Massive alligators bagged in Mississippi

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Hunters pose with 792-pound alligator; photo via MDWFP

Alligator-hunting season began last Friday in Mississippi and already the state record has been broken twice.

The new record taped out at 13 feet, 5 inches, and weighed 792 pounds.

"He was a giant!" Brian Montgomery, one of three hunters who helped bag the massive gator on Tuesday, told NBC News. (See photo.)

One of those with Montgomery was Scott Berry, who was part of a hunting party that was first to set a new record on Saturday, when it subdued a 756-pound alligator.

"When we saw this one, we knew it was a big one, but we knew it wasn't the big one that we were looking for," Berry told WAPT News, in reference to the 756-pounder. "But we knew this one couldn't be passed up."

Montgomery, 38, was participating in his first alligator hunt and said the massive gator bit a hole in the hunters' 16-foot aluminum boat as they were attempting to snare the beast after it had been hooked and hauled close to the boat.

After several tense moments, it was subdued, and towed ashore.

Mississippi's hunting season, designed to control the alligator population in certain parts of the state, will last 10 days and involves 920 hunters who were granted permits.

It will not be surprising, MDWFP spokesman Ricky Flynt said, if the record is broken for a third time before the hunt concludes, as gators throughout the South have been putting on lots of weight.

"I will not be surprised if they get one that exceeds 1,000 pounds and is 14 feet or longer," Flynt, the alligator program coordinator for MDWFP, told NBC News.

During a recent hunt in Alabama, an alligator weighing 1,011.5 pounds and measuring 15 feet, 9 inches, was harvested by Mandy Stokes and other members of her hunting party.

That was recently determined to be a new world record.

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