Lowcountry hunters bag 11+ foot gator


Gator tipped the scales at 401 pounds

A group of lowcountry hunters bagged a big gator from the Cooper River on Saturday, Sept. 11. The beast measured 11-feet, 2-inches in length and weighed more than 400 pounds. It was the opening day of South Carolina’s 2021 alligator hunting season.

Tighe Miller was the tag holder, and was joined by Ronnie Provost, Brett Fields, and James Mathews for the hunt. The crew launched their boat at noon, searching around for a gator worthy of pursuing. It wasn’t long before they found one.

James Mathews put one shot in the gator’s head, putting it to sleep for good.

But convincing the gator to take a boat ride with them wasn’t so easy.

“We searched around for about an hour and a half for the right gator to take. Then we pulled up to this guy’s backyard. We played cat and mouse with him for an hour or so,” said Mathews.

As the gator continued to elude the hunters, Miller decided to make a blind cast. It worked.

It wasn’t an easy fight

“On a whim, Tighe blindly cast his hook and snagged him. The fight was on from there,” Mathews said.

The others joined in, trying to snag the alligator to help get it close enough for a kill shot. And for the next two hours, Mathews said the beast battled hard enough to tear up some equipment and give the hunters a run for their money.

“The gator did everything he could to get away. We even had him under a ton of weeds and floating grass at one time. We broke one reel and the gator straightened out two hooks,” he said.

For the majority of the fight, only one hook kept the hunters connected to the gator. It continued to break off or get loose from all other attempts. Finally, they were able to get it close enough to slip a noose over it. One shot from Mathews finished the gator’s fight.

About Brian Cope 2800 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@carolinasportsman.com.

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