ORLANDO, Fla. -- It's the middle of Florida's alligator hunting season, and that means sportsmen -- and women -- across the state are vying for mammoth creatures that will put them in the record books.
The state's record -- a 14-foot, 3 1/2-inch alligator -- is held by an Orlando man who caught the gigantic creature in a Brevard County lake three years ago.
Early last month, hunters outside of Tallahassee came close to topping that when they captured a 14-foot, 1-inch gator in Lake Talquin. That now holds the official spot as Florida's second-largest gator.
Other massive creatures have been captured throughout Florida in recent weeks, including a 13-footer weighing more than 735 pounds caught by an Orange County deputy sheriff and two friends in the Econlockhatchee River. Florida's alligator-hunting season began Aug. 15 and ends Nov. 1. The state issued 6,363 permits this year; each one allows hunters to capture two alligators in designated areas.