MADISON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s the time of year alligator hunters have been waiting for - the opening weekend of Mississippi harvesting.
There was no rest this Labor Day weekend for the team Muddy Water Maniacs who captured a giant gator after more than an hour-and-a-half battle to take him down and get into the boat.
The team members include Stephen Brady, Bryan Burnside, Brady and Colby Acy, all of Brandon.
The giant gator was harvested around 5:15 Labor Day morning, weighing in at 700 pounds and is 12 feet 7-and-a-half inches. An estimated six inches of the tail are missing.
The official state weigh-in took place at Gator Archery and Outdoors in Madison.
The gator was caught in the southwest zone on the Mississippi River.
“My hat’s off to this guy right here because the last two years he’s turned down a 12′11” and a 12′5″ to catch one like this and that’s a once in a lifetime alligator right there," said Muddy Water Maniacs member Bryan Burnside of Stephen Brady.
“It was a battle," said Brady. “Took us a while to get him in, about an hour-and-a-half I guess. He fought, we fought, we got him in. Little disappointed on the weight, but still he’s a great gator and I’m happy to have him.”
The team also holds the record for length, capturing a 14 foot 3/4 inch gator in 2017.
Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Alligator Program Coordinator Ricky Flynt said at least three thirteen foot gators were captured this weekend statewide.
"These people are out in the waterways, typically loaded down, lots of gear and people and navigating on these waterways at night and the obstructions and things that are out there is the most dangerous aspect of alligator hunting," said Flynt.
Hunters have 48 hours after harvesting an alligator to complete a mandatory online harvesting report. Wildlife officials hope to have a number on the captures by Wednesday or Thursday.
This is the state's 15th hunting season.
Muddy Water Maniac members say they will eat the meat from their gator and mount its skull.
Hunting season ends September 9.