Record-breaking gators -- one right after another
Posted in the Lucedale Forum
Since: Sep 09
#1 Sep 2, 2013
Brian Albert Broom
In the world of alligator hunting, anything can happen. But not even Nostradamus could have predicted how this opening weekend would unfold.
There was excitement from the start as word spread that Brandon “Boo” Maskew of Ellisville had harvested a female alligator weighing 295.3 pounds and measuring 10 feet, breaking both the heaviest and longest records for a female.
By mid-morning Sunday, Beth Trammell of Madison sent out another shockwave. A first-time hunter, Trammell said her crew hooked up on a large gator after heading for a boat launch and calling it quits for the night.
With two lines on it, the animal fought hard for 1½ hours and pushed Trammell’s husband, Rob, and hunter Sean King, of Yazoo City to their physical limits. When the alligator finally surfaced beside the boat, Beth Trammell said,“Oh, my gosh. It’s the Loch Ness monster.”
The six-person party spent the following two hours trying to wrestle the behemoth into the boat and finally succeeded after two other hunters offered assistance.
When the harvest was officially weighed, it was obvious why they had so much trouble loading it. The gator came in at an enormous 723.5 pounds, beating the state record for heaviest male by 26 pounds.
At the same time Trammell’s party was fighting its gator in Issaquena County, Dustin Bockman of Vicksburg and two partners were chasing another wily reptile on the Mississippi River a few miles away near Port Gibson.“We’d shine the light on him, and he’d go under,” said Bockman.“We’d turn the lights off and wait, and he’d be 100 yards upriver and we’d do it again.”
After two hours of playing cat and mouse, Bockman said, he got close enough to shoot the gator with a crossbow and got a buoy and line on the creature. Bockman then picked up a rod and reel and hooked the gator — and the fight between man and really, really big beast began.
“He would go to the bottom and sit like a log,” said Bockman.“You couldn’t do nothing with him.” Bockman said the reptile would make 40-yard runs and then sit again.
Bockman’s partners eventually got the buoy line, and after a brutal two-hour ordeal, they were able to secure and dispatch the animal. That was the easy part.
The three faced the same dilemma as Trammell’s bunch — getting their trophy into the boat. After four hours of pulling and tugging, they gave up and headed for a sandbar.“We pulled his head up on the bank far enough he wouldn’t float away,” said Bockman.“He was so heavy he wasn’t going anywhere.”
There they sat for the next 2½ hours, swatting mosquitoes and waiting for help.“Tired, hungry, we’d been pulling on a 700-pound gator for four hours, and we really needed a nap at that point,” said Bockman. Sleep never came, but help did and 12 hours after their hunt began, the three finally had their gator and boat on their trailer.
After taking measurements of the monster, Bockman said, he was confident it was more than 700 pounds and made arrangements to have it officially weighed and measured. Somewhere along the way, he got some upsetting news — Trammell’s gator had set the new state record.
Bockman said he couldn’t believe it and thought he’d probably missed his chance at the claim of harvesting a state-record alligator by an hour.“I knew he was over 700, but I wasn’t sure about 723,” he said.
However, when Bockman’s 13-foot, 4.5-inch gator was lifted, the scales stopped at 727 pounds and the hour-old state record fell.
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