Posing next to a gigantic 800-pound alligator, 10-year-old Ella Hawk is shorter than even the length of the animal’s tail. The pint-sized hunter bagged the 13-foot alligator with a crossbow while hunting near the Guadalupe River on September 27, and her parents were not the only ones stunned by her massive catch. According to the Victoria Advocate, Hawk’s entire hunting party were more than a little surprised when the girl landed a perfect shot between the alligator’s eyes.

“She Robin Hooded it,” said hunting guide Ryan Longer, who led the Hawk family on their expedition about a half mile from where US Highway 77 bisected the river.

Don't let her small size fool you, at 10 years old Ella Hawk is already a formidable hunter.
Don’t let her small size fool you, at 10 years old Ella Hawk is already a formidable hunter.

The guide added that if Hawk had missed the first shot or failed to land a killing blow, the gator would have likely tried to swim to safety—making the hunt vastly harder. Ella Hawk was not just any other 10-year-old with a crossbow, however. The Daily Mail reported that Hawk is already a seasoned hunter. Hawk has hunted axis deer, rams, and chital, and has accompanied her father on his excursions.

“I was more nervous than her before the shot,” said Tony Hawk, who works in the insulation industry. “She has nerves of steel before the shot. She’s just gifted like that, I guess.”

His daughter, on the other hand, said she was not nervous at all. At her young age, Hawk had already been recognized with a World Huntress of the Year award from Trophy Game Records in Kerrville, Texas. The harvest of last month’s massive alligator makes her the favorite to win the award again this year, and the 800-pound alligator will likely be the largest of its kind to be recognized by the organization.

The current Texas state record for alligator belongs to another 800-pound alligator, which was harvested by 18-year-old Braxton Bielski in 2013. It is not known if the one killed by Hawk is eligible for recognition by the state.

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  • Congratulations Ella ! That is a trophy of a lifetime, and I’m sure a memory that will endure for a very long time.