August 30, 2017
The record alligator was almost 5 yards long, but barely broke the existing record.
Mississippi's 13th alligator hunting season got off to a huge start with the report of a new state record this week.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks said a 14-foot, ¾-inch gator taken by a hunting party near Natchez has been certified as the "longest male alligator taken by a permitted hunter in Mississippi."
The large reptile, which was certified on Aug. 28 by MDWFP Alligator Program Coordinator Ricky Flynt, was taken in the Southwest Alligator Hunting Zone by the hunting party of Bryan Burnside of Branson, Miss.
Also in the hunting party were Stephen Brady, Anthony Acy and Colby Acy. The Mississippi gator season opened Aug. 25, and will close at noon, Monday, Sept. 4.
Click here to read an opening-day report from the agency.
Burnside's gator beat the previous record by a half-inch. It weighed 766.5 pounds, had a belly girth of 69 inches and a tail girth of 43 inches.
The state said 920 permits in seven hunting zones were offered this season; more than 4,100 hunters applied.
"Following one of the wettest summers on record, alligator hunters should experience great hunting conditions with most river levels being well above normal depths for this time of year, which will improve the amount of available navigable waters across most of the state," Flynt said in a recent news release previewing the season.
The agency said numerous gators in the 10-12 foot range were taken on opening day.
Click here to get more info on alligator hunting in Mississippi.