Cooper City Man Captures 12-Foot Gator Off Lake O

posted by Jessi Minneci - 

On Thursday, with a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a Cooper City and two friends roped in a nearly 12-foot alligator from Lake Okeechobee.

The FWC has allowed alligator hunting since 1988. 

According to FWC's website, the purpose of the hunting is to "provide the public with a much-desired opportunity to hunt alligators in Florida ... and is just one part of FWC's overall approach to managing the population."

It was just before sundown when Howard said he spotted the giant gator in the water.

As the nearly 1,000-pound alligator was sitting on the bottom of the lake, Howard says he used a grappling hook to pull it close after it latched on to his bait.

"He'll fight really hard at first, of course, and he'll slow down a little bit. And three or four times he'll really wrestle and try to get away," he said, according to a report by Local10.

But by that time, Howard had linked up with a friend and the friend's son, who joined him on the boat. As they pulled the gator in close, they used a bang stick to shoot the reptile in the skull, which is the permitted kill method in Florida.

After an hour and a half of wrestling and pulling with ropes, Howard said they were able to haul in their catch.

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