POMARIA — Jeremy Shealy of Pomaria waited four years to draw an alligator tag, little did he know that on his first alligator outing he would nab a 13 ft. 2 in. alligator weighing in at 1,012 pounds.
Shealy didn’t make the trip alone, he and his girlfriend Stacy Clark and friend Hunter Neeley set out for Lake Moultrie on September 8, opening day, not knowing that an alligator that large was lurking in the water.
“I never expected I would shoot anything like that. I told my buddy Hunter Neeley and my girlfriend Stacy Clark that I would be happy with anything that was legal limit (over four feet long), but Hunter told me we were going for a big one and that’s exactly what happened,” Shealy said.
The three headed out on the water at 6 p.m. with first sight of the alligator at 6:30 p.m., Shealy said they were able to get the alligator in the boat at about 9:25 p.m., but the alligator did not make it easy for them. They had to enlist the help of Kyle Snelgrove and his friends to assist with dealing with the beast.
“We started off with a rod and reel, fought with it for a little while, harpooned it, first time we tried, it bit the harpoon and bent it in a 90 degree angle, thankfully we had another one to use, used another harpoon so it could have two floats in it, shot it with a bow, another back up float and then shot it with a .45 caliber pistol,” he said.
For Shealy, he said the experience is something he will never forget what he called a once in a lifetime experience.
“It was definitely an interesting experience, something I’ll never forget, it took six people to get it in the boat, it was a once in a lifetime experience with that one,” Shealy said. “That’s a trophy alligator, I was not expecting to get anything like that on my first outing, I didn’t get in bed until 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning, so I was ready to get in bed when we were done.”
He added that last year Neeley nabbed his own alligator that measured in at 12 ft. 9 in., Shealy said he was able to get a significant amount of meat from the alligator and Crick Hooker of Shear Water Taxidermy in Chapin is assisting him in mounting the alligator head.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.