800-pound, 14-foot alligator caught in Mississippi breaks harvest record: ‘A lot of leather’

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Four alligator hunters in Mississippi have broken the state’s hunting record with a reptile that weighs over 800 pounds and measures 14 feet long. 

Tanner White of Flora, Don Woods of Oxford, Will Thomas of Madison, and Joey Clark of Jackson harvested their record-breaking alligator in the West Central Alligator Hunting Zone this week.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recognized the four hunters’ catch as the state’s new state record for the longest harvested male alligator on Saturday, Aug. 26, in a Facebook post.

“He measured 14 feet and 3 inches long, with a belly girth of 66 inches and tail girth of 46.5 inches. He weighed 802.5 lbs,” the MDWFP wrote in the agency’s Facebook announcement.

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Will Thomas, one of the four hunters, joined “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday, Aug. 29, to discuss the record-breaking alligator he and his companions caught with their rod and reels.

The group went gator hunting in the Yazoo River on Friday evening. It took them seven hours to land the 14-foot gator, according to Thomas.

“We saw him early in the evening. We didn’t know about him previously,” said Thomas. 

“We knew we were in a good spot, and so, we kind of scouted before it got dark,” he said.

“One of the team members, Joey Clark, was the first to spot this alligator. And we knew he was at least 12 feet,” Thomas continued. 

“But it was not until much later … the next morning that we realized that he could be potentially a state record.”

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Thomas said on “Fox & Friends” that he’s not sure how old the alligator was before it was harvested, but he would guess the alligator was at least 40 years old.

The alligator was taken to Red Antler Processing in Yazoo City, Mississippi, on Saturday. 

Will Thomas poses with record alligator next to Red Antler employee.

Photos of the record-breaking alligator show that the reptile’s head appeared to be as big as a man’s torso.

Thomas and his hunting companions donated the alligator meat to the state of Mississippi — and the meat is reportedly being prepared for distribution at food shelters. 

“I think 380 pounds of meat got donated,” Thomas said during his interview with “Fox & Friends.”

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Thomas added that he suspects the alligator will result in “a lot of leather” given the reptile’s size.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do with it, but I’m sure everybody on the team and the family will get something so bad,” he said. 

Wide shot of Will Thomas posing with his record alligator while standing next to a Red Antler employee.

Thomas told “Fox & Friends” that alligator hunting a popular activity for Mississippi sportsmen.

Speaking for himself, Thomas said he enjoys the “adrenaline rush.” 

“It’s just kind of the culture down here – to get out and do this kind of thing,” Thomas continued. “And we’re certainly not the only ones that do it and probably not the best at it, but there’s a lot of people here that do this, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the MDWFP and Red Antler Processing for comment.

The MDWFP differentiates alligator hunting records by the harvest method used – such as a rod and reel, snatch hook, firearm or rifle – and whether the reptile was harvested from public or private waters.

Maps of Mississippi

The state’s previous record for the longest male alligator harvested from public waters was established on Aug. 28, 2017, according to MDWFP records.

The 2017 record alligator measured 14 feet and three-quarters of an inch, and he weighed 766.5 pounds.

The record alligator White, Woods, Thomas and Clark caught beat the state’s previous record by 2.25 inches.

Last year, two hunters established a new state record for the longest female alligator harvested from public waters. 

The state’s longest harvested female alligator record is set at 10 feet, 2 inches.

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