Hold up! It appears we closed the book, at least the record book, on Mississippi’s alligator hunting season all too soon.
Last weekend, hunting on private lands in Issaquena County in the rich Mississippi River floodplain, a group of hunters from Greenwood established a new state record for the longest female alligator.
Biologist Ricky Flynt, the alligator program coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, confirmed that the gator’s measurement at 10 feet, ½ inch.
Using rod and reel with a snatch hook, Jonathan Kent of Greenwood established the new mark on the same property that once produced a 697.5-pound male that at the time in 2012 was the state record.
Flynt was not surprised.
“It is not surprising to record these tremendous specimens each year and even multiple times during the season in the vicinity of the Mississippi River,” he said. “The Mississippi Alluvial Valley is regarded as one of the most fertile regions of the world. The rich nutrients in the region allow wildlife and plants in the region to reach unusual sizes compared to the same wildlife and plants in other soil regions.
“Alligators, being an apex predator, uniquely express the fertility of the region from the top of the food chain.”
The record length female made it a total edit atop the record book for all categories during the 2015 season. Flynt had already measured:
* A new record for longest male on public lands— 13 feet, 7¾.