Locals snag giant gator

Published 1:00 am Thursday, August 18, 2016


A group of local men set out to tag an alligator on the Alabama River over the weekend.

Travis Martin, Jarrod Pettie, Steve Ballard and Tyler Martin traveled north to Roland Cooper State Park in Camden to take part in the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division conservation hunt.

There, they tagged a gator that was 11-feet,2-inches long and weighed 379.5 pounds.

“We did it for the Alabama conservation hunt,” Martin said. “It’s to remove some of the alligators that are a nuisance. You apply for tags.”

Martin said the group has previously tagged two other gators in years past, but this one is the largest.

“We also have a tag for the (Mobile) Delta this weekend,” Martin said.

He described hunting the gators as an adrenaline rush.

“We were out there Friday and Saturday night,” he said. “We hooked up at 11 p.m., on Saturday night and were there until 3:30 a.m., on Sunday.”

Martin said it took all four of them to drag in the alligator and said they probably could have used another person.

Some 3,845 applications for just 260 tags statewide were submitted.

That number is down from 2015 when 4,137 applications were submitted, but that was just a year after Mandy Stokes and family bagged the world record 1,011.5-pound gator that as 15 feet and 9 inches long.

Hunting season for alligators in Alabama is open in four areas including:

• The private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile counties, and private and public waters in Washington, Clarke and Monroe counties that lie east of U.S. Hwy. 43 and south of U.S. Hwy. 84;

• The private and public waters in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Russell counties, excluding Lake Eufaula.

• The private and public waters in Monroe (north of U.S. Hwy. 84), Wilcox and Dallas counties.

• The public Alabama state waters only in the Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula) and its navigable tributaries, south of Hwy. 208, Omaha Bridge, (excluding Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge).