Hunters from Texas set Florida gator hunting record

Female gator is longest ever recorded by officials

By John Hett - Digital Editor
Courtesy of Norm Koerner

Hunters in Putnam County harvested a female gator that measured in at over 10 feet, 6 inches long on Wednesday morning. The length is the longest ever recorded in the state.

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. - A father and son from Texas have harvested the longest female alligator on record in Florida.

Permitted holders Adam Delaney and Jeff Winkleman, of Georgetown, Florida, and Chester Koerner and Barrett Koerner, of Woodland, Texas, were hunting early Wednesday morning when they hooked a female gator that measured in at over 10 feet, 6 inches long and 375 pounds.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission biologists confirmed on Thursday morning that the gator was the longest female gator captured on record.

The harvest took place on Lake George, which is about 70 miles east of Ocala. Female alligators rarely exceed 10 feet, while males can grow much larger, the FWC website reads.

Despite the size, it’s still dwarfed by the largest recorded gator ever captured in the state. According to the FWC alligator record table, which keeps a record of the largest male and female alligators harvested and dates back to 1977, the longest alligator ever harvested is a 14-foot, 3 ½-inch, 654-pound male caught in Lake Washington back in November 2010.

Based on FWC Statewide Alligator Harvest Program, the new record-setting catch follows its stringent guidelines. Under the program, hunters must apply for a permit through an open lottery period. If selected, the permit gives hunters specific times and geographies where they are allowed to hunt. The 2019 hunting season, which began on August 15, runs through November 1.

FWC also points out that the program and annual harvest quotas have been vital in the successful preservation of one of Florida’s oldest animals. Once on the endangered species list in 1967, there are now more than 1.3 million alligators throughout the state.

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