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  • Jimmy's First Gator

    Jimmy Bashnan of Tamassee finally got an alligator tag after two years of trying and was drawn for the Middle Coastal Region. Then Bashnan hired Captain Ron Russell of Gator Getter Consultants to help him fill his tag for September 25.

    After a rainy and unsuccessful hunt with the arrows pulling out of two gators on the Cooper River, another trip was set up for October 2. That night Bashnan harpooned a gator; however, the float and rope went into the weeds and alas, another alligator escaped.

    Later that night, they saw an alligator within crossbow range. Bashnan fired a shot that hit the
    mark, but thinking that the arrow would pull out like the other ones did, they put two harpoon lines in the gator when it came to the surface. They knew that this one wasn't getting away. They didn't know how big the gator was until they finally pulled the harpoon lines to the surface. Then they saw that it was a big one.

    They pulled the gator to the surface, put a snare around it, and finally, using a 357 mag. bang stick, they dispatched the large animal. Then they shot it once more to be on the safe side and taped the mouth shut. The next problem was getting the big gator in the boat. It took at least 30 minutes to maneuver it into the boat.

    Getting back to the landing around 2:00 am, Bashnan took the gator to a local processor the next
    morning. The gator measured 10' 5.25', and the estimated weight was between 400 and 500 pounds. (They didn't have a scale large enough to weigh it.) It yielded 101 pounds of meat and many great stories.

    Bashnan recommends, “If you get drawn and it is your first time chasing alligators, get a guide that will help you fill your tag.”

    South Carolina Sportsman Field Reporter
    Capt. Glenn “Teach” Corley
    captain@captteach .com