Ricky Flynt found the perfect close to the 2013 public lands alligator hunt in Mississippi — with another record.
Flynt, the gator program coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Tuesday certified that Ben Walker of Madison had captured a 13-foot, 7-inch alligator over the weekend in the West Central Zone’s Yazoo River.
The alligator was long and skinny, and at 687.5 pounds was over 50 pounds shy of the recently-set record for heaviest alligator (741.5). It had a belly girth of 62 inches and tail girth of 43 inches.
“I just got around to this one today,” said Flynt, who added that the alligator was caught Saturday night. The season ended at noon on Monday.
The 10-day season was a hectic time for the biologist, who chased down four different records, including the same record for heaviest alligator twice in one afternoon.
That spree made Flynt a celebrity, earning him TV time on national — even international — TV and other media. He took an ABC-TV crew out on his airboat to tape a feature on alligator hunting in Mississippi.
“Putting some positive alligator news out there for Mississippi,” he wrote in a text to this reporter before taking the camera crew on the water to explain hunting.
According to the statistics updated through 9 a.m. today (Wednesday), on the alligator harvest report page of mdwfp.com, 517 permit holders had reported hunting. If accurate, that must be considered a minor disappointment since a total of 920 permits were available.
Those hunters killed 618 alligators, including 302 under 7 feet and 316 over 7 feet. Each permit was good for two alligators, only one of which could exceed 7 feet.
The hunters captured and released another 755 alligators.
Those numbers could change, if more hunters submit their hunting results in the coming days.
And, more records could fall, but that would have to come from the private land hunting season, which ends on Sept. 23.