Texas 10-Year-Old Harvests 800-Pound Gator with Crossbow

Photograph courtesy of the Hawk family/Facebook

The father of a 10-year-old Texas girl is saying his daughter has nerves of steel after she recently harvested a 13-foot, 800-pound alligator, with a crossbow, from the Guadalupe River while only 15 yards away.

The girl's father, Tony Hawk, told the Victoria Advocate that his daughter Ella Hawk has been hunting for a few years and prepared for her gator hunt by practicing her shooting (with her father's help, of course) from an elevated position to get the feel for what it would be like shooting from a boat. The day of the hunt, Tony said Ella's situation worked out perfectly, and a big gator came to a bait tethered on the opposite shore.

Ella’s first shot landed just above the gator’s eyes, instantly paralyzing and killing it, but Tony asked Ella to shoot it two more times, and one of her crossbow bolts “Robin Hooded” her first shot. “I was more nervous than her before the shot,” Tony said. “She had nerves of steel before the shot. She’s just gifted like that, I guess.”

For added assurance, Ella shot at the gator with a .243 pistol, and, amazingly, that shot also hit her original crossbow bolt.

The size of Ella’s gator is the large enough to put her in the running for Trophy Game Records of the World’s Huntress of the Year—a title awarded to girls up to age 17—which she claimed last year.

Because Ella was able to kill the gator on the first shot, it made it easier for their guide, Ryan Longer, to work through the mud and pull the animal to the boat. “I’ve gone several years without even getting a 12-foot (alligator),” Longer said. “I don’t know how it happened or why it happened, and this is probably my miracle of the year.”