One day after helping her friend Mandy Broadway bag her first gator, Kelly Logan of Manning bagged her own with the help of Robert Nuzzo and Ernie Seruya, both of whom were also in on Broadway’s hunt. And while Broadway couldn’t make this trip, Bryan Miller joined the crew, helping Logan land her beast, which measured 10 feet, 7 inches in length on Sept. 12.
The hunt started at 8 a.m. out of Pack's Landing at Santee, and Logan dispatched her gator at 11 a.m. It was not an easy hunt, despite it lasting just 3 hours, considerably shorter than Broadway’s hunt which took more than a day.
“The gators are already getting more skittish than they were on opening day. They are moving away and disappearing quickly when they see people,” said Logan.
It wasn’t long before Logan spotted a big gator that she was interested in harvesting, but after Nuzzo made one errant cast that missed, the gator went underwater and didn’t come back up.
“It was a very big gator, and I named it ‘Dynamite,’ but it disappeared right away. We gave it a few minutes, but it didn’t come back, so we moved on to go after another one. We spotted a different gator and began pursuing it, but then, Dynamite came up again. It was like that gator was messing with us,” she said.
Things went back and forth, with one gator showing up and quickly disappearing, then another doing the same thing. After playing the cat-and-mouse game for what seemed an eternity, the four hunters moved on and finally got a shot at another big gator that Logan deemed worthy.
After Nuzzo missed again on his next cast, he finally connected, burying a hook in the gator, which quickly came to life. Next, Seruya put a hook in the animal. And that's when things got interesting.
“The gator was just flipping out. Bryan was untangling lines, Robert and Ernie were fighting the gator, Ernie was barking orders, and the gator was just fighting for its life. It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen. I was shaking inside, and just thinking ‘we’re gonna lose my gator,’” she said.
But quickly, the gator was beside the boat with a grappling hook and two harpoons in it, and it was time for Logan to do her part with the same 1911 .45 that Broadway had used a day before to dispatch her gator.
“Don’t shoot my boat!” Seruya warned Logan, who put two perfect shots in the soft spot of the gator’s skull.
Logan is having a full head mount done, and having the gator’s hide preserved by Custom Taxidermy in Dalzell to commemorate her hunt, and is looking forward to drawing her next gator tag.
“It was an absolute adrenaline rush. Just something that I can’t even describe, and I can’t wait to do it again,” she said.