A father-daughter duo from Georgia were recently thrilled to nab a 14-foot, 700-pound alligator during the girl’s first gator hunting excursion and smash a state record with their “monster” catch.
Derrick and Shelby Snelson were cruising on Lake Eufaula in Quitman County on Sept. 1 with hunting guide team Lethal Guide Service when they caught the massive beast, the New York Post reports.
According to the outlet, it was 14-year-old Shelby’s first time hunting alligators and only the second time Derrick went out hunting them.
“It was just unbelievable. I really can't describe it. You need to see it,” the father said of the surreal catch.
Though Derrick sensed the reptile would be mighty from its tug on the line, it took a five-person crew more than five hours to reel it onto the boat, WSB-TV reports.
“He was pulling us around all over the water at his leisure,” deckhand John Trammel told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of the struggle.
All their hard work paid off when Lethal Guide team members brought the gator to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR), where measurements by officials revealed the gator to stretch 14 feet, one and three quarter inches long and weigh 700 pounds – the largest believed to ever be caught in the waters of the Peach State, as per the Post.
When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for the GDNR told Fox News that while the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division does not maintain an official state alligator record program, data on alligators caught during the hunting season since 2003 indicates that the Snelson’s catch is the longest known alligator caught on record.
Prior to the family’s catch, the largest alligator reportedly taken during the state hunting season measured 14-feet and one inch long in 2015, the rep said.
Though Derrick and Shelby have already skinned the alligator for meat, the Post reports, the dad has cracked jokes about what they’ll do with the rest of the beast.
“We'll have it 'life-size' mounted. I guess I'll have to build a house around it,” the Greenville man told WSB-TV. “It's going to be a monster lying on the living room floor for a while!"
Derrick continued to muse that in his opinion, hunting and fishing are nearly as important as “God and country.”
The proud hunter has since described nabbing the “monster” gator as “a day for the memory books” on Facebook.
Alligator hunting season in Georgia runs from mid-August through early October, according to the GDNR. Eager hunters must have a special permit with a bag limit of one.