13-foot gator caught near Lake Marion campground - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

13-foot gator caught near Lake Marion campground

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LAKE MARION, SC (WCSC) - A group of gator hunters caught a 13-foot alligator near a campground on Lake Marion over the weekend.

The hunters said it took them about 90 minutes to secure and hoist the giant gator onto their pontoon boat.

Afterwards, the hunters transported the gator to Cordray's Taxidermy in Revandale. At Cordray's Taxidermy, the gator was weighed, measured and checked for proper permits and tags. The gator was measured at 13' 11/2" and weighed 627 pounds.

"We said, is that a floating log out there? When we harpooned him it looked like jaws going out with a buoy. I said ‘this is a big gator,' " said Bob Childress, one of the hunters.

Childress said they spotted the gator swimming about 150 yards away from a beach area where children often play.

"We just worked him for about an hour and a half taking our time with him," Childress said, "We definitely didn't want to lose this gator."

South Carolina resumed gator hunting season two years ago and state law requires alligators be captured and brought alongside a boat or to shore before they are killed. Hunters can't simply stand on shore and shoot gators with a rifle.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, there are approximately 100,000 gators in South Carolina, mostly in the southern and eastern portions of the state.  

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