The 727-pound alligator that was caught in the Mississippi River just three days into the alligator hunting season is setting the state’s record. The 727-pound alligator is the state's largest ever caught alligator. "He broke all the lines we could put in him. 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," said alligator hunter Dustin Bockman according to a Sept. 2, 2013, MS News Now report.
The successful hunter of the 727-pound alligator described that it took another four hours trying to load the alligator into the boat but that they finally gave up, mounted the “monster’s head” on a sandbar, and just called for help.
“We pulled his head up on the bank far enough he wouldn’t float away. He was so heavy he wasn’t going anywhere.”
Dustin Bockman is a UPS driver from Vicksburg and along with his brother, Ryan Bockman, and his friend Cole Landers, they caught the record-breaking 727-pound alligator in the Mississippi River near the Big Black River in Claiborne County.
The 727-pound alligator is 13' 4.5" long.
Only an hour before the 727-pound alligator was caught in the early morning hours on Sunday, a hunting party from Madison had caught a 723.5-pound alligator that was 13' 5.5" long. The 723.5-pound alligator was caught in Issaquenna County in the Yazoo Diversion Canal north of Redwood. It broke the previous record of 697.5 pounds.
Beth Trammell, who was part of the six-person Madison alligator hunting party that caught the 723.5-pound alligator, said that she was amazed when she saw the over 13-foot-long alligator.
“When we first saw him,” she said, “I yelled ‘oh my gosh we caught the Loch Ness Monster!'” It took five hours and the help of two additional hunters, but eventually they hoisted the animal into their boat. “It was totally unbelievable.”
With only three days into the alligator hunting season and two records broken, many are wondering how long can these alligators grow?
Ricky Flynt, the Mississippi Alligator program coordinator who certified both the 723.5-pound alligator and the 727-pound alligator commented in regard to the question of why alligators are getting so big.
“They are very long-lived animals. They can live 50 to 60 years in captivity so who knows how long they can live in the wild. I expect one to break 14 feet one day.”