On Saturday, Sept. 16, Randy Hand, of Bainbridge, his wife, oldest brother, and father went on Lake Seminole to go gator hunting, and they killed an alligator that measured 13-feet, 4-inches long and was weighed at a whopping 680 pounds on certified scales at Elberta Crate and Box Company. Randy and his family have been hunting since 2010, and for the past eight years have caught gators on average that measured 12-feet, 8-inches in length.
On Saturday, Randy decided to go gator hunting with his family since his wife, Michelle, was the one with the permit. At 4:30 that evening, Randy and his wife left to go meet up with his oldest brother, JR, and father, Willie.
After a while of hunting, they couldn’t find any alligators, so they decided to head back up the lake. They began trolling the area for gators. Using binoculars, Randy spotted an alligator 150 yards away from them in the grass.
“Just looking at him, I knew he was over 12 feet long,” Randy said.
They began pursuing the gator and picked a spot to sit and wait. After waiting for 30 minutes, Randy took a treble hook and threw it into the water. The first two casts were unsuccessful, but on the third cast, the line started to move.
Randy began to reel in what he thought was the gator.
“I told my brother, ‘I’ve got something I think,’ and my brother replied ‘No that’s the current, that’s just the way you’re hung on the bottom, and the way the current is pushing the boat,’” said Randy.
When Randy took the slack out of the line and set the hook, he felt immediate resistance.
“My brother told me, ‘Now you’ve got something,’ and I said ‘I told you I did!’”
After Randy pulled for what seemed like forever, the gator sat down on the bottom. He decided to throw a bigger hook on a bigger line into the water. Once that hook latched on, the gator ended up pulling the entire boat up the river before Randy began to overpower the gator.
“He made it to the grass and hit the side of the boat,” said Randy. “We hit him with a bang stick and harpooned him and were able to get him on the boat,” said Randy.
During the ruckus, his wife noticed water began pouring into the boat. In a panic, the gator hunters immediately headed back to the landing. On there way back, they pulled up to a dock by the landing, and his wife and father got off the boat, and they unloaded the equipment. Afterward, Randy and his brother went to the landing to check the boat.
“I was waiting for my brother to go get the truck, and the water had risen above my ankles,” said Randy. “When he got back, we pulled the boat out of the water, and I saw three holes in the bottom of the boat where the gator had bitten it.”
Georgia’s limited alligator season, open only to hunters selected through a quota process, will end at sunrise on Oct. 8.