Landon McDowell was on an alligator hunting trip in South Carolina over the weekend.

And on that hunting trip, McDowell (and the crew he was with) hauled in a really big alligator. Just extremely large. Massive, you could say, accurately.

So big, in fact, that the visual evidence probably works best here. Take a look at the Sun News, a newspaper in Myrtle Beach, S.C.:

You probably get it now.

This alligator measured 13 feet 5 inches. It weighed more than 800 pounds — a weight that was initially miscalculated on the scale, on account of an inability to hoist the gator completely off the ground. Also, when McDowell hauled it in, he had to enlist his brother, who has a bigger boat.

The gator was so big that McDowell — who was hunting on a 17-foot boat — needed his brother, Robbie, to bring his boat, a 20-footer, so they could bring him in. McDowell had some family members meet them at the ramp, and they were speechless when they saw the animal.
“Their jaw just dropped when they saw it,” McDowell said. “They had no clue that something like that was swimming in the river there where they’ve swam and tubed and everything.”

The alligator was caught during a hunt in the Waccamaw River; McDowell told the newspaper that he had spotted the creature when it surfaced, and then “threw in the area where he was at,” but didn’t realize he was successful.

“Normally when you hook a gator, he will run,” he told the Sun News. “But when I hooked up, it didn’t run.”

Then, McDowell started to pull — hard — and the alligator started moving, and as McDowell told the Sun News: “When he ran, it was on.”

McDowell gave the newspaper a more detailed account of what happened next — how the crew struggled with the gator, and lines broke, but they just kept at it. Let’s just jump ahead to what seems like the scary part, though:

“He surfaced twice and actually kind of lunged in the air and that’s when my heart rate was really pumping when I saw him jump and just how big he was,” McDowell told the Sun News.


The crew ultimately spent about two hours wrestling with the gator, McDowell told the Sun News. After it was hauled in and later taken to a processor, workers (or whoever does this at processors? The Sun News article doesn’t exactly say) reportedly “couldn’t get the whole gator off the ground” and told McDowell it weighed in at 655 pounds.

But it was apparently weighed again, the Sun News reported, and that’s when it registered 816 pounds — a figure McDowell called “a whole lot more accurate.”

This all reportedly happened not far from a local marina, which didn’t seem to particularly bother McDowell.

“There’s very few times I’ve seen [alligators] act aggressive,” he told the Sun News. “It wouldn’t deter me from going back on the water as far as swimming and things like that because, for the most part, from what I’ve seen if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone.”

Which, okay. But maybe take a look at that pic again.

Just something to keep in mind!

Read More: