A Florida man made international headlines this week after catching a 719-pound gator in the town of Lakeland, Florida, last Sunday, according to the Daily Mail. Clark Woodsby, a 34-year-old hunter, lured the gator in with an “electronic call” before hitting it with a crossbow when it came within shooting range.
“We called him in with an electronic call,'' said Woodsby. “This gator heard it from across the lake, and it came bee-lining right toward me. When it got within about 20 yards, we turned the call off. I shot it with a crossbow right in the shoulder.”
Woodsby killed the gator alongside Glen Grizzaffe, the owner of a local gator processing facility and a licensed trapper.
“The landowner had called Glen to take care of this nuisance gator,'' Woodsby said to the Lakeland Ledger. Two other local hunters assisted Woodsby and Grizzaffe in the gator’s capture.
Woodsby describes his catch as “a monster,” saying the gator was “technically 12 feet, 10 inches, but there was about 4 inches of tail missing because of a fight, according to the trapper I went with.”
WTSP reports that once the hunters hooked the gator with the crossbow, they were able to “get a snatch hook with a heavier-gauge rope into the gator, and after pulling on it for an hour got the animal into a 14-foot jonboat.” Once in the boat, the gator reportedly put up a fight and the men each took turns wrestling with it before finally subduing it. Once subdued, Woodsby completed the hunt with two close-range shots from a .45 caliber pistol.
Woodsby, a longtime gator hunter, says this particular one is the largest he has ever caught, and assured that the time was right for this aging gator to be hunted.
"It's a great trophy, and it was on the downhill.”