Dustin Bockman, of Vicksburg, Miss., and his team of alligator hunters pose with the record-sized 727-pound alligator they caught in the Mississippi River in Claiborne County. (Ricky Flint/Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks)
Just three days into the start of Mississippi’s alligator hunting season, state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks officials say the state record for heaviest alligator has been broken — twice.
MSNewsNow.com reports that a group of hunters from Madison held the weight record for about an hour after taking in a 723.5-pound gator, beating the state record for heaviest male by 26 pounds.
Beth Trammell, a first-time hunter, and her six-person crew spent two hours trying to wrestle the 13-foot 5.5-inch alligator into their boat after receiving help from two other hunters, the Hattiesburg American reported.
The record set by Trammell and her team was broken about an hour later, when Dustin Bockman of Vicksburg took in a 727-pound alligator, according to Mississippi’s alligator program coordinator, Ricky Flynt.
Bockman and his two partners bagged the 13-foot 4.5-inch gator after getting close enough to shoot the animal with a crossbow on the Mississippi River, according to the Hattiesburg American.
“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,” Bockman told MSNewsNow.com.
After four hours of trying to get the gator into a boat, Bockman, his brother, Ryan Bockman, and friend, Cole Landers, gave up and decided to mount the monster’s head on a sandbar.
“We pulled his head up on the bank far enough he wouldn’t float away,” Bockman told the Hattiesburg American. “He was so heavy he wasn’t going anywhere.”
Flynt said the alligator caught by Bockman’s team is now the current weight record for an alligator taken in alligator hunting season by a Mississippi hunter.
The current length record for an alligator in Mississippi is 13 feet 6.5 inches. That alligator was taken on the Pascagoula River in 2008, MSNewsNow.com reported.