New Alligator Weight State Record For MS
(From left to right) Jim Reed,
Michael Robbers, Tom Grant, and Kenny Winter with new weight record
The MDWFP confirmed and officially weighed a new state alligator record on Saturday, September 22 at 697.5 pounds. This exceeds the previous record by 7 pounds, held by Brian Jackson of Brandon for an alligator he harvested in Issaquena County on private lands in 2011, which weighed 690.5 pounds.
The new record was harvested by the hunting party of Tom Grant of Boyle, MS on a private hunting club in Issaquena Co., near Fitler, MS. The previous record and the new record were both harvested west of the Mississippi River levee on private lands, and only 16 miles apart.
Grant's alligator becomes the new record for weight of a male alligator taken by an alligator hunter in Mississippi. Grant's alligator was officially measured at 13 feet 1.5 inches long and had a belly girth of 65 inches and a tail girth of 45 inches.
Grant reports, "When we snagged the alligator with two rod and reel snatch hooks, we knew he was big, we just didn't know he would be this big. It was an hour and a half of pure tug of war and chaos before we finally had him restrained." Grant was assisted by fellow hunters Jim Reed, Michael Robbers, and Kenny Winter.
MDWFP Alligator Program Coordinator, Ricky Flynt reports, "This is not the first record to come from Issaquena Co. and probably will not be the last. The lower Delta region of the state is home to some very remote and abundant habitat that has harbored large alligators for thousands of years. Much of this region is protected by state and federal wildlife management areas and refuges, timber companies, and large farming operations." Flynt adds, "The recovery of the American alligator in Mississippi from an endangered species to a population that now has reached levels to sustain limited hunting status is a true wildlife conservation success story."
There are 99 private landowners who qualified for alligator hunting permits in 28 open counties for 2012. The private lands alligator hunting season closes on October 1, so there is still time for this record to be broken, yet again. The current hunter-harvested length record for Mississippi is 13 feet 6.5 inches.