Texas Man Bags Enormous 14-Foot Alligator Next to RV Park

by Craig Garrett

A Texas family recently brought in a 14-foot alligator from behind an RV park. This is only three inches shorter than the Texas state record. David Fontenot, a 56-year-old resident of Zavalla, Texas captured the giant beast with the help of his son-inlaws just two days before Gator Fest. The annual festival in Anahuac celebrates the outdoors and alligators. It also includes a gator round-up.

Since Fontenot bagged the alligator before the start of Gator Fest, he won’t be able to compete in this year’s contest. However, last year he did win a daily weigh-in with an 11-foot, six-inch gator that was captured at the same RV park. Fontenot stated that prior to baiting his hooks, he had seen the 14-foot-long gator hanging around the boat ramp at the RV park.

“There are some big ones out there. They are out there every night at the park. They come up on the banks and swim around the banks. We were kind of concerned about kids and pets in the parks because this thing was so huge,” he told the Bluebonnet News. Fontenot first baited his hook with a chicken and had no luck trying to attract the gator to it.

“For some reason, he didn’t want to touch the chicken. I have never seen an alligator not eat something rotting on a line, but this alligator would swim up to it and then swim away. He wouldn’t touch it,” Fontenot explained. “He didn’t want the chicken, so I switched to mullet and he took the bait. I guess, living in that water, he had a preference for fish.”

The impressive alligator was bought instantly

The next hurdle was getting the gargantuan alligator out of the water. Since they had no way to pull him into their vessel, he and his relatives towed the gator to land. They then used a trailer at a boat ramp to get him out of the water. Then, they brought him to Porter’s Wild Game Processing in Anahuac. Its owner Casey Hedges offered to buy it on the spot. He said it was the biggest one he has ever processed. “That is the biggest one,” Hedges confirmed. After taxidermy, he will hang the catch in his business.

So far, this year, just six days into the 20-day alligator season in Texas, which begins on Sept. 10 and extends through 30 September in 22 core counties of the state, Porter’s Wild Game Processing has already received around 250 alligators from hunters in Texas.

“We may see a lot more over the weekend depending on the weather. With rain in the forecast, we might not see as much this weekend as we would normally see, we will still get a lot more,” Hedges explained. “Everyone who is hunting alligators is holding on until the weekend for Gator Fest.” 

Some believe that the gators should simply be relocated rather than hunted. Hedges strongly disagrees. “I am a nuisance alligator hunter. If an alligator has ever been fed by a human, it is against the law to relocate it. They have incredible homing abilities. Studies have been done that show a relocated alligator will make their way back to where they were taken,” he said.