MDWFP confirmed the new record for heaviest alligator on Saturday, September 22. The new record alligator was harvested by the hunting party of Tom Grant of Boyle, MS on a private hunting club near Fitler, Mississippi in Issaquena County. The new weight record of 697.5 pounds exceeds the previous record of 690.5 pounds, which was held by Brian Jackson of Brandon on private lands in Issaquena County in 2011. Grant’s alligator becomes the new record for weight of a male alligator taken by an alligator hunter in Mississippi.
The current hunter-harvested length record for Mississippi is 13 feet 61″2 inches. Grant’s alligator was officially measured at 13 feet 11″2 inches long and had a belly girth of 65 inches and a tail girth of 45 inches. Grant reported, “When we snagged the alligator with two rod and reel snatch hooks, we knew he was big, we just didn’t know he would be this big.” Grant was assisted by fellow alligator hunters Jim Reed, Michael Robbers, and Kenny Winter. Ricky Flynt, MDWFP Alligator Program Coordinator, said, “This is not the first record to come from Issaquena County and probably will not be the last. Much of the lower Delta region consists of private hunting clubs, private timber companies, large plantations, and wildlife management areas and national wildlife refuges. These abundant and remote habitats have harbored large alligators for a very long time.”
“The recovery of the American alligator in Mississippi from an endangered species to a population that now has reached levels to sustain hunting is a true wildlife conservation success story,” added Flynt. There are 99 private landowners who qualified for alligator hunting permits in 28 open counties for 2012. The private lands alligator hunting season closes on October 1, so there is still plenty of time for even this record to be broken again.
Image courtesy Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks