Get the gator

Capt. Bob Crosby (left) and Beau Azar with a 10-foot 3-inch alligator and a 6-foot 10-inch alligator killed on Sept. 11.
Capt. Bob Crosby (left) and Beau Azar with a 10-foot 3-inch alligator and a 6-foot 10-inch alligator killed on Sept. 11.

It sounds a lot easier than it really is with a big swamp beast

Capt. Bob Crosby of Madison had been watching a massive alligator from his deer stand sitting high above a slough in Madison County the last few years. The captain and some of his friends applied for a private land alligator tag and made plans to hunt the alligator.

“We started hunting Saturday night, Sept. 10, but couldn’t get close enough to hook up with him,” said Crosby. “We saw his eyes several times but never close enough to score.”

The next morning they did get close enough to make a cast.

“I cast out with my BnM Gator rod and finally hooked him,” Crosby said. “The gator was so strong I could hardly hold him back and when he decided to dive down and get away, he did.”

The gator thrashed the water and fought wildly and so violently that Crosby just couldn’t wear him down. Beau Azar from Hattiesburg and Steve Scheroler from Covington, La., were working with Crosby, and Scheroler also had a rod at first, but it broke in the melee. Even though Bob held tight when the gator made a run, he couldn’t turn him.

“We finally cast out a throw line and hooked him with the land line,” said Crosby. “Battled back and forth and he just about wore us down. We’d take in a little line and then he’d burn it back out. It got to the point where he finally tore off of my line and all we had was the land line. I tied one end to a stump so that we wouldn’t lose him when he made a run.”

On more than one occasion Crosby’s partners had to alert him to move further back on the bank. As the gator battled them, Crosby would fight him and get a little further into the water to the point that it could have been really bad for the captain if the gator tried to bite him.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, the team wore the gator down and pulled him up onto the bank. The gator was 10-feet 3-inches and massive.

“We actually caught two of them with the smallest being 6-feet 10-inches,” Crosby said. “The larger one was so heavy that we had to get a tractor with a forklift on it to lift the gator out and get him back to the camp.”

The team took the gators and skinned them and they’re going to tan the gators’ hides and mount the head and hide together.

“I enjoyed it and I’m happy that we caught two alligators,” said Crosby. “It was fun, but I think that’s about enough gator hunting for me. I’ll stick to catching monster blue cats from now on!”

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About Michael O. Giles 388 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.

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