September 10, 2013
There must be something in the water down in Mississippi — besides monster alligators.
After the state record for heaviest gator fell twice in one day last week, the record was broken for a third time Sunday when Dalco Turner of Gluckstadt, Miss., took a massive 741.5-pound gator from a backwater area of the Mississippi River, beating both records set just a week earlier.
According to The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, Beth Trammell of Madison, Miss., first broke the state record after she caught a 723.5-pound gator on Sunday, Sept. 1, only to see the record fall an hour later when Dustin Bockman of Vicksburg, Miss., brought in a 727-pounder.
Both gators, however, were dwarfed by Turner's beast, which also tied a state record for longest gator at 13 feet, 6.5 inches.
Check out the video from The Clarion-Ledger.
"It was around midnight when we initially saw this one," Turner told The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger. "We passed it by the first time. We really didn't think he was big enough to go after."
After filling Turner's tag for a gator under 7 feet, Turner and his hunting party — John Ratcliff, Jennifer Ratcliff and Jimmy Greer, all from Canton, Miss. — noticed a boat ahead of them and decided to turn around to avoid disturbing the fellow hunters. That's when they ran across the big gator again. After getting a closer look at the beast, the party got three hooks and lines on the gator, which began towing the boat to the river, snapping lines and shaking hooks along the way, forcing Turner and his party to re-tie hooks in the dark.
"It was mass confusion," Jennifer Ratcliff told reporters. "As organized as you think you are, when you hook one, everything goes crazy."
After snapping and biting at the boat — breaking some teeth in the process — the gator was secured and dispatched within an hour. After making the kill, the crew immediately realized the gator wouldn't fit in the boat, and was secured to the side as they headed for the shore.
"We couldn't even pull him onto the bank," Turner said. "We tried to pull him (ashore) with the boat, we tried everything."
After calling for reinforcements, the group got the gator out of the water in about 30 minutes.
"Even with with these two guys, it was very hard, and we were wore out," said John Ratcliff. "If it wouldn't have been for those two guys, we would have never gotten him in the boat."
All three gators come early in Mississippi's gator season, providing plenty of time for more hunters to scour the swamps for potential records.
This Arkansas behemoth
weighed in at 1,380 pounds and was 13 feet, 3 inches long. It is the current state record holder. Mike Cottingham had to have several other men help him hoist the state record gator on shore.
Jackson killed his 2011 Ole Miss gator in the same county that produced Tom Grant's then-record in 2012
. The gator weighed 690.5 pounds — seven pounds shy of a new record.
John Baxter killed this gator in 2010 in Arkansas, which made him the state record holder at 13 feet, 1 inch, and weighing 680 pounds. Mike Cottingham
beat Baxter's record in 2012 by 2 inches.
After catching this 727-pound gator
, Dustin Bockman of Vicksburg, Miss., broke the Mississippi state record for heaviest gator just an hour after the record had been set by Beth Trammell.
Dalco Turner's Mississippi gator tipped the scales at 741.5 pounds, becoming the third gator in a week to break the state record for heaviest gator. Turner's gator also tied a state record for longest gator, measuring 13 feet, 6.5 inches.
Beth Trammell's 723.5-pound gator killed on Sept. 1, 2013,
caused quite a stir for breaking the state record for longest gator, but the fame would be short-lived as Trammell's record would fall just an hour later.