Tanner White / Facebook
In the heart of Mississippi, a group of skilled hunters recently made a record-breaking discovery for the longest alligator ever harvested in the state measuring an astounding 14 feet and 3 inches long! The reptile had a belly girth of 66 inches, a tail girth of 46.5 inches, and weighed over 800 pounds.
With a combined effort, Donald Woods, Joey Clark, Will Thomas, and Tanner White managed to capture the colossal creature at the Yazoo River and brought it in to be officially certified by the state as the new record.
A photo posted to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Facebook page shows the gator laying on the ground with its mouth being held open by one of the hunters, and the other hunters standing next to it so folks could get an idea of just how big it was.
The alligator had a metal tag on its right rear foot and Doland Woods immediately contacted the former head of the Alligator Program at the department, Ricky Flynt, who was quite excited to hear about the catch.
According to Clarion Ledger, Donald said, “I thought it was pretty cool. The first thing I did was text Ricky. I think he was more excited about it than anyone. When I called Ricky and told him about it, he was fired up!”
Ricky noted that the gator was caught back on May 31, 2007, and he put the metal tag on the gator. He went on to explain that it was found in a small private pond behind a house off Redbone Road, which is south of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Ricky said, “I remember we borrowed their 10-foot jon boat to get in the pond because it was surrounded by trees. When we hooked the alligator we realized it was bigger than we thought it was. We had our hands full.”
The gator was only 10 feet and 11 inches back then, which was already 11 inches longer than the boat they were using to hunt for it. Due to the animal being considered a nuisance, the team decided to relocate it almost 30 miles away into the Yazoo River.
The gator was harvested 22.4 miles from where it was originally released. Flynt said it’s not unusual for a gator to travel that far, especially since it had been so many years. He further added that he had once captured a gator that had been caught by him and it traveled 50 miles from where he released it.
But what fascinated Flint the most was, according to him, “I would have never imagined 16 years ago that any of the alligators I was tagging would become a state record. It’s just so cool that it happened.”
One of the hunters, Will Thomas got on live TV with News Nation to speak about what it was like being there during the capture of the reptile and the outlet showed some footage of how it all went down. Take a look at the video below to see the footage and hear what he had to say!