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Posted: Wednesday, 15 May 2013 1:33PM

Photos: Teen bags largest Texas alligator ever

Texas wildlife officials say a young hunter has shot and killed the largest alligator ever certified in Texas. (Scroll down to view the amazing photos.)

Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesman Steve Lightfoot says 18-year-old high school senior Braxton Bielski bagged the 800-pound, 14-foot, 3-inch gator during a recent public hunt on the James E. Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area.

Braxton's father Troy is an officer with the Houston Police Department says his son has wanted to hunt alligators for years, and has applied annually to the TPWD’s special drawing for hunting permits. 

The TPWD website says since alligator hunting in Texas is conservatively managed, most hunters for these public hunts are first-timers, many of whom who have never seen a gator in the wild. Officials describe how the teen made the catch:  "Braxton chose one of the lines as his set; the other would be his dad’s. When the two hunters returned the next morning, they realized they had their work cut out as both lines were down indicating they had two alligators hooked. A hook and line set baited with raw meat is used to catch the alligator; only after it has been hooked can a gator be dispatched at close range with a firearm."

So, how does this stack up to our gators?  Louisiana wildlife officials say they don't officially maintain size category stats for wild-caught alligators, but the LDWF's Alligator Management Program tells WWL Radio that there are a number of extremely large gators caught in Louisiana in the 12-13 foot range.  An official also says a 14-foot alligator was caught in the Slidell area years ago, and "there is no reason to believe that a similar sized animal can’t be -- or may have been -- harvested in Louisiana or Florida or another southeastern state."

Filed Under :  
Locations : Texas
People : Braxton BielskiSteve LightfootTroy
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