State biologist Ricky Flynt had no way of knowing that hours before he had certified two alligators as the heaviest and longest ever killed in Mississippi’s hunting season, both had already been beaten by one Delta gator.
Hunting with a private-lands permit on Davis Island along the Mississippi River, two hunters on Saturday had killed the first documented 14-foot alligator in the state.
Flynt, a biologist and the alligator program coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks certified the gator’s official measurements of 14 feet, ¾ inch and its weight of 826 pounds.
The beastly reptile had a belly girth of an incredible 68 inches and a just-as-impressive tail girth of 48 inches.
It was shot and killed about about 11:30 a.m by permit holder Kenny Crechale of Morton and his partner Ronnie Clifton of Petal.
“This alligator was taken on a Private Lands Permit, which allows permitted hunters different opportunities than those offered on public waterways,” Flynt said. “Private Land Permit holders are allowed to take alligators with a high-powered rifle, but only during daylight hours.”
Flynt and a conservation officer worked hard through the evening hours to reach Davis Island and certify the gator. The biologist said moving a gator of that size from the island to certified scales on land was not an option.
Saturday was a busy day for Flynt, after the season opened on Friday.
In the afternoon, at an alligator processor plant in Vicksburg, the biologist certified two record gators for public-waters hunting, including the first one to exceed 800 pounds.
Clayton Gibson of Natchez had taken an 822-pound gator in an old chute off the Mississippi River north of Natchez overnight Friday. It beat the existing weight record of 792 pounds set last year.
Angelia Rivers of Ellisville, hunting with her husband, two daughters, a son-in-law and a daughter’s boyfriend, added ¾ inch to the previous record for longest gator with one measuring 13 feet, 7 ¾ inches.
The public lands season lasts until noon on Labor Day.
The private land permits can be filled through 6 a.m. on Sept. 21.