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  • 13-foot Gator from Santee

    Anthony Messier, a resident of Lee County, stalked alligators with the crew of Tail & Scale Outfitters last week and left Lake Marion with a 13-foot, 1 inch long gator that weighed 580 pounds.

    Messier booked a two-day hunt with Tail & Scale, and spied several gators in the 9-foot range on day one, but they held off on taking a shot at one of those. Capt. Jordan Patrick and Trey Courtney, the crew of Tail & Scale, knew they could find a bigger gator for Messier, and on day 2 of the hunt, that's exactly what they did.

    After spotting the one they wanted, Messier raised the crossbow and looked through the scope, which magnified the gator to the point that he couldn't tell what part of its body he was scoping. So pulling his eye away from the scope, Messier looked down the side of the crossbow's bolt, saw his target clearly, and sent the bolt into the big gator's body. That's when, according to Messier, the excitement started.

    The gator thrashed and splashed, and took off. A buoy was attached to a line on the bolt, so the team was able to track the gator, and before long, Messier put another bolt in the 13-footer with a bigger buoy attached.

    Aided by the two buoys now attached, they tracked the gator for a while longer, and were finally able to bring the beast boatside, where it was subdued by 3 hits with the bangstick and hoisted aboard the boat, which barely had room for the new passenger.

    The next step for the gator was a trip to Cordray's Processing, where the meat was processed and the skin will be made into a rug.

    This was Messier's first alligator hunting trip, but he's stated it won't be his last.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter
    13.1 feet
    Anything over 12-foot is a monster - Good Job!