It's no surprise to find alligators living in many of the state's great lakes. But one found during a public hunt has proven to be the biggest surprise to date: a 800-pound, 14-foot, 3-inch gator was killed during a public hunt at Choke Canyon Reservoir this month.
18-year-old Braxton Bielski and 480 others applied to get one of 10 permits from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's public hunting program. It gave the small number of hunters five days to find gators at the Daughtrey WMA.
A press release from TPWD said the teen and his father saw what they thought was a large gator in a cove, so they baited lines in that area.
"We didn't pressure it, but while we were putting up our cane poles, we could see it watching us 30 yards away," Bielski said.
His father, Troy, caught a 10-and-a-half-foot long gator. Braxton's catch made that look small.
TPWD said Choke Canyon has earned a reputation for being home to super-sized gators.
"Choke Canyon h as a larger size class than other areas because they have just begun to hunt the area," said TPWD alligator program leader Amos Cooper. "A large alligator in Choke Canyon is not unusual but expected. You won't see a lot of alligators on Choke Canyon, but the alligators that you do see are relatively large."