brandon Maskew of Ellisville, Miss., who snagged a 10-foot long 295.3 pound specimen.
That set the stage for Saturday.
First time hunter Beth Trammell (of Madison) led a team that pulled in a monster gator the next evening. She and her team had called it quits for the night, according to the Clarion Ledger, when they hooked a massive alligator. With a couple lines on it, her husband and another hunter wrestled with the beast for one-and-a-half hours before getting it to surface.
“Oh, my gosh. It’s the Loch Ness monster," Trammell recalls saying.
Although it obviously wasn't that legendary creature, when the final weighing was announced, the news was almost as well-received. Trammell's haul tipped the scales at 723.5 pounds, besting the former Mississippi record by 26 pounds.
On any other day, such a massive reptile might have been enough to hold the record for a while. Unfortunately for Trammel, though, the Mississippi waterways weren't finished supplying monster gators.
Just a few hours after the weight record was broken by Trammel, a Vicksburg UPS driver named Dustin Brockman set the bar just a bit higher by landing a 727-pound alligator, beating the old record by 29.5 pounds and the more recently set record by 3.5 pounds.
"He broke all the lines we could put in him. Finally [we] 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," Brockman reportedly told the Hattiesburg American.
Now only time will tell if Brockman's 727-pound alligator can last the season as the heaviest ever caught. If events continue to unfold during the 2013 hunting season much like they've begun, the record might not stand long.
According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks website, alligator hunting season on public and private lands began at noon on Aug. 30. Hunting on public lands will continue until noon on Sept. 9 and is allowed only for licensed and permitted hunters who also, along with guests, were required to attend special alligator training courses conducted by the Department. Private land hunting continues until 6 a.m. on Sept. 23.
Although the 727-pound alligator caught by Brockman was the biggest alligator by weight ever caught in Mississippi, it wasn't the longest. Brockman's beast measured out to 13-foot, 4.5-inches, two inches shy of the 2008 record set by an alligator taken on the Pascagoula River.