Derrick Snelson and his daughter, Shelby, were on Lake Eufaula with Lethal Guide Service, a hunting guide business, when they made the catch on Sept. 1. It was only Snelson’s second time hunting alligators, and Shelby’s first.
The team spent six hours tracking the beast before finally getting a hook in the animal, shooting it and hauling it aboard the boat. The whole process was a team effort, Derrick said.
“To be honest with you, we were just happy to see how big it was,” he told CNN. “I ain’t never caught anything like that before, it was just amazing.”
They took the animal to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for an official measurement, which came in at 14 feet and 1.75 inches, said Darrell Brown, owner of Lethal Guide Service. The catch is probably a new state record, with the previous record being 13 feet and 10.75 inches, though CNN could not reach the DNR on Sunday to confirm.
Shelby, 14, described the experience as kind of scary, but awesome.
“[The boat] was rocking back and forth, and a few times [the gator] hit the side of the boat with its tail,” she said, almost knocking her off.
But that won’t stop Shelby, who said she would “jump in the truck right now” if anyone asked her to go gator hunting again. It’s an adrenaline rush she won’t forget anytime soon.
“I’m glad I got to have that experience with my dad,” she said.
The Snelsons have already skinned the animal to use the meat. They’re also getting the gator mounted—all 14 feet—but Shelby said she has “no idea” where they’re going to put it.
“Might have to build a house around it,” she joked.
Georgia has an official alligator hunting season to help manage the state’s flourishing gator population. The season for this year began at sunset on Aug. 16 and runs until sunrise on Oct. 7.
Hunters must apply for a special license to participate and are limited to one alligator.
Lake Eufaula, also known as Walter F. George Lake, straddles the Alabama-Georgia line some 170 miles southwest of Atlanta.
Wildlife Biologist Discovers Massive Alligator in Georgia
A wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) discovered a 13-foot, 700-pound alligator in an irrigation ditch in February.
The alligator was living along Lake Blackshear and was spotted by a local Sumter County resident on Feb. 25, who reported it to authorities.
When its pictures started to appear on social media, it’s massive size led people to think it was a hoax.
Howze measured the animal at 13 feet and 4 inches long with a chest girth of 57 inches. He was not expecting to find anything longer than 10 to 11 feet long when he first arrived at the spot.
Once the biologist managed to get it out of the ditch, they noticed various old gunshot wounds on its body. It was in extremely poor health and had to be euthanized.
Epoch Times reporter Venus Uphadayaya contributed to this report.