DUMAS, Ark -- Alligator hunting season is in full swing and three Arkansans are smiling big because of it after snagging quite the catch over the weekend.
The men caught a nearly 12 foot long gator, that tipped the scales at more than 500 pounds.
Warren Parker and John Manues normally sell used big trucks and trailers at Dumas Motor Company.
But Friday night, the two men teamed up with another friend, Martin Walt, who was armed with a GoPro, to become alligator hunters.
"We don't know much about them, they're real elusive," said Parker.
Walt was one to the lucky 101 Arkansans to get an alligator hunting permit this summer, out of thousands who applied and he invited Parker and Manues to tag along.
"It's pretty exciting," said Parker.
The men hopped on "Graveyard Shift," Parker's grandfather's boat, and scoured a family swamp, just outside of Dumas, in a hunt for the catch of their lives.
"We actually want the biggest, meanest, nastiest gator we can find to go after," said Parker.
He said nearly 50 alligators filled the murky water.
"We see them all the time in the daytime," said Parker.
But one in particular, caught their attention.
"We saw the size of his head and went after him," said Parker.
The hunters caught the reptile's attention too.
"He kind of floated up and, I guess, held his ground more or less," said Parker. "I feel like he was the dominate gator in the area."
The men used two harpoons to hook the gator.
"Exactly what we wanted to happen," said Manues.
Manues, weighing about 125 pounds, said he held tight to the ropes stick in the gator, that was more than 4 times his weight.
"I could just tell he was real heavy ... strong," said Manues. "As far as falling in, I'm not scared of the water."
After a 20 minute battle, the alligator was theirs and much larger than expected.
"Dude, look at this alligator," said Walt.
Their catch ... 525 pounds and 11 feet, 8 inches long.
"We got lucky and it worked," said Parker.
The gator has been taken to a facility in DeWitt, where the skin will be made into boots and belts.
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