RIVER MONSTER: Local will mount record setting alligator
Published 7:25 pm Sunday, April 5, 2015
NATCHEZ — Daniel Cavin has had many skulls come through his shop, but none quite like the project that is heading his way.
A Mississippi record holding alligator will soon make it’s way into Cavin’s work station, where he will once again do one of the things he does best — metal coating.
Brian Montgomery, who caught the alligator, said it holds the state record for weight at 792 pounds. The length is short of the state record, but isn’t a pushover at 13-feet and five inches.
“I was just in awe I guess would be the best way to describe it,” said Montgomery of his initial reaction to the size of the alligator. “You don’t anticipate when you go hunting to kill one that big.”
Ironically, one of Montgomery’s friends, Scotty Berry had set a new record just days before.
“Scott had been hunting the area and had caught the state record the weekend before we went,” Montgomery said. “Scott knew there was a big one where we were and we happened to catch up with him.”
Montgomery said it took he and his two friends out hunting with him that night about an hour to finally win the fight against the monster gator.
“Scott had a 16 foot boat and we hooked the alligator to it three different times,” Montgomery said. “It was a constant fight for about an hour, but that is really quick to get one that big in. We worked him with treble hooks for about 45 minutes and then I was finally able to get a bow fishing arrow into him, which made him easier to control.”
Luckily for Cavin, the hard part is over. But the Natchez native said alligators have proven to be a challenge in mounting.
“Alligators are a little tricky,” he said. “The beetles clean them out just like deer heads, but with alligators I take out every tooth, clean it, coat it and replace it.”
Cavin also said the tough skin of the animal will also be a challenge.
“An alligator isn’t something you do in a day,” he said. “You have to skin it out and it is like cutting leather. It is tough skin and once you get all you can off of it, the beetles take longer to clean it. I have more time in a gator than any other animal.”
But for Cavin, he said the chance to have a state record come through his shop will be pretty cool.
“The end result is pretty neat,” he said. “This is the biggest one I’m going to be doing.”