Jackson County

It took 6 men and a forklift to wrangle Coast gator caught minutes after season opening

The pets of Mary Walker Bayou can rest easy after a massive dog-gobbling gator was caught in the first few minutes of the season Friday afternoon.

The 13.6-foot alligator could be the biggest ever caught in South Mississippi, said Derrick Saucier of Pascagoula, who’s been hunting them for years. But he’s checking with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to be sure.

He and a friend, Jarrod Davis of Hurley, were out in a boat counting down the minutes to noon, when the 2019 alligator season officially started.

They immediately hooked a gator but spent over an hour trying to get it to the boat, and after six men couldn’t lift it, they dragged it in had to borrow a forklift. “We were just lucky enough to catch it,” Saucier said.

He said the gator had long been a problem in the neighborhood and several dogs had been killed.

“I’m happy to help the people out in that neighborhood... it’s been a menace for quite a few years.”

Saucier was one of over 4,000 people to apply for 930 permits the state issued this year. The season closes at noon Sept. 10.

The statewide record is 14 feet and 3/4 inches, caught near Natchez in 2017.

But what do Saucier and Davis plan to do with 13.6 feet of gator?

It’s destined for a full-body mount on the wall of Davis’ man cave.

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Lauren Walck has been in journalism on the Gulf Coast for 10 years, and she’s the Sun Herald’s senior news editor and a regional growth specialist. She is a native of Mobile, Alabama, and an alumna of Louisiana State University.
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