Deer Hunter Shoots Alligator in Minnesota: ‘Only in 2020’

by Chris Haney

On Saturday, a deer hunter in East Bethel, Minnesota shot a 10-point buck on his hunt, which was expected. However, he added an unexpected animal to his kill list during the same hunt – an alligator.

Cory Klocek was left stunned over the weekend when he came across the alligator. He went out to hunt for deer since the opening day for firearms deer season began on Saturday. During Klocek’s hunt, he tracked a deer near a pond in the area. Low and behold, the hunter came across the 3-foot alligator only 10 feet away from him.

At first, Klocek thought the gator wasn’t real, and that someone must have been pranking him. But, then the alligator moved and the hunter knew the alligator was indeed real. He contacted a game warden with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the official gave Klocek the go-ahead to kill the alligator.

“That’s not something you see. And then I thought ‘Maybe it’s rubber, it’s fake’ and then he moved,” Klocek explained. “I said ‘Nope that’s a real live alligator in Minnesota in November.’”

Deer Hunter Left Speechless Over Alligator Encounter

Klocek posted his hunt to his Facebook account where he assumed that the alligator may have been someone’s pet. But, he thinks the owner likely released it into the wild when it got too large. The hunter called the season opening day “great” and “odd.” In fact, Klocek said the day has left him speechless.

“Well… this was a first for me… Great Minnesota gun opener… Odd Minnesota opener….,” he wrote on Facebook. “No clue how it got there, or why. Either way, only in 2020 can you go out to sit for deer gun season opener in Minnesota and shoot an alligator. I’m still at a loss of words lol. Legit speechless. The plan is to mount them together in a fun taxidermy piece.”

The hunter defended his decision to kill the alligator when speaking with WCCO-TV. He says that alligators are potentially “an invasive species in Minnesota.”

Additionally, a spokesperson for the DNR said that the alligator would have had little chance to survive the upcoming Minnesota winter.

“While we don’t know the background of this particular animal, the DNR from time to time receives reports of reptiles such as alligators and caimans. Oftentimes, these turn out to be pets that were turned loose or escaped from their owners,” a DNR official said. “These animals are not native to Minnesota and would be unable to survive the winter. Alligators and reptiles like them are invasive species in Minnesota, and they have no special protections.”

Klocek said he plans to mount the 10-point buck he harvested, in addition, to the alligator alongside one another to remember the crazy hunting day.

“This is one of those stories that’s going to be told in my family for generations, you know?” Klocek said.

[H/T FOX News]