LAKE MARION, SC (WCSC) - A group of gator hunters caught a more than 13-foot alligator by Rocks Pond in Lake Marion over the weekend. The hunters said it took them about 90 minutes to secure and hoist the giant gator onto their pontoon boat.
"We said, is that a floating log out there? When we harpooned him it looked like jaws going out with a buoy. I said 'this is a big gator,' " said Bob Childress, one of the hunters.
Childress said they spotted the gator swimming about 150 yards away from a beach area where children often play.
"We just worked him for about an hour and a half taking our time with him," Childress said, "We definitely didnt want to lose this gator."
South Carolina resumed gator hunting season two years ago and state law requires alligators be captured and brought alongside a boat or to shore before they are killed. Hunters can't simply stand on shore and shoot gators with a rifle.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, there are approximately 100,000 gators in South Carolina, mostly in the southern and eastern portions of the state.