Transcript for Wrangling Alligators with Gator Whisperers
To most, pest control involves calling an exterminator. In the Mississippi delta, it can mean hunting time. Going after pretty massive monsters. Gators that can grow up to 1,000 pounds. ABC's gio Benitez joined those are adventurous fearless folk to see how they wrangle those reptiles. Reporter: It's midnight, deep in the dark waters of the Mississippi delta. And we're along for the final 48 hours of this alligator hunting season. What lies beneath, jurassic park. These hunters are struggling to reel a writhing, 11-foot alligator into their 18-foot boat. We're in the delta national forest. It's the same place where, during Mississippi's alligator hunting season, three teams captured massive monsters, sparking headlines across the nation. This massive gator tipped the scales at 7,140 1/2 pounds. Reporter: Just the past weekend, the stoke family in Alabama, captured a true behemoth. 1,011.5 pounds, the biggest caught ever. And next door in Mississippi, meet Beth Trammell and her family of unusual gator hunters. Her son, parker, and brother-in-law, SHAWN. They caught this 723-pounder. And just an hour later, Justin and his team wrangled this one. Four pounds heavier. So, on this night, we hit the pitch-black swamps of Mississippi, with the ordinary suburban family, turned reptile wranglers. Paralegal by day. Alligator hunter by night. Alligator queen. Reporter: The alligator queen and family capturing that gator on their first night ever. It sounds like you're -- Yes. Reporter: Sometimes? It looks like it. It's like the loch Ness monster. Reporter: Were you ever scared? Yes. Very scared. He pulled us around in circles for an hour, hour and a half. Reporter: It's her son, parker's, 18th birthday. And he's looking to catch a second gator. Aboard their 12-foot wrangling rig, we spot the first gator. And SHAWN throws out his line, hooking the gator's foot. It's about five feet long. Which makes it a legal catch. It's beautiful, really. That beautiful. Reporter: Plus, the night is young. And they let it go. It's gone. For the next three hours of chasing, the trammells would spot gators. But they'd disappear underwater as soon as they spotted us. Saw his eyes. Those red eyes. It's now midnight. And this alligator shows his face. Come on, bud. Come on up. It's your friend. Reporter: At about five feet long, it's the one they want. Some people might be wondering, why do you do this? We eat the meat. I don't see it any different than prepackaged meat in the grocery store. Reporter: With that giant catch, they'll have 120 pounds of meat, enough to last months. Let's get the cover out. It's hydrogen peroxide. I'm not kidding. Reporter: Is it safe? It is safe. We only had two accidents reported. Both of those were fairly minor. One person got bit on the hand. Reporter: Ricky Flint, the hunt coordinator, took us right to a female gator's coveted spot, the nest. They are so big because for years nobody was allowed to hunt them. So, the gators kept growing in size and population. So much so, they've become a dangerous nuisance. For many people here, alligators have become a problem on their property? Absolutely. Fish ponds, swimming pools, under the deck of a house, in the highways. In the parking lots of downtown Jackson. Reporter: Even though gators are not endangered, there are critics who say this is a bloodsport, that wild alligators should be left in the wild. People who are watching this will say I'm not so comfortable with that. Why are you killing alligators? We see this as a renewable resource. Just like the trees that are growing here. I cut that tree down, it's going to regenerate itself. Either from the acorn that falls to the ground and sprouts. Or root sprouts. The same thing happens to the alligators, as well as any other wildlife species we manage through hunting. Reporter: And the record-breaker, Dustin Bachman. An overnight celebrity. Isn't set in. But everywhere I go, people recognize me. See if I can find a good one. Reporter: Dustin and his team are looking for a bigger catch tonight. Hunting an animal, 700 pounds, is something that can eat you. Thousands of pounds. It's very exciting. It's not a competition. But we try to take our older animal. That's what we're shooting for. Reporter: Four hours go by, without a bite. They're saying, maybe, I'd say 40 or 50 alligators. And you got close to a couple. But not close enough to get a shot. Reporter: Now, at 3:00 A.M., his team spots the big one. Get the line. Reporter: The battle would go on for hours. I got it. Let it go. Reporter: In the end, an 11-foot monster. Captured in front of our cameras. Each hunter, allowed two gators in this ten-day season. The long night has turned into an early morning. We set out tonight with hopes of catching an alligator. Maybe a big one. Maybe a small one. But really hard to get one in the first place. I just enjoy being out here. And love doing it. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm gio Benitez, in the Mississippi delta.
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