Hunters in Alabama kill a 742-pound alligator, but did so before properly restraining it according to state law. So just how did these guys improperly restrain an angry, 742-pound alligator? Very, very carefully. With a great big reel. And with many, many shotgun shells.


From this story on
The hunters who killed the biggest alligator since the state of Alabama began a legal season five years ago apparently violated regulations in dispatching the animal Monday morning, but a conservation department official said charges probably won’t be filed. David Horton of Bay Minette and tagholder John Fulton of Bessemer admitted to District V supervising wildlife biologist Chuck Sharp that they shot the 13-foot, 4-inch, 742-pound gator early Monday morning before properly restraining it as defined by state regulations.
They said they hooked it at 2:30 a.m. Monday on the Tensaw River near the mouth of Honeycutt Creek using a single-weighted snatch hook tied to 150-pound braided line spooled on an offshore fishing reel and rod. Horton said Fulton shot the gator with a shotgun when it was 5 feet from the boat. Asked why they shot it at that point, Horton said, “I didn’t want it any closer.”

When the alligator surged after the initial shot, Horton said the single hook they had in it pulled out and the alligator swam free. They were able to get another hook in it about 30 minutes later after the third time it came to the surface for air, Horton said. With that single line in the animal, Horton said they were able to get it close to the boat where four more close-range shotgun blasts that ate up the pair’s remaining ammunition failed to kill it. Despite the animal still being alive, they were able to get two ropes on its tail and began towing it the short distance south to Cliff’s Landing in Baldwin County, where they’d launched a boat.

They were met on the water just north of the landing by David’s brother, Matt Horton of Bay Minette, and Jason Lee of Nashville, Ind., whom David Horton had contacted earlier to bring more shotgun shells and a harpoon. Before the alligator was shot for the sixth and last time, Horton said the harpoon was used to get it under better control. The “Capture and Dispatch Methods” of Alabama’s alligator hunting regulations state that alligators must be brought adjacent to the boat prior to shooting or otherwise dispatching the animal. It is unlawful to shoot an unrestrained alligator._