An alligator hunting record in Mississippi was broken for the third time in a week, wildlife officials there say, after the state's heaviest gator was caught.
A 4.12metre long gator weighing 336 kg was taken by Dalco Turner of Gluckstadt, on the Mississippi River near Port Gibson. It took Turner and two other hunters an hour to finally snare him.
"He broke three lines, and I had the only hook that stayed in him the whole time," Turner told the Clarion-Ledger.
It almost didn't happen.
"We passed it by the first time," he said. "We really didn’t think he was big enough to go after."
Turner's record catch came a week after the state record for heaviest gator was broken twice within hours.
On September 1, a 328kg gator was caught by Beth Trammell in a canal near Redwood, Miss., according to MSNewsNow.com, breaking the previous state record of 316kg.
But Trammell's record was short-lived. An hour after the record was certified, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’ Alligator Program coordinator Ricky Flynt processed a record 329kg gator that was snared by Dustin Bockman, a UPS driver from Vickburg, who took the 4.07m gator in the Mississippi River near Big Black River.
"He broke all the lines we could put in him," Bockman told "Gulf Live." "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.
"We're going to cook it for sure," Bockman added. "There's plenty for me and everybody else."
Both Trammell and Bockman's catches fell short of the state record for length. In 2008, a 4.12m gator was caught on the Pascagoula River.
That record stood until Turner's massive catch, which tied the mark.
"Having a state record for an alligator in Mississippi is a lot like living in a glass house," Brian Albert Broom wrote in the Clarion-Ledger. "It’s going to get broken."
Mississippi, though, has nothing on Texas. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a record 362kg alligator was caught during a public hunt in May. The 4.34m gator was estimated to be between 30 to 50 years old.
Mississippi does a lottery for alligator hunting licenses. More than 7,100 people applied this year and the state gave out just 920 permits.
Also, the state requires hunters attend a mandatory alligator hunting safety course.