Hunting alligators is a big deal in Mississippi. And they got them some BIG alligators.
So big, in fact, that in the past week the state record for biggest-ever 'gator caught by hunters has been broken not once, not twice - but
The record catches came during the state's annual alligator hunt, which closed yesterday and which the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks says is crucial for controlling the reptile numbers in areas where the population is abundant.
The lottery-style hunt sees some 923 people given permits to catch two 'gators each.
As the hunt got underway last week Beth Trammell - aka 'The Alligator Queen' broke the state record with a 723.5lb beast, below:
Beth's record stood for just an hour before being shattered by Dustin Bockman with his massive 727lb haul.
Then, on Sunday morning, rookie hunter Dalco Turner brought to boat a monstrous 741.5lb bull 'gator from a backwater area of the Mississippi River.
“It was around midnight when we initially saw this one,” Turner told the Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi.
“We passed it by the first time. We really didn’t think he was big enough to go after.”
Coming back through the area a while later, the team got hooks and lines into the beast.
“He broke three lines, and I had the only hook that stayed in him the whole time,” said Turner.
She described how the hunting group had the animal subdued and despatched within an hour - but as he was too big to get into the boat, they could do nothing but drag him into shallow water until help arrived.
Guide to hunting alligators in Mississippi