Grant and friends take record setting gator
by Andy Collier
Sep 26, 2012 | 4457 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One weekend on a private hunting club near Fitler in Issaquena County, Boyle resident Tom Grant, along with Jim Reed and Kenny Winter from Greenville and Michael Robbers from Palo Verde, Calif., went on the hunt that they’ll remember for the rest of the lives.

The foursome killed and snagged a giant 13 feet, 1.5 inch, 697.5 pound alligator which set a state record for the biggest alligator taken according to Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The previous record was 690.5 pounds set by Brian Jackson, of Brandon, on private lands in Issaquena County in 2011.

According to Grant, it took them about an hour and 45 minutes to hook the alligator and make the kill. The four man crew first tangled with it at 11 p.m. Friday night. When they first hooked the large gator, the struggle to get the animal began. At around 12:45 a.m. early Saturday morning all the hard work paid after Reed shot it with a 20-gauge shotgun to finish the job.

“I got a hook in him first,” Grant, the permit holder, said. “Kenny Winter got the second hook in him, and then Michael Robbers hooked him with the third hook. Jim Reed was the one who snared him.”

The guys were able to take a well deserved rest after the long struggle. The break also gave the men time to think about the alligator.

“We didn’t realize what we were dealing with until we actually got him shot and had a chance to kind of take a breath,” Grant said. “Then, we realized what we had especially once we got back to the boat landing and was trying to figure out how we were going to get him loaded up and get him back to the camp.”

The gator had a belly girth of 65 inches and a tail girth of 45 inches.

“We ended up just having to ratchet strap his head to the trailer and had to drag him back to the camp,” Grant added. “There was no way to load him.”

Grant ended up calling Ricky Flynt, the MDWFP Alligator Program Coordinator, as well as the game warden Tracy Tullos. Flynt and Tullos brought the scales and weighed the alligator. When Grant, Winter, Reed and Robbers saw the weight and learned they set a record, they were overjoyed.

“Everybody was ecstatic,” Grant said. “We gave high fives and there was a bunch of hollering.“

Grant said one thing he enjoys about alligator hunting is the fact it’s not a one man job.

“You’re not going to catch one that big by yourself, “ Grant said. “Everybody gets to participate in catching the alligator and have a hand in it.”

Grant has been alligator hunting since 2009. Winter and Reed have been hunting with him for a while, while this was Robbers’ first hunt.

“Me and those two guys (Winter and Reed) try to hunt together as much as we can,” Grant said. “Sometimes, we have guests that come and we’ve got to kind of split up. This time, it worked where we were together. Of course, we had Michael and this was his first hunt so he got to be a part of something special.”