Florida Hunters Catch the Largest Alligator Ever Seen in the State

By: Carissa | Last updated: Oct 01, 2023

Florida’s vast wetlands are home to approximately 1.3 million alligators. In a notable event this week, hunting guide Kevin Brotz, along with two colleagues, captured a 13-foot, 920-pound alligator.

They then faced the challenge of transporting this massive creature to shore in their relatively small 15-foot boat.

Overcoming Space Constraints

The boat’s size compared to the alligator’s massive frame posed a significant challenge.

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Source: Florida Gator Hunting/Get Bit Outdoors/Facebook

Brotz, emphasizing the importance of spatial arrangement, explained how careful maneuvering and positioning allowed them to fit the alligator and themselves safely for the journey.

Ensuring Safety

Safety during transport was paramount. Demonstrating meticulous care, Brotz chose to sit on the alligator’s head for a portion of their journey to shore.

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Source: Florida Gator Hunting/Get Bit Outdoors/ Facebook

This action, though risky, was taken to ensure control and to minimize any potential aggressive behavior from the creature.

The Boat's Condition During Transport

Throughout the transport, water levels inside the boat rose to approximately eight inches.

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Source: Florida Gator Hunting/Get Bit Outdoors/ Facebook

While this might seem alarming to many, Brotz, accustomed to such challenges, assured that the boat remained stable and there was no imminent danger of it capsizing or sinking.

The Significance of Their Catch

The enormity of their catch is noteworthy. This alligator caught on August 25 by Brotz, Darren Field, and Carson Gore is one of the heaviest ever documented in Florida.

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Source: Matthew Essman/Unsplash

For reference, the state’s record is held by a 1,043-pound male alligator from Orange Lake in Alachua County.

Initial Estimates Come in Short

The team’s initial assessment pegged the alligator between 10 and 11 feet. Their underestimation became evident when the creature suddenly surged, revealing its true size.

Source: Ansie Potgieter/Unsplash

Such moments are a testament to nature’s capacity to surprise even the most experienced hunters.

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Realizing the Magnitude of the Endeavor

Capturing such a massive creature is a Herculean task.

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Source: David Clode/Unsplash

Brotz likened it to battling a sizable, legged log. He elaborated on the unique challenges posed by larger alligators, because they are more inclined to confront rather than flee, adding layers of complexity to the capture process.

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Getting the Alligator Aboard

After subduing the alligator, boarding it onto their boat was the next challenge. Given the size mismatch, this was far from straightforward.

Source: Leon Paueikhoff/Unsplash

Brotz recollected a moment when the boat’s rear momentarily went underwater, indicating the precariousness of their endeavor.

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Making the Most of Their Catch

The captured alligator was not wasted. Brotz and his team distributed its meat within the community, ensuring families, friends, and those in need benefited.

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Source: Adam Bignell/Unsplash

Such actions underscore the ethos of utilizing nature’s resources responsibly and sustainably.

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Preserving the Memory of the Triumph

In an homage to their significant catch, Brotz decided on a lasting tribute—he is preparing to mount the alligator at his Oviedo residence.

Source: Barbara Fischer/Unsplash

Such a display serves as a reminder of the adventure and the intricate relationship humans share with nature.

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Preparing for Display

Mounting such a substantial creature requires significant preparations.

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Source: Sebastien Varin/Unsplash

Brotz emphasized the need for wall reinforcements, particularly above his fireplace, to ensure the alligator is displayed securely. Such preparations underscore the sheer size and weight of their remarkable catch.

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Florida’s Wildlife Chronicles

Florida, with its diverse ecosystems, regularly witnesses unique human-wildlife interactions.

Source: Karl Callwood/Unsplash

This particular alligator capture story adds to the state’s rich repository of wildlife encounters, emphasizing the constant interplay between humans and the natural world we inhabit.

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