Swamp Thing

Forget about deer or quail. You're not a true Texas sportsman until you've bagged your first two-hundred-pound alligator.

All we know is that a live alligator is at the end of the nylon line disappearing into the marsh’s vegetation. “You’d better move back,” Donnie Broussard instructs his two guests. “I’m afraid he’ll come right over that hyacinth and into the boat after us.” Earlier he had pulled in a ten-footer he thought he had killed, only to have to shoot it again when the gator rose up. Now Broussard moves to the bow of his airboat and gently tugs on the line, and we can hear the gator fighting. Finally the captured reptile, its blackish-green body thrashing, comes into view. From ten feet away, Broussard dispatches it with a single round from his rifle.

There is something woozily surreal about watching an alligator that weighs more than one hundred pounds being hoisted over the purple hyacinth and into the boat against a hazy, dusk-hour backdrop of the lit-up Port Arthur refineries. This beast is a beauty, almost seven feet long with a smooth, clean,

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