Decatur Co. man catches giant gator by himself -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Decatur Co. man catches giant gator by himself


By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

DECATUR COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Not even a week into alligator hunting season and a second massive alligator is pulled from the Flint River.

Amazingly, the 12 and a half foot, 560-pound gator was captured by one man.

For four agonizing years, Gary Braswell, the owner of a Bainbridge taxidermy business, had to watch as people brought in gators they'd caught during hunting season.

"I told my wife and all my buddies that my expectations are real big," said an optimistic Braswell. "And they said your first gator won't be that big. But, well, I did it!'

Thursday afternoon, permit finally in hand, Braswell decided to go hunting, by himself.

"He's out of his mind. Everybody told me that," Braswell says.

He began his hunt by checking out a place where a friend had just spotted a big gator.

"I was like oh my Lord, there he is. And my heart starting racing."

Braswell managed to get a line into the gator he's nicknamed Seminole Sam.

"When I did that he took off. I had to literally tie the line in the boat and he was just pulling me and the boat like I wasn't nothing."

As a defense mechanism, the Seminole Sam did what gators do best, a death roll. But instead of fighting it, Braswell fed some line until the gator got himself tangled. Now that the gator was secured, Braswell made sure he wouldn't be able to seek revenge.

"My brother asked how many times did you shoot him Gary? And my answer was until I ran out of bullets."

As a taxidermist, Braswell now has the pleasure of mounting this massive head for himself. But he says he'll make sure to use as much of this gator as possible to make sure none of it goes to waste.

"I'm going to use the skin on the side here to make some belts. And the meat? Oh, man. You stick around and you can have some gator meat with us!"

Friends and family are proud of Braswell's catch.

"I'm just glad he got one," his dad Dan Humphrey admits. "Maybe he could settle down and rest and get some sleep now?"

Braswell adds, "I can say the big one didn't get away!"

And he has the proof to back that up.

Braswell hopes the DNR can help him figure out the age of the gator by analyzing his huge head.

  • Click Here for more information on Georgia's alligator hunting season.
  • Click Here to see a story about another monster gator found just days earlier in the Flint River.

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