Local hunters snag 10-foot gator on first day of hunting season

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By: Katie Kaplan | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 15, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV)-- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said there is an estimated 1.3 million alligators living in the wild. The statewide alligator harvest kicked off on Thursday. FWC said it handed out roughly 6,000 permits for the 2019 season.

The first day of the harvest in Florida had pouring rain, but that did not dampen the efforts of some.

Broderick Vaughan worked for two and a half hours at Miccosukee Lake on Thursday until one unlucky gator took the bait.

"She finally got to get her a gator," said Vaughan, who owns Vaughan's Gators.

The prize belonged to Rachelle Wyatt, whose first time hunting the reptile paid off big,

"I'm happy, but I'm still shaking a little bit," she said. "Those teeth."

Wyatt said had "always wanted to" hunt a gator, but never "had the guts" to do it. Her dad made her apply for a permit this season. The efforts paid off as Wyatt snagged an estimated 10-footer, which Vaughan surmised weighed around 255 pounds.

Vaughan said they would likely sell the meat to a local restaurant. Wyatt said she planned to have the hide turned into a keepsake.

Alligator hunting season will draw to a close on November 1.

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