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Arkansas Hunting

Arkansas Man Kills Monster Gator; Gets State Record

by Game & Fish Online Staff   |  September 25th, 2012 12

Photo from New York Daily News.

Giant gator killed in Arkansas—it almost sounds like a bad headline after an SEC rivalry game.

Instead, the attention is focused not on football but on Mike Cottingham, who killed the new Arkansas state record gator, weighing in at 1,380 pounds and stretching out to 13-feet, 3-inches long. Cottingham bagged the massive reptile at Lake Millwood, in Hempstead County, but couldn’t initially get the beast into his boat. According to Fox News 16, he drug the gator behind his boat to a dock, where he had four other people hoist it out of the water onto shore.

“It was the largest [gator] without a doubt in terms of weight,” David Goad, chief of the wildlife management division with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, told the New York Daily News. “It’s almost unimaginable how he was able to [retrieve the gator from the water].”

Asked what he would do with the gator, Cottingham said he plans to make a pair or two of boots from it and mount the head.

  • Jeff A.

    Gotta love Arkansas!!!

  • doc

    unless the picture is after gutting i think 1/2 listed weight is closer .if you want to see a 1000# gator come to summerdale,al and look at "CAPTAIN CRUNCH" and his big buddies!! of course he may have been eating all lost sinkers and decoy weights !

  • 14karat

    Doc, dont be a hater! Just congratulate the guy and move on.

  • jlb0028

    I agree with Doc's post above. My buddies and I killed a 13' 700 lb alligator in Alabama and that alligator is no fatter than ours. I'm wondering where the extra weight is? Unless that weight includes the boat, I'm going to say that someone very unfamiliar with alligators decided to pull that number out of the air.

  • Butch

    My question is what was a gator, much less such a large gator doing that far north? Was it another USFWS mistaken attempt to place an endangered species in an area where they do not belong? Is there a seaon on these monstors in Arkansas? We run across these endangered distributed gators from time to time in North Alabama, and it is scary as hell!


    No matter what the species is, people always wanna doubt it. So I guess the doubtful ones are carnies at the fair who can guess the weight within 2 oz! Gimme a break! I've seen those guys on TV catch 1000 pound 10 footers. I guess those scales that showed the weight on Swamp People where wrong too! You two have a link to CAPTAIN CRUNCH on a scale or that malnourished 13 footer? Half the weight! #gatorhatin'

    • jlb0028

      @BLACKSHARK It's funny that you reference those 10 foot 1000 pound alligators on Swamp People, because they ARE NOT putting them on the scales. Myself and my friends, who actually weigh our gators on scales, laugh at the narrator on that show because they put weights and lengths together that are IMPOSSIBLE with WILD alligators. If you were referring to our 13' 700 pound alligator as malnourished, you must know absolutely nothing about alligators. #dontbelieveeverythingyouseeontv

      With all of that said, any 12' alligator is an impressive gator and will probably be the gator of a lifetime for the individual or individuals involved. I doubt my friends and I will ever get another 13' gator, but there has to be some truth and common sense here or we'll start hearing about alligators that are 20 foot long and weigh as much as a bus.

    • jlb0028

      I'm not trying to have a heated argument, but I do want to show that the numbers many people give out are often unrealistic, especially on the show Swamp People. Also, no one is "hating" on this man's alligator, it is extremely impressive. My point is to let people know that when you tell someone a weight and length that don't seem to match, and there isn't a picture of a grotesquely obese alligator to back it up, the weight you're hearing/giving is often an individual's estimate, rather than a measured weight. Anyway, I apologize for the tone of my other posts, and I've added the requested links for our 13' alligator and Captain Crunch.

      A picture of our 13' 720 lb alligator:

      Here's a link to Captain Crunch:

  • Jimmy

    When they gutted him he had the remains of a five foot gator in him, that will put a little extra weight on ya !!!

  • Andy Tenery

    When I was a kid Caddo lake in Texas was too far north for alligators. I can't imagine one growing to 13 feet in Arkansas. Global warming?

  • Sandy Layden

    way to go. id love to catch a giant gator

  • Sandy Layden

    thats great . id love to catch a big gator. ive pet one at the alligator farm in hot springs and got to hold a bab y gator at the gator and friends farm in louisiana cool

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