Down on the Bayou: Gator Hunting in Claiborne County

Mississippi’s ten day gator hunting season wraps up today. Many of the state’s recording breaking gators are caught in Claiborne County’s Bayou Pierre.
News 25’s Toni Miles hit the waters this weekend and caught up with some Mississippians on the hunt in the bayou.
Red eyes soon disappear into the night in Claiborne County’s Bayou Pierre, the site of many of the state’s record breaking gator catches. Conservation Officer Gregory Washington Jr. believes high waters from the flood make Bayou Pierre a prime hunting spot. “Patrolling the port here, you’re typically going to see big gators coming across here, 10 foot, 11 foot gators, all out in this open area.”
Last Sunday, a Vicksburg woman and her team caught a nearly 14 foot long gator, weighing in at 686 pounds and beating the previous state record by only one-eighth of an inch. The Barnes family just missed it. Gator hunter Peyton Barnes said, “We couldn’t believe it. We were in here. We must have driven right past him, I guess.”
But the Barnes decided to try give another run this past weekend and they got a bite, a big one. “When we snagged him our reel broke. There was no anti reverse on the reel, so we’re having to hold the reel to keep it from turning.”
The Barnes decided to let him go. Gator hunter Reid Barnes said, “We got a 12.2 last year. I guess our hopes are kind of high. We might should have kept the 10, but we let him go.”
Not everyone is such a good sport, as evidenced by a gator that was shot and killed illegally. It doesn’t end here. Conservation officers will continue keeping an eye out for poachers, who break the laws of men and nature.
As for the Barnes, gator hunting has becoming a family tradition.

Categories: Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *