The Beast of Arkansas: Harpooned 14ft alligator weighing 800 pounds pulls hunters’ boat around the lake for two hours before managing to land it
- The largest alligator hunted in Arkansas history was caught on Lake Merrisach
- Travis Bearden caught it with his father Gary, brother Cody and Tommy Kelley
- He says having his ‘dad and brother made it so much more special’
The longest alligator killed in Arkansas history dragged a boat around for two hours before being killed.
Travis Bearden spotted the 13ft 11.5in, 800lb alligator while hunting with his father Gary, brother Cody and friend Tommy Kelley on Lake Merrisach.
The four men were hunting on Saturday the last weekend allowed with Travis’ license this year, when they harpooned the beast.
Travis Bearden (second left) caught the largest alligator in Aransas history at 13ft 11.5in and 800lbs while hunting with his father Gary (left), brother Cody (far right) and friend Tommy Kelley (second right) on Lake Merrisach
They had been on the hunt over the weekend, but were unsuccessful, making the catch even more exciting.
He pulled their boat around the lake for two hours before Travis got a shot and the men used a forklift to pull the animal into the air for photos.
In surprising images, the alligator is lifted up by the forklift truck while reversing on dry land.
The animal is nearly as tall as the truck’s outstretched mast, dangling from its neck in the air with its tail over the floor.
The alligator pulled their boat out on the lake for two hours before finally being killed. They had been on the hunt over the weekend, but were unsuccessful, making the catch even more exciting
Travis’ father Gary (left) and wife Stephanie and daughter Addy (right) pose with the alligator
More photos show the family riding on top of the dead animal and celebrating their successful hunt.
Travis told 5 News: ‘We didn’t know exactly how big it was when we saw it, and to our surprise, after we harpooned it, it turned into a giant.
‘It [dragged] the boat around for almost 2 hours before I could take a clean picture on it. The fact that my dad and my brother were there made it that much more special.
I sat back and listened to my father tell the story strangers after strangers. I think he might be more excited than I am. ‘
The alligator is nearly as tall as the forklift’s outstretched mast and dangles in the air from its neck with its tail over the floor
Travis poses with the alligator. “Having my dad and my brother there made it that much more special,” he said
Trey Reid of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed that the catch is the longest-harvested alligator since Arkansas had an alligator season.
After the capture, Travis wrote on Facebook, “The new Arkansas state record.
‘I have to give a shout out to anyone who has played a major role in harvesting such a giant.
“God to bless me with the opportunity, my wife for supporting me so much that I was gone for the past two weekends, and all my family and friends for helping along the way. I can’t stop smiling. ‘