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Florida Hunters Battle 13-foot 'Monster' Alligator For Three Hours; 'I've Never Seen Anything Like It'

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MELBOURNE, Florida -- A team of men battled a nearly 13-foot, 640-pound "monster dinosaur" alligator for three hours before killing it.

Les Woodring, 44, has been hunting alligators for about 10 years but said he had never encountered anything rivaling the one he and four others fought and subdued on the St. Johns River about three miles north of Melbourne's Lake Washington.

"We seen it crossing the river and got some snag hooks in it and then we got some friends to come over and help us out, it took five of us get it out," Woodring told Local 6 News partner Florida Today.

"It was a big gator, it was a monster."

The group first encountered the gator at about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday and fought it for three hours before killing it with a body shot with a crossbow. It took about 90 minutes for it to be secured onto an airboat.

Woodring plans to have a full-body mount of the gator.

There is no real way to tell the age of the alligator, said Harry Dutton, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation alligator management program coordinator.

"It's not unheard of in the wild for alligators to live up to 35 to 50 years," Dutton said.

Forest Palmer, of Melbourne, bagged a gator of similar size on Lake Washington Aug. 30 and fired the kill shot into the lungs of Woodring's gator with a crossbow.

"It was definitely a team effort between me and Lester," Palmer said. "It's a dinosaur, I've never seen anything like it. His head probably weighs about 100 to 150 pounds."

Also present were Robert Rohman, Christian Emig and Capt. Peter Deeks, all of Satellite Beach, who were hunting about a mile away and were called in to assist.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

42 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

Hmmm....Animal in pain suffering for 3 hours. Sounds like karma is coming back to get these five guys. If you can't kill it humanely maybe you should not kill it at all.
   comment# 1   - Alicia · Monterey, USA · Oct 16, 2008 @ 2:27pm

"It's a dinosaur, I've never seen anything like it. His head probably weighs about 100 to 150 pounds." So then it is an amazing creature. The only shot you sholud take is with your camera. 3 hours fight...Hopefully none of us has to empathize this..
   comment# 2   - Michael · Europe · Oct 16, 2008 @ 11:15pm

See what happens when they cut the Art's funding to a community...Now why would you go and do a stupid thing like that...No dignity...just barbaric stupidity...
   comment# 3   - Sonny · Los Angeles · Oct 17, 2008 @ 12:20am

I am a hunter but this is disgusting, snag it with hooks and fight with it then shoot it with a crossbow. This type of hunting should be banned and the hunters snagged with hooks and dragged around for hours. An ethical hunter kills with the aim of not letting the animal suffer and it is is killed as quickly and humanely as possible
   comment# 4   - Dave Honiball · South Africa · Oct 17, 2008 @ 1:49am

I Hope the trophy falls on its owner and gives him the same kind of pain that this group of so called men put the aligator through. Trophy hunting hunters are cowards.
   comment# 5   - Daniel J Imbs · Port Saint Lucie, FL, United States. · Oct 17, 2008 @ 3:24am

   comment# 6   - Ron · Virginia, USA · Oct 17, 2008 @ 4:52am

   comment# 7   - SANDY · BOLIVAR, OHIO · Oct 17, 2008 @ 5:21am

Yeah...why kill it. They must have extremely small manhood'or the combined IQ of 50.
   comment# 8   - David · Virginia · Oct 17, 2008 @ 5:44am

How tragic that people can enjoy torturing an animal to death so it can be stuffed and displayed as a symbol of their prowess as "hunters".
   comment# 9   - Cheryl · Fort Myers, FL USA · Oct 17, 2008 @ 7:08am

Let me get this straight, gator hunting is legal because there in an overpopulation and they threaten people in inhabited areas. Large gators like this one, eat small gators and thereby help control the population. So let's kill all the larger specimens and make the problem worse. That's what I call intelligent wildlife management!
   comment# 10   - Chip · Dallasa, TX. · Oct 17, 2008 @ 1:50pm

   comment# 11   - BONZAI · PORT MANSFIELD, TEXAS · Oct 17, 2008 @ 2:27pm

they should be sent to jail for the inhumane acts they've done.
   comment# 12   - james · Ft Lauderdale · Oct 17, 2008 @ 4:21pm

Hmmm... what a great picture of a gator hanging from a pole..
   comment# 13   - JL · Florida · Oct 17, 2008 @ 7:57pm

I wish all of the big game trophy hunters could feel the pain they cause to all of the defensless animals they kill. Hunt it bare handed and I'm sure no one would care but you people cant do that you need the edge cause you are not man enough.
   comment# 14   - Paul Shirey · Conroe,Texas · Oct 17, 2008 @ 10:16pm

Well Forest, the man that caught this is my best friends sisters boy friend. It was about a 600 pound alligator and 14 feet tall. Thats what he told us.
   comment# 15   - Chase · Palmbay,Florida · Oct 18, 2008 @ 9:07pm

Why would these men kill the gator? Are they legally licensed to do this? What did they do with the gator's body after this "unforgettable" kill? Why?! I find it very strange that this gator that didn't atatck anyone was killed just because it was spotted by these hunters...we live in a cruel and very very strange world....
   comment# 16   - Hadia Nehme · Dubai, United Arab Emirates · Oct 18, 2008 @ 11:10pm

over here we would just call them wankers
   comment# 17   - lawrence · uk · Oct 20, 2008 @ 3:31am

How disgusting! There is no reason to have let this animal suffer so long. I understand animal population control, and if that needs to be done, then do it humanely. This was nothing but a bunch of guys having a "good time" at the gators expense and then trying to act like they were doing a good thing.
   comment# 18   - Rose · Novelty, Ohio · Oct 20, 2008 @ 6:50am

WOW.... that is an amazing exhibit of ignorance.
   comment# 19   - Jon Miller · Las Vegas · Oct 20, 2008 @ 7:47am

Maybe they were going to eat it. It is considered a delicacy by many. So, if you are not a strict vegeterian---Well, you get the idea. Alligator meat is usually sold frozen as ribs, filets, or steaks. Steaks and filets are usually taken from the tail, which is the whitest, most tender meat found on an alligator. Textures from other areas range from consistency of pork to that of lobster. A four ounce serving of alligator contains only 177 calories. Of this, only about 3% is fat, which is less than one gram! Compare this to beef, which is 244 calories for the same amount of meat, and a total of 12 grams of fat, and you’ll find that alligator is much more efficient and healthier. In fact, in terms of efficiency, alligator ranks at the top of the list, along with tuna and elk.
   comment# 20   - Jaybee · Memphis, USA · Oct 21, 2008 @ 10:45am

Why would anyone have the desire to kill such a beautiful animal?
   comment# 21   - Jackie Shaw · Cordova, USA · Oct 21, 2008 @ 12:08pm

Ah well, the Alligator and his reptile relatives will probably have the last laugh. They survived the dinosaur age, surely they'll survive when mankind have gone.
   comment# 22   - David · Australia · Oct 22, 2008 @ 3:01am

Beautiful? Get a grip, would you? I bet about half of you have SUVs, personal water craft, or off road bikes. It would be interesting to see who REALLY is worse on the environment, you flakes or real hunters. And Lawrence of tyhe UK, NO one from England should cop an attitude with as much damage to the environment as yours have done.
   comment# 23   - John Burley · Dallas, Texas · Oct 22, 2008 @ 8:11am

Great catch. what an awesome experience. I hope all you tree huggers dont use paper to wipe your tears for this gator.
   comment# 24   - Robert Rolin · onalaska, Texas · Nov 29, 2008 @ 12:06pm

It's too bad that they had to kill the alligator. A speciman this big is becoming a rarity and I'm sure that it would have been more valuable alive than dead. Think of how many zoos and croc farms around the world might have wanted such a creature. I know that I would have liked to have seen this guy alive in some farm to photograph it. The Florida State Game and Fisheries should try to encourage the people to report large dangerous alligators and then send thier experienced trappers to catch them. Once you snag a line around the jaws and put a towel over thier eyes, it becomes very easy after that. Then they could sell these monsters to the highest bidder and then everyone would benefit.
   comment# 25   - John A. G. Olsson · New York · Dec 14, 2008 @ 9:32am

I am a native Floridian and alligators are everywhere down here. I don't understand any kind of hunting unless you NEED to hunt to survive. It really is a terrible thing that these (probably drunk) yahooos decided to hunt this anlimal when all it was doing was swimming by. Poor thing had to suffer for so long before it finally died. They were here before we came and they will be here after we are gone! There was a movie where this guy was hunting people of every race just to put their heads on his wall. Maybe these guys need the same thing to happen to them, or their family!
   comment# 26   - Terri Watson · Apopka, FL · Jan 29, 2009 @ 7:22am

This is a great story! I wish I was with them when they bagged that monster gator. Lots of gooood eating.
   comment# 27   - Marlin Goff · Bristol Va · Feb 5, 2009 @ 10:59am

Sheme on the hunters and the state of Florida for allowing the alligator to be killed. This alligator wa beutiflu and magnificant but as humas we fear htem and feel that they need to be killed. It had not harmed anyone and probally would not have either. Sahmke on anyone who agrees with the killing.
   comment# 28   - Andrew · Billeriac Ma United States · Feb 12, 2009 @ 5:14am

hey all u pep out there worrying about this gator if that gator grabed u up u would be callin for your momma so i think its a good damm thing they killed it an im glad it suffered they attack lil kids all the time an take peps lifes so go back to huggin trees buy bye
   comment# 29   - nick manfull · myakka city florida · Mar 8, 2009 @ 9:47pm

What is funny is all you crying in this thread, probably eat chicken, steak, etc where an animal has to die, often in a cruel manner, so you can have your food. The only one's who can say anything are vegetarians. I doubt you cry as much when gators get big and attack/kill a person or eat the family dog. They are dangerous animals, these guys weren't killing baby seals.
   comment# 30   - Tom · Los Angelese CA · Apr 9, 2009 @ 12:16pm

To the comment made by "Tom" you're an less than intelligent person! What was the point of this killing? Was it posing a threat to the general public? From what I've read, the gator was just hunted for the heck of it and allowed to die in a prolonged fashion. I love how you and other people like you justify this type of killing because you're afraid of it.
   comment# 31   - Sheila · Honolulu, HI · May 21, 2009 @ 5:18pm

you guys made an awsome kill you tree huggers need to shut up big deal they killed it its just a danm aligator
   comment# 32   - jack · richards TX · May 29, 2009 @ 8:24am

you like to hike and swim and think this gator should have been let to live. this gator doesn't know the differince between anti hunters and vegaterians. he will eat you just as quick. why do you think he grew so big.
   comment# 33   - wills boquet · bourg, la. · Sep 28, 2009 @ 12:11pm

I like when people that dont know anything about hunting,post stupid comments like the one in this blog.They belive,because they go (hunt) to the grocery store and get the meat there is more humane in that way.P.S. next time when you pay for your pack of meat,just remember somebody else did the kill for you...
   comment# 34   - Sara · Sulphur,La · Sep 28, 2009 @ 10:03pm

I may not agree with the method used or the amount of time taken. But that is a small thing in the big picture. Yes I am a hunter and I believe animals should be taken quickly, humanely,and sensibly. For all the people that think that to kill a gator is terrible perhaps u should go swim with them like the dolphin experience. I am also3/8 Native American throughout time some hunters have always made the rest of us Ethical hunters look badly and put us in a bad light. Some men throughout time have put a bad light on hunting. But to all U Tree huggin anti hunters. Perhaps u should watch films on the way wildlife dies when not hunted responsibly and allowed to over populate. They are slow miserable deaths such as brain worms in white tailed deer otherwise known as chronic wasting disease. It is slow miserable and as morbid as taking 3-4 Hrs to kill a gator. Men back at the start of this country took lots of animals damb near to extinction. But due to the dollars from hunters like me and the funds we put into conservation , rehabitat and all our programs and dollars we have brought back lots of animal populations from near extinction and yes this is two yrs after the fact but I just read this due to working and plannning my Gator Hunt. So maybe if u don't like the way he gator was taken perhaps u should right your congressman or woman write President Obama. Or perhaps if this was such a bad thing to have done perhaps Florida Fish and Wildlife to change rules and regs on metho
   comment# 35   - Shawn · Kansas usa · Jan 24, 2010 @ 10:35am

What ever happened to diversity?
   comment# 36   - Freeman · USA · Feb 25, 2010 @ 10:41am

What a great job guys dont listen to these wimps, the gator population is out of control gators are ending up in peoples back yards causing terror. All the guys doing the crying are probably wearing gator belts or shoes. Kudos to you all for that monster catch wish I was there!
   comment# 37   - chris · orlando fl · Jul 26, 2010 @ 1:59pm

I see no problem with hunting to eat. But it should ONLY be done swiftly with no suffering of any animal. When people become hardened to not care about inflicting pain, where do they draw the line, once they become so insensitive. Terrible how this animal suffered. A real pity. Lord have mercy!
   comment# 38   - Grayce · Fort Pierce · Sep 14, 2010 @ 6:49am

heck ya kill those darn gators make our lakes and riers safe for the youngins to swim round in heck all u ppl that are sayin its a darn sham to kill such an amazing creture i bet u anit never been close to one of these bad boys or have ur kids close to em heck i bet u darn ppl have a nice pare of gator skin boots on sippin on some old wine or something. whoever done killed this here gator did a heck of a job bet it was a nice fight their boys
   comment# 39   - bubba · orlando fl · Aug 23, 2011 @ 4:50am

you see I dont have any problem with man taking meat to put on the table for their family, but I do have a problem with man taking animal lives for th fun and excitement. some people dont understand about these animals and other wildlife. we are invading their land we are detroying our land to build homes and businesses so what do you expect the wildlife to do. you say they are invading our land they are just hunting for food and nothing else. man and animals can co exist together in this world but as we evolve mankind doesnt understand that we are all intertwined to balance this world. I do live with the gators and snakes RATTLEsnakes that is and so many dangerous animals on a daily basis, but we all do, we know the importance of when you move to a state from another us as parents should learn the dangers of all of natures creatures for that area, most people dont do that so when they move to florida they take it for granted of just jumping in pools and ponds, we have water mocassins and so mny dangerous creatures here in florida so you have to educate yourself and your family of that, we need to respect our nature and protect what needs to be protected for our grandchildren, because someday it will be gone and there is no going back and redoing it because man cannot exist on this world without animals. so if you do take an animals life for food do it swiftly with no suffering, because no animal should have to suffer by the hand of mankind. thanks and enjoy what God gave us.
   comment# 40   - jeff · st pete florida · Aug 31, 2011 @ 5:18pm

Shut up your crying you bunch of crybabys.I caught a 10'9" and a 10'4" last Friday and a 11'2" on Sunday on lake Hancock in Polk co. All with snatch hooks on a fishing pole. Keep tight lines and sharp hooks,and a .44mag bang stick works charms
   comment# 41   - Chris · Lutz,fl · Sep 20, 2011 @ 2:13pm

First, those of you who are not Florida residents shut up! You have absolutely no idea about that which your are trying to analyze and criticize. Florida currently has approx. 1 million alligators living in the wild. This is an astounding come back after being placed on the endangered species list. The Florida alligator is no longer considered threatened or endangered. Good job FWC, hunters and conservation groups. The alligator population now has to be managed and one method for controlling the population is hunting. The hunters are limited to snag hooks, bows and cross bows due to the fact that utilizing firearms on the water present a very real danger to those who live on public lakes and waterways. So, the "Let's not endanger the people, only the alligators" policy makes perfect sense and if you can't wrap your head around that then you probably need to stick to huggin' trees and lickin' frogs.
   comment# 42   - Marc · Lakeland, USA · Dec 19, 2011 @ 6:16pm
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