Texas Swim Academy Staff Member Bags Record Alligator!
In the Community, Texas Swim Academy
Did you know that the longest alligator on record in Texas measured 14 feet and 3 inches? We do, because it was caught by Texas Swim Academy’s very own Braxton Bielski! Braxton is a Fort Bend student who works with us as a deck monitor and has made a name for himself over the past few weeks in local and national news reports. He and his dad are avid hunters and have wanted to try their hand at crocodile hunting for some time. Alligator hunting is regulated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and their organized hunts have long waiting lists. But Braxton’s day finally came last month when he won a drawing for a 5-day permit to hunt the Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area in South Texas, just 90 miles south of San Antonio.
The state organizes and supervises hunts like these to cull the numbers of alligators in recreational waterways across the state. Participants are required to go through an intensive orientation process with state biologists.
â€œWe went through a two-hour orientation and it was very thorough, said Braxton when asked about his preparation for the hunt. dad did a lot of research online about alligator hunting and we asked a lot of questions.
Braxton never expected to catch one so large on his first hunt, but came away with a state record. The 800 lbs. alligator was caught on a line set by Braxton using raw chicken bait, and then dispatched at close range with a firearm. It has since been officially recognized as the longest alligator on record in Texas. At 14 feet and 3 inches, the beast is estimated to be between 30 and 50 years old. This certainly made for a memorable end to Braxton’s school year. He recently graduated from high school and will be heading off to college in August. We wish him every success for his future!
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