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Caught Giant Alligators Break Records; How Big Do Gators Get?

Record alligator caught in Mississippi by Dustin Bockman party
The hunting party of Dustin Bockman of Vicksburg, Miss., caught this record-breaking alligator in the Big Black River near the Mississippi in Claiborne County. It was 13 feet and 6.5 inches (4.13 meters) long and weighed 727 pounds (330 kilograms). This alligator is now the current weight record for an alligator taken by a hunter in a Mississippi alligator hunting season. Photograph by Ricky Flynt/Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Dept.

By Ker Than

Two record-setting heavyweight alligators were killed by hunters in Mississippi this weekend, just three days into the start of the official gator hunting season.

One animal, a male, was 13-feet and 6.5-inches (4.13 meters) long and weighed 727 pounds (330 kilograms).

“When we finally got an arrow in him, it took us another two hours to get him up close to the boat,” Dustin Bockman, one of the hunters, told the Associated Press.

“He broke all the lines we could get in him. Finally we got a snare on him and pulled him up high enough and got a shot on him. All in all, it probably took us four-and-a-half hours to actually catch him from the first time we saw him.”

The other gator, caught by hunter Beth Trammell, was also a male and measured 13-feet and 5.5-inches (4.1-meters) long and weighed 723.5 pounds (328 kilograms). (See “Giant Crocodile Breaks Size Record.”)

Both alligators broke the previous weight record of 697.5 pounds (316 kilograms).

Once considered an endangered species, the American alligator population has bounced back in recent decades and was delisted in 1987.

We spoke to Greg Robbins, a senior animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo, to find out more about the species and whether it is normal for them to grow so large.

What did you think of the record-setting alligators caught in Mississippi this weekend?

It’s unusual to find alligators that big now. In the old days, it was fairly common. You’d read books from back in the day, especially when they first started settling Florida, and some people described alligators as being bigger.

Our largest gator was a male that passed away several years ago. He was under 500 pounds (227 kilograms), and he was a big gator. But this thing was nearly 300 pounds (136 kilograms) heavier than ours. It looked like a good-sized alligator.

Big alligator caught in Mississippi by Beth Trammell party
The hunting party of Beth Trammell of Madison, Miss., caught an alligator on Sept 1, 2013 in Issaquena County in the Yazoo Diversion Canal north of Redwood. It was 13 feet 5.5 inches (14.1 meters) long and weighed 723.5 pounds (328 kilograms). Photograph by Ricky Flynt/Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Dept.

How big can American alligators get?

They can continue growing their entire lives. When they’re older, the growth is very minimal. But generally for alligators and crocodiles, they’ll grow a foot a year for the first five or six years. And then they continue growing, but it’s usually at a slower rate.

In captivity, people can make that happen faster through diet and feeding them more often.

Are males always bigger than females?

In crocodilians [which includes alligators and their crocodile cousins] males are always bigger than females.

Is it legal to hunt alligators in the U.S.?

American alligators were taken off the endangered species list a few years ago. It kind of shows the success of the wildlife management that the alligators have come back.

In most of the southern states now, there’s legal hunting and they have tags, kind of like deer hunting season. They usually have a certain number of tags a year that people apply for and then they can hunt [the alligators].

(Related: “Yacare Caiman: The Comeback Croc.”)

Follow Ker Than on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Randomfloridian
    Central Florida
    July 17, 1:54 am

    Ok just FYI if someone hooks a gator and then realizes it is huge it would be illegal and punishable by jail time and loss of ability to hunt gators again if they just cut the line or even worse killed it and let it go. These animals have over populated to the point that the large ones drive the smaller ones out or injure them. When they are driven out of a location due to overpopulation the find any source of water to live in. Including swimming pools and swimming areas in lakes and springs. It is not uncommon here for people to wake up walk outside and have gators on their front porches and in their swimming pools. Which as the mother of a child that is 4 is concerning to me. A gators diet also consists of pretty much anything it can bite. The gators got to the point that there were literally millions of them taking over the area and killing off and threatening other wildlife and hurting people. Florida opened gator season which is 4 weeks long to help control the population. Also just another FYI nearly all of the gator is used for some purpose, not just killed and left to rot. And yes gator tail tastes pretty good incase you are wondering.

  2. Kim
    Georgia
    June 27, 5:24 pm

    I grew up in Florida & just for your information over 90% of all the fresh water there has alligators….they are not hiding in swamps away from the human population. I love animals & have never had the desire to kill what I eat….but I still eat meat. I could show you a video of how pigs are slaughtered that is 100 times worse, just so you can buy that pork in the grocery store. Unless you are buying kosher killed animals you need to quit pointing fingers at anyone. Slaughter houses of chickens & cows are awful as well. If they didn’t control the population of these gators, as beautiful as they are…there would be more human deaths than there are now. Yes, they do come in your yard & try to feed on what they can take….pets & small children. My uncle had a gator come in his yard & try to attack him…with children of his own he had to have the wildlife authorities come out. We can’t put every caught gator in a zoo….they are full of them down here….come for a visit & you will see. Also gator, just like deer, cattle, chickens, pigs, are all eaten down here. I like my gator tails fried….and yes, they do taste like chicken….good chicken….:)

  3. TJB
    Japan
    June 7, 2:26 am

    I love animals (all animals), but you have to have life cycle management to preserve life. Bottom line: sometimes you have to kill animals in order to do that.

    Actually one more comment.

  4. Tom cobb
    Beaumont TX
    May 30, 8:55 pm

    For those who are sickened by harvesting Gators in the Southern States…you need to understand that it is healthier for the cycle of life. If gators go unchecked then they overcrowd fast and with that they challenge each other for prey and then things get ugly. Gators will cannabalize the little ones at higher rate without natural prey. Its the same for trees in the forest without fire for instance we have lost all the Dogwood in an area in SE Tx. a virus went unchecked for too long and it eventually spread and is continuing to spread. Guess who is to blame…The Sierra Club. Ecological Management evolves quickly and what was percieved as bad 10 years ago is no longer what’s best today. So…kiss your tree goodnight and pick up a book or an essay and do some research.

  5. KEN
    Charlotte nc
    April 28, 3:35 pm

    HUG ONE PAT one on the head.

  6. RIVERANGEL
    Gators Playground-FL, USA
    April 11, 12:50 am

    This just disgusts me. I can walk a couple blocks in any direction of my neighborhood & observe these majestic beasts in all their glory. They are everywhere near where I live. I am an aficionado of the crocodilians species & adore them, but of course from afar. My children are well versed in safety. If you leave them alone, they leave you alone. Just simple precautions are needed. Not the slaughter of a genus that has outlived every species before them. Those alligators were most likely 80 – 100 years old. Just sickening to do that for sport. I agree w/the observations from places such as Africa & Australia whom have more fatalities from Crocs every year than any other region in the world and they are not just going around blasting them! I do not however agree w/some comments I’ve reviewed from the UK that apparently have conceded that all Americans are gun-toting, uneducated rednecks who do nothing but shoot, hunt & prompt wars. And if you also notice the folks dropping by in support of this barbarism can barely construct properly spelled or utilized grammar. Be kind to each other people!

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    January 10, 1:09 pm

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  8. Siamak Yousefi
    Iran
    January 2, 4:28 pm

    Hi! I want to ask you: why and how crocodile growth very much after haching from little cm to meters after one year?

  9. luke rankin
    60sharpless st
    October 16, 2013, 7:42 pm

    I can get a bigger one

  10. Shawn USA Overbey
    September 10, 2013, 7:24 pm

    I’ve been reasons the comments, and have to say to all those who disagree with killing for food (even if it’s fun); I guess we should all quit eating meat and become cattle. I DON’T THINK SO.

  11. lee
    las vegas originally from fl
    September 10, 2013, 2:02 pm

    These hunters were given permits by wild life dept they have to be hunted to keep numbers in check nothing else in nature i know of that will do this.
    Do you watch swamp people those people make a living hunting gators as well as keeping their numbers down also given tags by fish and game their not a “holes.
    Just to bad these big old dinasours were taken they deserved to live
    managing to get this big.

  12. Matt
    USA
    September 9, 2013, 9:52 pm

    What? They couldn’t just tranquilize it, take measurements, photographs, weight etc and then release it? Or transfer to a preserve??
    Awful…

  13. ge
    USA
    September 9, 2013, 9:16 pm

    I would have thought people coming to National Geographic knew more about conservation. Both dear and alligators must be hunted, as the area no longer provide sufficient predators, or other natural means, to control numbers. If society doesn’t manage the numbers, catastrophic events occur, including destruction of a sustainable habitat/food supply.

    And yes, dear and alligators are eaten, and all parts usable are used. There are professional hunters. There’s nothing wrong with hunting within a carefully monitored conservation program. It has to be done. People should enjoy good work, including hunting. Hunters don’t take pleasure in causing animal pain. Rather effort is taken to reduce as much as possible. They are assisting in what’s required for a healthy animal population.

  14. John
    September 9, 2013, 4:55 pm

    This was during alligator season. It is legal to hunt these animals. Many of these hunters base their entire livelyhood off of the sale of these animals, which are used for meat, teeth, and hides. This is not killing for killings sake. It is a job for many folks. A way for them to put food on the table.

  15. Shannon
    texas
    September 9, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Obviously yall have never lost a pet or livestock to one of those

  16. Heather
    United States
    September 9, 2013, 3:59 pm

    In Mississippi, as part of natural conservation due to the threat over overpopulation, there are a limited number of tags issued to hunter’s each year. These animals do not just live in swampland, they live in the areas behind subdivisions and where people take their children for recreational activities. The primary objectives of the alligator program is to monitor alligator populations, to control nuisance alligators through the use of alligator agent-trappers, and to educate the public on being safe around alligators. Alligators were completely eliminated in Mississippi in the 1960′s and the state has made an incredible effort in their protection and survival. Due to these efforts these incredible reptiles have made a wonderful recovery. So much that in 1987 a law was passed to regulate and manage their numbers.

  17. Joe Blow
    September 9, 2013, 12:56 pm

    Well to all you folks that don’t believe in killing and hunting, how do you think we got this far?

    If Walmart & Albertsons closed tomorrow where would you get your meat?

    Some of you live in fantasy land.

  18. isaac sekindi
    kampala
    September 9, 2013, 10:43 am

    we got 5 times bigger nile crocks than that little innocent aligater

  19. isaac sekindi
    kampala
    September 9, 2013, 10:41 am

    seriously, killing these beautiful creatures for fun, idiots.
    thats why u will always come to africa to watch our beatiful animals where they are free from such barberic acts…

  20. Iva Biggen
    Louisiana
    September 9, 2013, 9:30 am

    I agree wid all duh Gator Lovers . I feed them nearly every day .
    We have way too many wild kittens and Puppies here so thats what we feeds em All yall are wehcome to come here and go Snorkeling in the Bayou in the late evenings and you can see these wonderful, Majestic, fun loving , Playful, Misunderstood,
    Marvelous creatures up close in action.
    You get Mangled a bit but it will certainly be worth it to know you really care about these Harmless ,funloving ,adorable Gators !!!

  21. B
    ms
    September 9, 2013, 8:27 am

    and might i add not everyone in new york n the other places. there are some good people everywhere, and there are the others…. just like everywhere.. i was being a hypocrite there n i apologize but was a little angry. people just dont get it..this all probably falling on def ears but i tried…

  22. B
    ms
    September 9, 2013, 8:10 am

    we dont kill them just for fun…we do eat gator and use every part of the leather for clothing and stuff..yes the record breaker may should b alive but not captive in a zoo either. yes it could have just been left alone but you all also dont realize the current population of gators and what they are doing to the other wild life n fish ect…y stretch it. the number that can be taken is very limited and in the south, unlike u new york sobs i saw up there, we use or resources and dont waist like yall do in the big ridiculous city of sin. we appreciate wildlife more than you could ever understand. yes people are excited about it, just like hunting anything else. stereotypes and being judgemental is wrong especially when u are ignorant (not stupid, i didnt call anyone stupid) of things…you all just dont understand. n weither u believe in God or not, it still isnt anyones place to judge anyone especially b4 knowing all the details.

  23. Sam W
    United Kingdom
    September 9, 2013, 7:47 am

    “He broke all the lines we could get in him. Finally we got a snare on him and pulled him up high enough and got a shot on him. All in all, it probably took us four-and-a-half hours to actually catch him from the first time we saw him.”

    So would that be 4 1/2 hours of pain and suffering for this majestic animal just for the entertainment of a bunch of murderous hillbillies?

  24. Matt
    USA
    September 9, 2013, 5:31 am

    The best part of this entire article was the reaction of the commentators. Although, I don’t know why I would expect a different response from most National Geographic readers.

    Alligator tags can’t be cheap, so I highly doubt the hunters just left the carcass to rot; they probably made jerky. If you also consider the food industry, the processing techniques can be seen as rather gross–in which you can’t blame someone wanting to hunt and obtain their own food in a more natural/organic manner.

  25. geetha
    coimbatore
    September 9, 2013, 4:22 am

    Humans are the main enemies of Alligators, they survive in their natural habitat without much enemies.

  26. Tha Father
    milwaukee
    September 9, 2013, 3:46 am

    Rude that creatures been alive forever your in his river and kill it without a chance that gator should have killed these morons

  27. RonCon
    in the country
    September 9, 2013, 1:31 am

    What you moroooons don’t realize is that a gator that size will bring in around $4000. And nothing on the gator is wasted. Also, when they get that big they will eat smaller gators and wipe out an entire area of fish, which also are souce of income.

  28. cindy
    calif
    September 8, 2013, 11:47 pm

    Not cool……

  29. Chris
    USA
    September 8, 2013, 7:41 pm

    Odds are, they are going to eat. Did they need it to survive? Probably not. Is hunting a way of life for many people? Yes.
    Do I need to hunt to survive? No I don’t. I could go to the grocery store and buy my meat farm raised like the previous commenters probably do, but I don’t.
    I raise and slaughter my own, beef, pork, chicken and rabbits for meat. I have a dairy cow and a goat for milk and cheese, I have chickens for my eggs. My wife makes blankets with the rabbit hides I tan to both sell and for our own personal use. I go to the woods scores of days per year and harvest any animal in season that my family can and will use. Nothing we harvest, slaughter or otherwise raise goes to waste. If we have an excess we help friends and neighbors in need. We plant a small but respectable garden every year, and every year The Lord blesses us with more than we can possibly use or put away for the winter. We share that with our community, pesticide free, torture free, meat, vegetables and fruits.

    Now, I ask you this.
    How many of you have ever killed anything you have eaten? How many of you have ever harvested your own vegetables?
    How many have provided for your family from the animals god gave us to use?
    How many have walked through the woods and harvested mushrooms with your five year old son?

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!
    Because you got it from the store and didn’t see what that T-bone steak went through to get there, doesn’t make it right. Get back to your roots. Look around outside and find something green, take your kids away from the city and find something to do in nature, find a creek or river close to your house and let them play in it.
    Get rid of the Facebook, the playstation the iPad, the iPhone for one weekend! See how much happier your kids are.

    End of rant.

  30. chuck
    us
    September 8, 2013, 6:42 pm

    It’s their living. they sell the hide and eat or sell the meat!!
    Dumm

  31. chuck
    marion,nc
    September 8, 2013, 6:26 pm

    Stupid, its a living They survive on the hide, and eat an sell the meat!!!!!!

  32. I'm not a tree hugger...however...
    September 8, 2013, 4:14 pm

    I believe that hunting can serve a purpose when you are using all of what you have killed, however this is nothing but a desperate display or better yet compensation for lack of security in masculinity . This animal as it is advertised is a rarity! Something to be respected and left alone to continue to grow in the wild.

    Congratulations boys…as you read these comments know how little most think of you for what you have done and enjoy. Your fame is short lived…but the disgust in your actions is not.

  33. Amy Janson
    USA
    September 8, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Actually, yes, alligator is served in restaurants and homes all along the Gulf Coast.

  34. Christopher A. Mullen
    United States
    September 8, 2013, 10:18 am

    These hunters didn’t kill the poor gator for the fun of it. They eat them.

  35. Not an entrée
    Florida
    September 7, 2013, 11:38 pm

    Tell you what, next time anyone runs across a man eating animal whose skin ricochets bullets, can swallow you without chewing, bite through your home wall and car door And outrun you I say we tranqualize them and fly them to NY and Auckland and anywhere else who wants to pat their heads and scratch their bellies. Talk trash when it’s YOUR backyard they call a cafeteria!

  36. Latch
    September 7, 2013, 9:11 pm

    You idiots. Gators are predators. If we didnt hunt them they would be in our yards feeding off are kids. There is millions of them. IMF we didnt hunt there would be billions.

  37. Chris Inwood
    Liverpool, England
    September 7, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Typical Americans. Shoot 1st ask questions later. Probally killed it with “Friendly Fire” aswell. Duelling Banjo’s was playing whilst killing it

  38. Craig Strid
    Rhinelander Wisconsin
    September 7, 2013, 9:00 am

    Hunting is a way of insuring a viable and healthly population. Natures way of controlling population can be worse like starvation or death by disease due to overpopulation, Overpopulation can cause cannabalization. It can cause over encrouchment into human habitat as they expand their territorial areas. Alligator meat is a well sought after commodity.

  39. bj
    NC
    September 6, 2013, 5:25 pm

    oh why dont you people cry a dang river, what do you think God put them here for? to eat gosh some people are just so stupid. i guess you anly eat animals that kill themselves!! get over it!!”

  40. allen j heasley
    United States
    September 6, 2013, 4:52 pm

    I love Ima rymas note right on I agree with all of these comments, and i am a shooting enthusiast who hasn’t harmed an animal since returning from the army in 68

  41. AM
    September 6, 2013, 4:10 pm

    This is very saddening. I understand that Mississippi does not want to be overrun with alligators, but to kill something that has gotten to be so very old and large, and who wasn’t bothering anyone is shameful. The alligator should have been allowed to live out its life in peace. For the media to glorify the kill by giving the story space on the page is a waste of reporting. Why not take that space and use it to write about the people who save animals and their fellow humans daily. I second all of the comments before mine.

  42. Kimber
    September 6, 2013, 4:02 pm

    Agreed Nicholas. Thought i was gonna read a story about Caught Giant Alligators not Dead ones. R.I.P Steve Irwin.

  43. kenneth reed
    poplur bluff
    September 6, 2013, 2:39 pm

    thats a huge gater!!!!!! nice shot whever shot it

  44. charmander
    September 6, 2013, 2:06 pm

    I love how everyone acts like PETA wanna-be. Just leave them alone. They wanted to kill it and its done you can’t bring the gator back so get over it and get a life.

  45. TEF
    Madrid, Spain
    September 6, 2013, 1:33 pm

    A local television station broadcasts the American television show about hunters in Mississippi/Louisiana/Florida killing snakes and alligators. It disgusts me to think that the program is entertainment here.
    - Much as the program about loggers and all the dangerous work they do, when the far greater issue are the loss of habitat and a non-renewable, natural habitat and resource.
    - And, much like the Alaskan truckers, made out to be heroes, while the greater issue is America’s addiction to oil, and the billions in profits made.
    People don’t see through the way it’s presented nor ask themselves, “Why is this television program being broadcast in this context?” “Who benefits by putting a program like this on television?”

  46. Mike
    New York City
    September 6, 2013, 1:16 pm

    “Nyuck nyuck nyuck hey maw, looky here! We killed ourselves a gator an he’s a biggin!!”. Killin fo the sheer joy of killin, he haw :)

  47. Kathy
    September 6, 2013, 12:57 pm

    This makes me sad. : (

  48. bill adams
    United States
    September 6, 2013, 9:48 am

    Disgusting. Sad. Pathetic.

  49. André
    Lisboa, Portugal
    September 6, 2013, 8:03 am

    Isn’t this morally wrong? Shouldn’t this be considered criminal? Aren’t there aligator farms? Killing for sport is one of the worst human actions, shows bad human character. It’s depressing, to say the least.

  50. Mary
    NC
    September 6, 2013, 8:02 am

    Are you guys serious? Do any of you live near alligators? I would assure you if this was crawling in your back yard while your children were out playing you may think differently… do you know the numbers on how many peoples pets and children have been eaten by alligators? Over population …that is the need to kill them … if not some people would NEVER be able to let their children (or animals) out to play…( but send them your addresses maybe they can just relocate them to your area..) p.s. – i do not live in an over populated alligator area ..therefore we do not hunt them… because there is no need to….

  51. Allen Crawford
    September 6, 2013, 2:11 am

    If these guys want to kill something, they should go for feral hogs and white-tailed deer–both of which do great damage to US forests. Otherwise, they’re just reinforcing a lack of respect for living things, which is a disastrous attitude in a time when we may very well see the Bengal tiger and African elephant vanish within a generation.

  52. Danna Compton
    vidor, tx
    September 6, 2013, 12:14 am

    They do it to fill tags, and yes the meat hide and all are used. Its not just for fun

  53. harry thundertone
    September 5, 2013, 11:48 pm

    Why would anyone kill an animal like that? for a record and a photo op? These imbeciles are an embarrassment to the entire human race.

  54. alley
    United States
    September 5, 2013, 8:38 pm

    Yes licensed legal hunting IS the American way.

  55. Josh
    September 5, 2013, 6:51 pm

    How terribly short sighted of everyone in these comments. Yes, they will eat them. But more importantly, the money raised from the tags and licenses will be put back into the alligator management program which has been remarkably successful. Just 50 years ago there were hardly any alligators in Mississippi. And now? Trust me. There are plenty.

  56. Mrs. Smith
    FL
    September 5, 2013, 5:57 pm

    I agree with the others. What a shame that such an old creature should meet such a disgraceful end. That gator was probably 150 years old or more and those guys killed it for the glory. Well congratulations. You bested a glorious creature with a gun. Wow. How amazing. So sad.

  57. John Nolan
    Hawaii
    September 5, 2013, 5:15 pm

    I wonder if they taste like chicken?

  58. Kevin Mitchell
    England
    September 5, 2013, 4:38 pm

    Very sad that in these days of diminishing wildlife that such idiots get a kick out of killing these fantastic creatures. Shame on National Geographic for not condemning them!

  59. Bubba Gump
    USA
    September 5, 2013, 4:21 pm

    You city folks just need to take a long swim in the Ocean daily and maybe you will be lucky enough to be lunch for a shark.
    All predatory species numbers must be held in check for humans and domesticated animals to cohabitate the earth.

  60. BigC
    September 5, 2013, 3:37 pm

    A. Alligator is consumed in the south almost as much as cat fish
    B. the hides are sold to purse and shoemakers for a lot of money.
    For people who live on the swamps, many of them live off the swamp for both food and a way to make money wheather it be logging, fishing, and/or hunting.
    I agree that these particularly large and obviously ancient animals should have been left to live on. Alligator hunting is strictly regulated for population management and it’s no different than any other style of hunting. Most hunters have a strong respect for nature. There are poachers, but that is no different than in any country.

  61. Gator Freind
    Peru
    September 5, 2013, 2:34 pm

    So stupid to do this for fun. Shame on all who promote this.

  62. Sandy
    Minnesota
    September 5, 2013, 2:19 pm

    I agree with all of the comments from other people…idiotic sport.. Beautiful creatures.

  63. Leigh Hunt
    Gadsden, AL
    September 5, 2013, 2:01 pm

    Wow, people, really? Get over the fact that hunting is a sport and a way of life. I don’t see you people in New York during Fashion Week whining about any clothing/shoes/purses provided by animals! There is such a thing as population control, and that is why hunting is regulated. Get more information on a subject before you let your whiney emotions run your mouth.

  64. Ralph Spooner
    Bainbridge, GA USA
    September 5, 2013, 11:48 am

    I do not begrudge the hunters in Mississippi or Louisiana that hunt alligators during the limited seasons they have. I know that for most of them, it is the only way they can survive from year to year financially. In our local area, they have had limited hunts for the past couple of years with limited success. In some areas, they can get so plentiful as to be a real problem. As the human population continues to expand, we encroach on the territories of all wildlife. All of that wildlife is not “Bambie”. In the south, you have rattlesnakes, cotton mouth moccasins, alligators and more recently, coyotes. With gator hunting, at least now the hunters can do legally what some had probably been doing illegally for years.

  65. Missippi Girl
    Jackson
    September 5, 2013, 11:13 am

    Don’t you know that alligator hunting season in MS and LA runs only for a short period and these animals must be controlled to avoid them moving into populated areas. Hunters must have tags to hunt them and only a small number are issued each year. The alligators killed are used for food, not simply thrown away. The same thing pertains to deer season. Deer hunting is very controlled, the deer are used for food. If the deer population is not thinned each year, the deer multiply so quickly that many would starve to death. That occurred in an island in the Mississippi River at one time.

  66. christina
    Florida
    September 5, 2013, 11:06 am

    Its a shame. These animals have been here way before we were and we kill them.
    where is the compassion. These alligators have survived long enough to get that big and its amazing and now they are dead.
    Im ashamed to be part of the human race sometimes.

  67. Kountrysailor
    Nc
    September 5, 2013, 10:18 am

    Yes these gators were probably sold to a meat market where they are processed and sold to eat and skins to make your fancy shoes briefcases and suitcases and it is wildlife management to hunt and kill wildlife. As humans grow over populated and push into wildlife encounters happen house pets get killed and eaten by gators on a daily basis, children swim in these areas and without proper management attacks on humans would grow. This is like deer hunting you liberal people don’t want deer hunting either but complain when your shrubs get eaten and deer jumps in front of your BMW and totals it. Hunting is required to help maintain a balance between humans and wildlife. Also with human population growth wildlife have smaller habitats and without proper management would over populate causing diseases and imbreeding. So before you get your panties twisted and go and try and point fingers and run your mouths to try and take these people’s jobs and livelihoods think logically about it and you would see there is nothing wrong with hunting

  68. mafy050
    September 5, 2013, 9:36 am

    you hippies are pathetic. you all need to get a life. It was alligator season!! they NEED to be hunted to control population.

  69. Jon
    Oklahoma, US
    September 5, 2013, 9:20 am

    Hey! Quail and alligators are overpopulated in this area and they’re decimating the grubworm population so they need to be controlled. You got a problem with that?

  70. Wow
    September 5, 2013, 9:05 am

    You know you are right, killing for fun is wrong but look at the records for alligator populations when hunting was outlawed and tell me if you want that kind of population explosion to go unchecked in your backyard. Do some research before getting your undies in a bunch.

  71. Mark
    United States
    September 5, 2013, 9:01 am

    Let the anti-hunting wing nuts loose. These animals do not go to waste. There are strict rules and regulations to ensure a healthy population. These people aren’t just going out to shoot and kill gators for kicks. They use as much of the gator as possible. Responsible hunting makes sure that wildlife does not get over populated. It is a way of life for many that cannot afford to buy a bunch of meat at the grocery store. And some people just prefer to know where their meat comes from.

  72. Kenneth Coles
    New Jersey
    September 5, 2013, 8:38 am

    Revolting display of sport killing. Makes me sick and ashamed to be a human being. Let these magnificent creatures live their lives!!!

  73. Zac Lazarou
    London, UK
    September 5, 2013, 8:20 am

    How is this something to be proud of? It’s a disgrace killing these amazing creatures for sport… Ignorant fools!!

  74. AbhiDevGru
    India
    September 5, 2013, 7:54 am

    This Shows the insensitivity on the Government to allow such kind of sport. .
    The reptile is back from threatened Status, that’s a good news but allowing it to be hunted again to throw it back in to the Endangered list, what sense does it it makes?

  75. Wayne Smith
    Rochester Ny
    September 5, 2013, 7:24 am

    Shoot it!!

  76. Neil
    Canada
    September 5, 2013, 7:08 am

    two things;
    1) black caimans get larger than this
    and 2) stupid people for killing the animals, I agree with the comments before me.

  77. harris kew
    Malaysia
    September 5, 2013, 4:14 am

    We used to hunt because we need food but now these people hunt for fun and their own satisfactory. The alligator didn’t kill any people and why you guys can’t leave them alone , they deserve to live freely in their own land.

  78. Baazzaa
    Ireland
    September 5, 2013, 3:37 am

    Aboslutley disguted to read this, Horrible scum of the earth, killing a reptile like that, just for their own amusement, very easy to pull a trigger. Absoulte idiots.

  79. Patrick Rose
    Rangiora, New Zealand
    September 5, 2013, 3:31 am

    I have to say that’s a pretty big gator
    I’m much of a hunter, but more of a photographer
    and I’ll have to say that looks and sounds like a big magnificent creature

  80. Tudor
    Bucharest, Romania
    September 5, 2013, 2:57 am

    Wow, what a feet!

    You killed a beautiful alligator….idiots.

    If you want to do some real sport, start jogging or practice martial arts.

    PS: This is the wrong website for this type of news.

  81. dimitar
    bulgaria
    September 5, 2013, 1:24 am

    gorgeous animals
    no pretty people besides :(

  82. dimitar
    bulgaria
    September 5, 2013, 1:21 am

    no pretty people on those pictures :(

  83. ferm-dog
    USA
    September 5, 2013, 12:39 am

    they could have at least captured it ……. killing it was kinda really not such a (bright) idea

  84. Barbara Porto
    United States
    September 4, 2013, 9:42 pm

    I am sick and tired of these so called “sportsmen & women killing for the fun of it. They all look like clowns. Pathetic and totally disgusting.

  85. Frank T
    Aus
    September 4, 2013, 9:30 pm

    As someone that has hunted Alligator, I know that when its taken, it is turned into food and leather.

  86. ccco
    london,england
    September 4, 2013, 8:35 pm

    i agree with Vonne, americans r disgraces

  87. ccco
    CAL
    September 4, 2013, 8:28 pm

    i cant believe you guys killed them, u r disgraces to human kind but still, 727 and 723.5 lbs! dang!

  88. MN
    Jackson, MS
    September 4, 2013, 7:25 pm

    You guys are making our state look terrible. My message to the rest of the world is that most Mississippians are not like this!

  89. Crissy
    Maine US
    September 4, 2013, 7:00 pm

    So sad. And for what ?

  90. Bill
    Somerset County
    September 4, 2013, 6:17 pm

    Why did they have to kill them in both cases? It’s a shame to kill animals that large and so old.I will never understand sport hunting.

  91. Valerie
    USA
    September 4, 2013, 5:25 pm

    Tired of having people like this represent “merica.” We don’t all carry guns and shoot anything that comes our way. In fact the percentage of Americans that hunt for sport is very low. Low like the mentality of people like this who kill for fun. Disgusting.

  92. Mike R
    USA
    September 4, 2013, 5:04 pm

    @Vonne Pitcher
    Obviously never been to Mississippi, or around hunters. We eat what we kill and generally have a good respect for the environment.

  93. Ire
    Newmarket, UK
    September 4, 2013, 4:55 pm

    Disgusting – why some one would do it. I say – we need to reduced the number of these “killer species” and by that I do not mean Alligators.

  94. truth
    Nashville, TN
    September 4, 2013, 4:52 pm

    I’ve never hunted a crocodile or an alligator, and more importantly, I’ve never hunted for sport. I personally believe that hunting for sport is shameful and disrespectful to the life that you’re taking. But it’s unfair to assume that these people were hunting only for that reason, it’s not difficult to find crocodile and alligator at seafood restaurants in the United States. And I’m sorry to say, it’s not uncommon for people to hunt these magnificent creatures for their hide due to the hefty prices they fetch.

  95. D Miller
    Pennsylvania
    September 4, 2013, 4:28 pm

    Nature is not an antiseptic pleasure to be enjoyed via coffee table books. The success of this endangered specie’s come back was largely funded through game commissions and fish commissions and with the help of sportsmen who love the outdoors and are part of the balance required to keep things in check. Responsible hunters and fishermen who obey laws, educate kids in the outdoors, and fund management programs with the purchase of licenses have done far more good than harm for the environment. Like ti or not, hunting is a necessary reality in modern times. Poachers and other slob idiots who show little love for the outdoors and no respect for anyone are little loved by hunters. In this respect, hunters are actually your allies, not your enemies. This article is a testament to two new Mississippi River records … thanks to the thoughtful and caring outdoor enthusiasts who made it possible.

  96. Murderous redneck doucebags
    down south
    September 4, 2013, 4:24 pm

    Not just killing it, but spending four-and-a-half hours doing so, that`s just torture. Evil, plain and simple. You want the rest of the world to stop hating you american cowboy-wannabe aholes?, then this isn`t the way..!

  97. Crystal
    SF
    September 4, 2013, 4:13 pm

    I would love to see one of these animals preserved by being moved to capitivity while alive. that would be an amazing opportunity to see how big they can actually get. It is a total disgrace that they are hunted. why not just hunt with a camera? Info is more useful than trophies.

  98. tcf
    Canada
    September 4, 2013, 3:03 pm

    Sad, a creature that has managed to survive so many other extinction periods and then came along the human. A “virus” like no other kind that has the capability to kill off pretty much anything on this planet and is cheerfully doing so.

  99. Steve
    September 4, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Ah, sitting at home on the computer, criticizing other people, and making crude comments . . . . . the American way. Personally, I’ve got no desire to go alligator hunting, but if these guys do, I’ve got no problem with it.

  100. imran ghanchi
    radhanpur patan gujarat
    September 4, 2013, 2:14 pm

    My favret national grpc chennal nice

  101. Mike H
    USA
    September 4, 2013, 2:13 pm

    jjjj first of all it’s a gator, we don’t have crocs here in the states. Second of all, all tags are issued by state dept. of natural resources for a reason. If they don’t curb the population of these gators they’ll be living in peoples back yards and a big one like that would have a small child or what am I talking about a full grown man as a snack. Now what would you be saying about that when that happens. Oh right get out the pitch forks we got to kill us a gator. Yes cause these gator are already living i many peoples back yards. They are not exterminating them they are just keeping the population down like with deer hunting and any other animal hunt in the states. And yes they will eat them gator is very tasty.

  102. Kate
    September 4, 2013, 2:04 pm

    They probably will eat some of it. Their meat is actually pretty tasty.
    While I agree, it was a shame to kill such awesome specimens, it was done legally. The DNR does research on the populations and decides how many permits to give out. This also helps so that their population does’t become so large that they are a nuisence.

  103. brenner bussy
    alma texas
    September 4, 2013, 2:03 pm

    we do actually eat them

  104. john c. murphy
    United States
    September 4, 2013, 1:49 pm

    Your article does not answer the question, how big to alligators get? Neither of these animals was even close to being a record sized alligator. The largest alligator was killed in s. Louisiana in 1890 and measured 19 feet, 2 inches. There are other records of alligators over 18 feet. See the Serpent Research blog for more details.

  105. hunter girl
    georgia
    September 4, 2013, 1:46 pm

    Hunting is great especially animails such as gators! living on lake Seminole makes you thank God that the state hands out tags and regulates the population of gators there are far to many around here. Thank God for hunting allows me to put food on my table and in my fridge! i do stand by if you don’t eat it leave it.

  106. john c. murphy
    United States
    September 4, 2013, 1:44 pm

    Your article does not answer the question, how big do alligators get? Neither of these animals is even close to the record sized alligator which was killed in 1890 in s. Louisiana and was measured 19 feet 2 inches long. See Serpent Research blog for more.

  107. Matt L.
    Sturgis, MI
    September 4, 2013, 1:12 pm

    It’s not fair to describe all Americans as “loving to kill”. My wife and I denounce any kind of hunting, especially trophy hunting like these individuals demonstrated. People wonder why the size of animals these days are smaller it’s because of situations like these where people want to sport kill the largest animals they can, from fish, alligators, deer, bear, moose. So when you take animals like this our of the environment they cannot pass on any of these traits. So in closing it is very unfortunate that these beautiful creatures were killed for sport.

  108. alfredo tanous
    mexico city
    September 4, 2013, 1:08 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your magazine. It was dedicated to the nature and her beauty. Its a shame that you publicated this articule. Today you´ve lost a follower.

  109. johnjalecci
    ERIE PA
    September 4, 2013, 1:05 pm

    A JOB WELL DONE. I AM SURE IT WILL HELP YOU AND YOUR FAMILES . IT IS JUST LIKE ANOTHR WORK DAY FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON.JJA

  110. Tom Greene
    New York
    September 4, 2013, 1:05 pm

    Leave the poor creatures alone…..

  111. johnjalecci
    erie pa
    September 4, 2013, 1:00 pm

    HUNTERS A JOB WELL DONE. ALTHOUGH SOME PEOPLE WILL THINK THIS IS HORRIBLE THEY FAIL TO SEE THER IS A NEED FOR THIS HUNT. IT KEEPS IN B

    ALANCE MOTHER NATURE AND TO SOME IT IS A LIVING.

  112. CROROC
    MT
    September 4, 2013, 12:55 pm

    Humans have a perverted sense of “saving” animals. We only bring “back” these animals to kill them. If the alligator HAD killed them, people would have hunted it down to kill it anyway.

  113. Von Käsppary
    Porto Alegre, Brazil
    September 4, 2013, 12:51 pm

    Incredible … alligator meat should be a great meal. Congrags to Americans.

  114. Chad
    USA
    September 4, 2013, 12:37 pm

    What a bunch of panty wasted losers you all are. Complaining about a legal hunt.

    Stay in the big city and leave the outdoors to the real men.

  115. Eric Paul
    Tampa, FL
    September 4, 2013, 12:32 pm

    I have to agree with the rest of the posts on here. I truly don’t understand the logic or the pleasure from taking the life of ANY species – human or not. There’s simply too many people on the planet…and if we encounter some economic crisis, I’d hate to be a wild animal. It would take only a few months before Humans hunted and killed all of those “natural resources” for food – leaving us to something along the lines of cannibalism or inevitable starvation (The Movie “The Road”). This is why I don’t think hunting should be legal and overpopulation NEEDS to be addressed. If not, it’s an inevitable DISASTER waiting to happen!

  116. Charles Sommers
    Tennessee
    September 4, 2013, 12:14 pm

    @ Vonne Pitcher, Judy Steinberg, and jjj, In all probability the animals will be eaten. Alligator is quite popular in some parts of the American South and is delicious when properly prepared. I also don’t think that hunting is strictly an American thing as Vonne Picher’s comment seems to imply.

  117. Jeannie
    California
    September 4, 2013, 11:47 am

    This is beyond sad. What a beautiful creature. Now it’s gone.

  118. jennifer cundiff
    United States
    September 4, 2013, 11:26 am

    What a shame people do this for fun.The croc should have kill the aholes.

  119. Rachel
    September 4, 2013, 10:23 am

    Actually, they generally DO eat the alligator meat, apparently it’s quite good in fact. It’s obvious what the hide is used for and just about every part of the animal goes to use. Alligator hunting is strictly regulated and you can only hunt a certain size group. Also, without the hunting Alligators would over-populate and put your children and pets in danger. Stop talking shit about stuff you don’t know about okay?

  120. Melissa
    Michigan
    September 4, 2013, 10:21 am

    Yes many people eat the meat. also they sell it to restaurants to make a living & provide food for their families. It angers me when people judge hunters because when i was a child i would have starved it my dad didn’t hunt. You never know what you would do unless your in that situation. At least they are working and not waiting for someone else to provide them with food or earnings.

  121. Ryan
    Louisiana
    September 4, 2013, 10:12 am

    Gators are hunted and sold to distributors. The distributors break down the alligators and sell the various pieces to different people. The skin is often used to make leather and the meat is often sold to food distributors, or in stores that the distributors own.

    And jjjj, its an alligator, not a crocodile! Different animals! Learn the difference.

  122. andrew musante
    indiana
    September 4, 2013, 10:05 am

    these are dangerous animals to people and pets that if not controlled will breed out of control. so all you that dont like hunting them and wishing the hunters injury can just PISS OFF

  123. Sherry W
    Chesapeak Virginia
    September 4, 2013, 9:55 am

    Heartbreaking. Completely and utterly heartbreaking. An amazing creature in that magnitude should have been left alone. Senseless death, all for what?

  124. Nicholas
    September 4, 2013, 8:24 am

    What an absolute disgrace. The fact people do this for entertainment is actually really depressing.

  125. Ima Ryma
    September 4, 2013, 3:50 am

    An alligator likes some fun.
    Hunting isn’t just about food,
    And since my hunting must be done,
    I keep a sporting attitude.
    Whenever humans come my way,
    The life and death game ratchets up.
    I judge each quarry, then I say
    Is this human a trophy cup?
    I hold the kill record so far,
    A sumo wrestler from Japan,
    Fell out of a boat – quite bizarre.
    I got a pic to show my clan.

    The biggest record has been set
    By me. How big do humans get?

  126. Judy Steinberg
    New York
    September 4, 2013, 3:37 am

    That is rotten…..You killed a beautiful animal practically prehistoric…Idiots

  127. Katienne
    USA
    September 4, 2013, 12:44 am

    Shame to kill it. Amazing creature.

  128. Vonne Pitcher
    Auckland, New Zealand
    September 3, 2013, 8:29 pm

    Once again, Americans demonstrate how they love to kill. Why was it necessary to shoot these alligators. Were they going to eat them – I would say not. Were they being threatened by them – again I would say not. Just a love affair with killing. The American way!!!!

  129. jjjj
    September 3, 2013, 7:34 pm

    What a bunch of tough guys, Killing for the fun of it. Too bad the croc didn’t kill you aholes.