Why would you shoot a 15-foot alligator?
First off, hunting season in Florida doesn’t start until August 15th. Second off, you’re not allowed to kill an alligator in Florida using a firearm. And third off, this alligator is the closest thing I’ve seen to an actual dinosaur since watching The Land Before Time.
Venus – the town where this murder occurred – is located in an agriculture-focused area of Florida, known mainly for large cattle ranches and sugarcane fields. And while the gator they found there isn’t the state’s largest, it’s certainly enough to stir some commotion.
According to a local ABC News affiliate, Lee Lightsey (owner of Outwest Farms) and his guide were hunting for wild hogs when they came across a massive alligator – which they claimed was the same massive alligator they “suspected” of killing their livestock and cattle.
“There were remains of livestock he’d been attacking…cow bones…The alligator surfaced and he was coming our way. Even doing this for 10 years, something like that will spook you.”
According to TIME, the group initially estimated that its length was “just under 15 feet.”
According to Newsweek, Lightsey also said that the alligator was a “monster which needed to be removed.”
And because this story makes absolutely zero fucking sense, we’re going to ask some of our own questions.
Wait a second, how did they immediately know this was the alligator killing their cattle? Were your cows being eaten, or did you make that up to cover the fact that you might have committed a crime? Or better yet, is that why you’ve already deleted the photo from your Facebook page?
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said nothing about the fact that this alligator was killed outside of Florida’s allocated alligator hunting season (wow, never thought I would use the phrase ‘allocated alligator’).
The commission also said nothing about the fact that it was murdered with a shotgun, which is illegal in the state of Florida. Here’s what I found on the commission’s official website:
WHEN WILL THE LICENSED TRAPPER BE ABLE TO HUNT ALLIGATORS?
Harvest periods are:
Period 1: From 5 p.m. on August 15 until 10 a.m. on August 22
Period 2: From 5 p.m. on August 22 until 10 a.m. on August 29
Period 3: From 5 p.m. on August 29 until 10 a.m. on September 5
Period 4: From 5 p.m. on September 5 until 10 a.m. on September 12
All participants also will be allowed to trap alligators from 5 p.m. on September 12 until 10 a.m. on November 1.
WHAT METHODS CAN YOU USE TO TAKE ALLIGATORS?
Alligators may be taken only by the use of artificial lures or baited, wooden pegs less than two (2) inches in length attached to a hand-held restraining line and hand-held snares, harpoons, gigs, snatch hooks, and manually operated spears, spearguns, crossbows and bows with projectiles attached to a restraining line. The use of baited hooks, gig-equipped bang sticks, or firearms for taking alligators is prohibited except that bang sticks are permitted for taking alligators attached to a restraining line.
So, here’s my final question.
Why does a place that advertises itself as an “alligator hunting” destination feel the need to defend the fact that they killed an alligator? Because they messed up.
They killed one of the largest alligators ever seen by human eyes. And on top of that, they did it out of hunting season, and with a non-approved weapon.
I understand this was intended to be a moment of pride. And I understand that Americans have the right to bear arms or kill alligators or whatever. But this isn’t an expression of the Second Amendment.
It’s just another case of stupidity.