Cataula man catches record breaking alligator

CATAULA, GA (WTVM) - A Cataula man has made it into the state record books.  Shane Wilson was one of a handful of people granted a legal alligator hunting license in a lottery.

And on his first try, he snags a gator.

"I said, man I just stuck a dinosaur," recalled Wilson. On September 12, Wilson and some hunting buddies caught a 680 pound, 13-foot 7-inch, alligator in Lake Black Sheer off the Flint River.

Wilson recounts:

"This was my first gator hunt. It was about 2:30, 2:40 in the morning and we probably just needed to call it a night. I just so happened to take my flashlight and scanned the water and I saw a pair of eyes. I told my friend, and he said "Shane that's a log," and I said, "That's not a log."

 "I threw the gaff and I stuck it. The weight that he made when he took off rocked the boat almost to the point where we tipped over. When we saw him everyone put their arms and legs back in the boat and looked at him and said "man he's just huge"!

"We probably shot that gator a good 25 times. Come to find out, that 9 millimeter wasn't even penetrating him. When he floated over, I shot him three times just as steady as I could and he just groaned and all the air just came out of him.

"We got the bouy and it was about like tying it to a truck and trying to hold it, there was no way. We got him back with our fingers crossed. We were lucky to actually get him in the boat.

"We were in a dilemna for a while, because we didn't know what we were going to do with him. We had to use a tractor to get him out of the boat. We tied straps you use for hay and had to use a front end loader to get him out of the boat. There was no way we were going to get him out of that boat once he was there.

After four hours the alligator was finally brought to land and declared a state record. So now, what do you do with a nearly 700 pound gator?

"We got about 100 pounds of meat just out of the tail alone. A buddy of mine has the hide and he's tanning it for me. The guy that skinned the gator also does taxidermy and he has the head down there for me and he's mounting the head. Everybody, they just don't believe gators get that big. It's astounding. Its basically like a dinosaur," said Wilson.