On the opening day of alligator hunting season, an intrepid Mississippi hunter embarked on an adventure that would rewrite records. Little did he know that this August 25th would bring him face to face with the largest alligator ever officially documented in the state’s history.
The seasoned hunter, Donald Woods of Oxford, Mississippi, was joined by Joey Clark of Jackson, Will Thomas of Madison, and Tanner White of Flora. With years of experience and numerous big catches under their belts, this team had their sights set on something extraordinary for the night’s hunt
Setting out on the serene waters of the Yazoo River as darkness descended, the hunters encountered various sizes of alligators. But their determination to make this hunt special kept them searching for the ultimate catch.
Then, it happened. A massive alligator, unlike any they’d seen before, captured their attention. The creature’s enormity was evident in its colossal back and wide profile. The hunt was on, but it wouldn’t be an easy victory.
As the clock neared 9 p.m., Woods managed to hook the colossal beast. What followed was a grueling seven-hour battle of strength, wits, and endurance. Lines snapped, tackle broke, and the group’s resilience was tested to the max. But they persisted, driven by adrenaline and a desire to conquer the extraordinary challenge.
The alligator’s strategic maneuvers, its dives under logs, and its ability to shake off the hooks showcased its formidable nature. The team’s gear suffered casualties, but their spirits remained unbroken.
As dawn approached, the alligator’s resistance began to wane, a timely development given their nearly depleted equipment. By 4 a.m., the massive creature was finally brought aboard, revealing its awe-inspiring dimensions. The team marveled at the enormity of its head and the expanse of its back.
Upon official measurement by Andrew Arnett, the coordinator of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Alligator Program, the alligator’s incredible size was confirmed – 14 feet, 3 inches in length and weighing a staggering 802.5 pounds. This triumph shattered the previous state record set in 2017, marking an exceptional moment in Mississippi’s hunting history.
From the serene start on the Yazoo River to the grueling hours of battle, this hunting expedition transformed into an unforgettable tale of determination and victory. The Mississippi alligator hunter’s name now stands alongside the record books, a testament to the relentless spirit of those who dare to seek the extraordinary.