Vicksburg Man Bags 727-Pound Alligator
Hunting alligator is legal once each year in Mississippi and the 2013 season produced the biggest catches ever seen in the state. Records were broken in all four categories including length and weight for both males and females. A Vicksburg resident was briefly in the running to set a record.
The hunting season in Mississippi and other states is an important conservation measure that helps control the population of alligators, particularly as development encroaches into natural habitats. Mississippi wildlife officials say alligators are frequent and/or common in nearly half of the state’s 82 counties.
The overall weight 2013 record was set by the hunting party led by Lee Turner of Madison. The team bagged a 741.5-pound male from Bayou Pierre near the Gulf. Turner set the third -- and final -- record during the week of hunting. The first was set by Beth Trammell, also of Madison, and her team when they pulled in a 723.5-pound gator. That record fell less than two hours later when Vicksburg resident Dustin Brockman and his team harvested a 727-pound alligator. Brockman’s record fell to Turner a few days later.
The new state record for male alligator length was set by another Madison resident. Ben Walker and his team brought in a gator measuring 13 feet, 7 inches. The hunting party of Brandon Maskew of Ellisville set a new length and weight record in the female alligator category with a catch from the Pascagoula River that weighed 295.3 pounds and measured 10 feet in length.
The Mississippi hunters said they planned to share the meat with family and friends, use the hide and perhaps mount the heads.
Still, everything really is bigger in Texas, even alligators. The national record was set by a Texas teen in May. Braxton Bielski of Fort Bend bagged an 800-pound male from the Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area in south Texas.