PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's 8th alligator hunting season will come to an end Monday, September 17. One of South Mississippi's hidden treasures, the Pascagoula River, is known for its wildlife. That's where we caught up with two avid gator hunters from Madison County hoping to take home a record breaking gator.
"It's the fight," Will Tucker said. "You're fighting something 600 pounds basically with dental floss."
"It's the only thing in Mississippi you can hunt that has the possibility of eating you," Jonathan Huddleston said.
For hours, the two hunters stood on the edge of the boat ready for gators that could be lurking around any curve.
"It's a big rat maze," Tucker said. "So, while we are sitting here for three hours waiting for him to come out, he is sitting on the channel over there. So we just try and figure out where he is going and try and cut him off."
Tucker, who has been hunting gators since 2005 when the season first opened, said hunting the prehistoric animals in the Pascagoula River is a hunter's dream, and a real challenge.
"The ones that are here have been educated. They've been hunted a lot. They know the drill," Tucker said. "When you come through here with a big bright light they know what's fixing to happen."
"The eyes reflect back red. What I do is I drive the trolling motor and we'll search for them. Once we find them, he will stand behind me and the eyes reflect back to him," Huddleston added.
Then, it's game time. Using a rod and reel with 150 pound test line Tucker sent the hook sailing, hoping to snag a big one.
"If you catch them on the beginning of the season you can probably get a big one. But toward the end of the season, you better have your game face on because they get harder and smarter and smarter," Tucker said.
Tucker and Huddleston ended up catching an 11 foot gator.
The Alligator Programming Coordinator from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks said 810 people were selected during the random drawing this year to harvest alligators. Each permit allowed one person to harvest two alligators more than four feet long.