Two giant alligators, both measuring more than 12 feet long, were taken at Lake Seminole during opening weekend of Georgia’s limited, quota-only alligator hunting season.
Frank Timmons, of Columbus, and his friend Greg Kolb, from Missouri, snagged one of the 12-plus-foot gators. On Friday, Aug. 14, the two met up at the Wingate’s Lodge on the shores of the lake to try their hand at alligator hunting. They had hunted alligators before with a guide, but this would be their first attempt without a guide.
They took to the waters when the season opened at sunset, and the pair saw many alligators ranging in size, but no alligators they were interested in going after.
Patience paid off.
The next day around 2 p.m., Frank and Greg set out for their second day of hunting. They hunted for roughly an hour before they spotted the giant. It was the only alligator they saw all afternoon.
“We found him up near the bank. He went under, and we just waited on him,” said Frank.
The gator surfaced several times, but they kept missing when trying to catch him with a snatch hook. The alligator would then retreat back under the water, hiding in hydrilla, and they would have to wait again.
“We almost gave up four different times, but then he would surface again,” Frank said. “There was definitely some luck involved.”
After six hours of struggling with the monster going back and forth under water, they were finally able to get a hook in him and get him in range for a shot with the crossbow.
“We had all kinds of lines attached to him, reassuring he wouldn’t get away this time,” Frank said. “We used everything we had.”
The two were not able to get the gator in the boat, but they used multiple lines to drag the 12-foot, 4-inch alligator while idling back to the marina. It took five men to load the giant in the back of a truck and approximately six hours the next day to clean it completely.
Phil Walters, with Gator Guides, previously helped the pair on their hunts. Frank bought his newly purchased alligator hunting equipment from Gator Guides. Frank said Phil’s advice had much to do with their success with this hunt.
The other giant alligator killed at Lake Seminole opening weekend was taken by Debbie Southerland. Debbie and three friends were out on the water at roughly the same time Saturday evening when they snagged a big lizard measuring 12-feet, 7-inches long.
“It was a lot of fun and very exciting,” said Debbie. “I wanted to go again, but I only had one tag.”
Look for a full feature on Debbie’s alligator in the October 2015 issue of GON.
If you’ve killed a Georgia gator this season, please e-mail photos and caption information to firstname.lastname@example.org. As we always do in the October issue, we’ll publish our Gator Gallery to show off the accomplishments of those braving the late-summer swamps in search of alligators.