LAKELAND, Fla. - A team of gator hunters tracked down a mammoth reptile they’d been after for years.
They pair had eyed the 12 foot 6 inch, 565 pound beast once before and were determined not to let it slip away again.
It’s the biggest one yet for long-time friends Harris Woodsby and Mathew Fellows.
They've hunted and captured alligators together for more than 4 years.
They’ve endured long nights and lots of mosquito bites for their dangerous passion of gator hunting.
It all started one night on the muggy Kissimmee River.
One said every now and then the gator would come up and thrash around and the two be holding on to the gaff and it would almost break our wrists when it started spinning.
It was a 2 and a half hour struggle for the pair as the nearly 600 lbs gator thrashed around the boat.
With three shots to skull they were able subdue him. Their next obstacle was getting it back to land.
With six miles ahead of them and a prize two times the weight of them and the boat combined, they feared they would capsize.
With the help of a good friend the two outdoorsmen were able to secure the gator.
Harris already owns a wholesale seafood company in Orlando and is getting ready to open JimmyBelles, a seafood market named after his kids here in Lakeland.
He plans to display their gigantic prize front and center for all his customers to see.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The I-Team was there when 99-year-old Willi Berchau was released from Florida's guardianship program after a three-year court battle. The I-Team has now learned that a local non-profit group has been established to assist other families.