Record-breaking alligators caught in Mississippi

Published On: Sep 03 2013 07:12:06 AM HST

The alligator is now the current weight record for an alligator taken by a hunter in a Mississippi alligator hunting season.

JACKSON, Miss. -

The first weekend of Mississippi’s 2013 alligator-hunting season has made the record books.

The state’s new record alligator is 727 pounds and measures 13 feet 4 1/2 inches long. Five men, including Dustin Bockman, took two hours to bring the animal to shore Saturday on the Big Black River near the Mississippi River in Claiborne County.

"He broke both the fishing line, and we had a snare on him, but the snare wouldn't fit over his head," Bockman said. "I had to stick the gun barrel in the water to shoot him because the 'gator was in the water, and the gun barrel exploded."

An hour before Bockman's catch, another group caught an alligator weighing 723 pounds in Issaquena County. Another state record was also set for the largest female alligator caught.

Wildlife experts don't think the alligators are getting bigger, rather that hunters are just now finding them.

"Alligators have been here for a very long time. There has never been a hunting season for them. There are no natural predators to control their numbers," said Ricky Flynt of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. "They are very long-lived animals. We know they can live 50 or 60 years in captivity, so who knows how long they can live in the wild."


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