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Five-year-old boy bags 12 1/2-foot, 800-pound alligator

October 2, 2009 |  9:21 am

Five-year-old Simon Hughes examines the alligator he shot on his family's ranch.

Five-year-old Simon Hughes has quite a show-and-tell for his schoolmates after bagging a 12 1/2-foot, 800-pound alligator.

The Goodrich, Texas, first-grader was out hunting Sunday with his father, Scott, and family friend Chuck Cotton on the Hughes' 5,000-acre property near Lake Livingston, reports the Houston Chronicle.

They had set a baited hook the evening before, and when they went to check it Sunday morning the line was in the water, taut.

When the reptile surfaced, Simon shot it from about 5 feet away with his junior-sized shotgun, killing it. Just to be certain, Cotton fired another shot with his pistol to make sure it was dead.

The youngster showed no fear. "I wasn't even afraid," Simon told a KTRE-TV reporter. "It's pretty much simple. I  got my gun out and shot him."

Simon's mother, however, wasn't so nonchalant. "As a mom it sort of scares you to death, because there's alligators, there's snakes, there's all of that sort of thing out there," said Toni Hughes. "What we thought was huge was a 10-foot and this one just dwarfs the 10-foot. I mean its just so massive and prehistoric looking."

Here's a link to the KTRE segment of Simon talking about the one that didn't get away.

The gator, estimated to be 35 to 40 years old, is currently at the taxidermist, where the Hugheses are having the head -- which alone weighs 104 pounds -- mounted. They plan to make boots out of the hide and eat the meat.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Five-year-old Simon Hughes examines the alligator he shot on his family's ranch. Credit: Associated Press; Michael Paulsen / Houston Chronicle

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