CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — A 12-foot, 620-pound monster was captured by a gator-catching grandfather from Chester County.
"I shot him with a crossbow," Joe Houston said.
It took that crossbow, a harpoon and a gun to land the enormous catch.
"We knew he was a monster. We knew he was a big one, but we didn't know he was that big," Houston said.
Houston is not your average 73-year-old. When he’s not chasing his grandchildren or great-grandchildren, he chases gators.
"I done killed gators before. I killed 8-foot and I killed 6-foot and I said, ‘I want a big gator!’" Houston told Eyewitness News reporter Mark Barber.
Houston found a hunting guide who led him to the Waccamaw River near Myrtle Beach, where he went on the heart-pounding hunt last week.
"He was humongous. Words can't explain it. I don't know how to explain it. He was big. He's a big, big gator. He's a big boy!" Houston said.
It took four men to haul the gator in. And when they weighed him?
"He weighed 620 pounds. Then they laid him out on the floor and I stretched him out; stretched out to 12-foot 5 inches," Houston said.
The gator will soon be a Christmas treat for his great grandchildren.
"I'm going to eat him. I'm having him processed down there in Charleston. He's going to be put in like snack sticks and summer sausage and all,” Houston said.
Houston is still celebrating his trophy catch, but the 73-year-old is already itching for another adrenaline-pumping chase.
"I don't think I'll ever get another gator that big. I'm gonna try, but I don't think I can top that one," he said.
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