Monster gator caught near Flint River - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Monster gator caught near Flint River

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Source:  Michael Lacey Source: Michael Lacey
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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – You've heard of big fish stories, but we have a big gator story for you. And boy, is he big! A 500 pound, 11 foot long gator was pulled from the Flint River in Albany Saturday.

It was the first day of gator hunting season, and two hunters bagged a record-setter.

Cleve Cox landing on Philema Road is a popular spot for people to come put boats in, and enjoy other activities on the water, but in these waters, there are also quite a few gators.

DNR says the average probably around 6 feet, but over the weekend some hunters from the Macon area hit the jackpot

It's a popular spot in Albany where folks go to have fun on the water. But just up the river, most people had no idea this monstrous alligator was lurking.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Sergeant Danny Bishop saw the two hunters, floating down the river early Sunday morning..with the massive gator in their boat. "This one I saw on Sunday was one of the largest ones harvested out here."

The DNR estimates this Gator was somewhere between 10 and 11.5 feet long, and weighs around 500 pounds.

"Normally what you expect to see for someone gator hunting is someone with a five or six foot gator but to see one in excess of ten feet is fairly surprising," said Bishop.

He says the hunters were up near the Highway 32 bridge near the Lee/Worth County line. "About a mile up from a place people would go to fish or ski or picnic on the river about a mile above that.

Which he says was unusual because you normally don't see a gator that big harvested from around the area.

"They grow the same size as they do in Lake Seminole, but there are fewer of those size gators because of the amount of water we have here.

And to pull in a gator that size took the hunters several hours and many attempts. "There are not just a ton of gators out here waiting to be harvested.  You have to work at it," said Brandon Rutledge of the Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources.

And most of the other hunters in the area were not that lucky. "There were several others gator hunting that night that as far as we know didn't get anything," Rutledge said.

But if you are one of those chosen for a permit, the chances of actually harvesting a gator are slim. On average there is a 33% success rate on harvesting one. 

Gator hunting in Georgia is becoming more popular, and some of the lakes are becoming more residential. So the DNR says don't throw any food in the water, because that may attract gators, and don't go shooting a gun around someone's dock late at night.

The right to hunt gators is determined through a selection process by the Department of Natural Resources. 

The season runs from September 4th to October 3rd this year, and you must have a license that will cost you 50 dollars in addition to your regular hunting license.

The legal limit is one gator, and they have to at least 48 inches. You can only hunt with ropes, snares, snatch hooks, harpoons, gigs, or arrows with a restraining line attached. Once caught, you can use a handgun, bang stick, or a sharp tool to kill it.

  • Click Here for more information on Georgia's alligator hunting season.


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