airboat & crossbow to catch a gator

 
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Published : Monday, 03 Oct 2011
By: Peter Linton-Smith

HOMOSASSA, Florida: Got a tape measure? Stretch it out. See what seven feet looks like. That’s the average length of an alligator captured during the 2010 Florida alligator hunting season.

Brooks family with Tara's trophy gator
Brooks family with Tara’s trophy gator

Now, take the same tape measure, pull it out another six feet. That’s how long the gator was that Tara Brooks caught over the weekend.

“I was definitely scared because he wasn’t scared,” Brooks said.

She was hunting for alligators on Orange Lake near Ocala.

“We think we measured him 15 times over and over again,” she explained.

Brooks as been hunting for alligators for the last four years. Until now, her catch has been limited to gators measuring about six feet. When she and her boyfriend Bobby Miller ventured out, she sometimes got teased.

“They (other hunters) would always ‘…say you don’t know what a big gator is…’ “

Miller said after the reptile was hit with an arrow, he began to ram their airboat.

“When he hit, he slammed the boat,” Miller said.

It took more than a hour to finally subdue the 658-pound giant. Brooks said she’s just glad the gator didn’t get away.

“Nobody would have believed me if he would got off. It would have been the fisherman’s tail of the century,” Brooks laughed.

Brooks has a permit to hunt alligators. The season concludes at the beginning of November.