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Silsbee Man Catches 12-Foot Alligator In-Season; A Bit of a Surprise

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With the intent of removing a bait line for the close of alligator season, Brian Curtis of Silsbee, Texas was wading in water that was six feet deep, not knowing what lay beneath. In the early morning hours on Sunday, September 30, Curtis pulled on the line and ended up with a 12-foot, 500-pound alligator. It was dead, thank goodness, because he wasn’t prepared for the type of battle this beast would have had with him.

Since the season opener on September 10, Curtis has been monitoring his camera footage at the Tyler County hunting lease and stalking the large alligator. He gave up hope when it appeared it just wasn’t in the cards this year. Having been issued a tag to hunt the creatures, he walked out to secure the line and noted that there were no tell-tale signs of anything was under the water nor attached to the end of the line. No bubbles were rising to the surface, and the water wasn’t swirling. That’s because the 12-foot-3 inch alligator he had hooked appears to have taken the bait Curtis set, pulled on the line, and ended up wrapped around a stump. At that point, it looked like the gator tried to swim for it, but Curtis explained he “didn’t have enough slack to get up to get a breath.”

Silsbee Man Catches 12-Foot Alligator In-Season; A Bit of a Surprise

Photo: Facebook/Brian Curtis

Twenty-two counties throughout Texas have a 20-day alligator hunting season. Known as core counties, these parts of the Lone Star State are prime American alligator habitats. This year’s season ran from September 10-30. With catches like the one Curtis picked up, the hunts allow for the culling of the larger, more aggressive animals, giving the younger population the chance to survive. Curtis, who was given a tag for this season, began his hunt by staking out the best place to catch one, hanging bait, and then aiming wireless cameras to monitor the process. Many of the alligators recorded in the process were small (at approximately 10 feet). Curtis stated that he thought the one he eventually caught might have even eaten two of the smaller ones in the process by “ripping them off the line.” His cameras aren’t motion-sensitive but designed to capture images every two hours. The hunter noted that it was a good plan and it came together. Thanks to his patience and planning, he came away with the prize he’d set out after.