Giant Gator Killed In Trinity River

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 24th, 2011

Man claims “lucky shot” finished off 14ft alligator

An episode of ‘Swamp People’ inspired Dallas attorney Levi McCathern to go on a hunt for bigger game.

“Something I wanted to do was hunt something that could hunt me and alligators seemed like a challenge,” said McCathern, who has hunted since the age of six.

But huge reptiles are a far cry from hunting dove and quail, which McCathern said he hunts year-round.

As McCathern started looking for places he could hunt the large reptile, he checked the internet and typed two words — monster alligators. One place that kept showing in the search was the Trinity River. Yes, the Trinity River, which criss-crosses much of North Texas.

Thus, McCathern decided that’s where he would hunt the colossal creature.

Guided by experts two hours outside Dallas in Leon County, McCathern got his shot when a monster gator popped his head up out of the water just long enough for McCathern to pull the trigger.

“It went right in the brain… it was a perfect shot, probably my luckiest shot.”

Weighing a whopping 900 lbs and stretching 14 ft long, McCathern’s gator may be the largest ever killed in Texas history.

“They took him to the town square in Crockett and just caused a traffic jam,” said McCathern who admits his testosterone has been “very high” since the kill.

“My wife probably doesn’t like it as much as she should, I’ve been pretty big since I killed this alligator.”

It’s the kind of trophy that makes legends of hunters, though McCathern has proven as a lawyer he’s quite the angler, landing the biggest fish in town as a client, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

McCathern said the plan is to have the gator mounted and placed on a wall in his office where other hunting trophies adorn the walls.

Is his conquest of the giant reptile proof positive lawyers are truly sharks?

McCathern laughs at the idea, along with his new nickname.

“My name is Levi G McCathern…and everybody says it’s G for Gator.”

It is against the law to hunt alligators along the Trinity River, but McCathern had special permission from a private property owner to go on the hunt after many of the rancher’s cattle were gobbled up by the behemoth reptile.

Source: NBC DFW, Randy McIlwain

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

9 Responses to “Giant Gator Killed In Trinity River”

  1. j stewart responds:

    That’s one big gator. The biggest I ever took was 9ft, but I took mine with a bow.

  2. HulkSmashNow responds:

    Wow. I cross the Trinity River every night and every morning on the way to work. I knew there were alligators and alligator gar down there in the slow-moving, brown water, but nothing like this!

  3. stickyum responds:

    I just love Alligator meat and here’s my favorite big game recipe:

    Broiled Alligator Tail with Lemon Butter Sauce
    2 lb Alligator tail; trim and slice thin.

    Lemon Butter Sauce

    1/4 lb Butter/margarine
    1/2 ts Onion powder
    1 1/2 ts Salt
    Cayenne pepper to taste
    1 1/2 ts Lemon juice
    1 tb Parsley; fresh choped OR 1 1/2 ts Parsley; dried

    Lemon Butter: Over low heat in small saucepan, melt margarine or butter and stir in the remaining ingredients; DON’T LET IT BOIL. Let heat through, then serve immediately.

    Broiled Alligator Tail: Lay alligator slices on a flat broiler pan, and place about 6 inches from the heating element. Broil for 10 to 15 minutes or until done. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the top of the meat with the lemon-butter sauce, making sure to coat the entire surface. Serve immediately.

  4. stickyum responds:

    I have a large family from Alexandria, LA and here’s my Uncle Stafford’s favorite family Alligator recipe:

    Alligator Jambalaya
    1 lb Marinated alligator fillet cut into small pieces
    1 lb Hot sausage (italian) cut into chunks
    3 tb Oil
    2/3 c Bell peppers chopped
    2 cl Garlic crushed
    3/4 c Parsley
    1 c Chopped fresh parsley
    1 c Chopped celery
    2 cn Tomatoes (16 oz each)
    2 c Chicken stock (2 pkg chicken cube mix + water also works)
    1 c Green onion
    2 ts Oregano
    2 ds Red hot sauce (optional)
    Cajun spices (blackened or cajun king herbed spice excellent) to taste
    Salt to taste
    2 c Raw white rice

    In deep frying pan (cast iron preferably) saute the bell pepper, garlic, parsley and celery. While this is cooking, add tomatoes & their liquid, the chicken stock &, green onion to a pot that can cook on the stove and in the oven (Corning ware ) Stir in spices, sauteed vegetables raw rice, sausage and alligator fillet pieces. Cook on medium-high heat until liquid is absorbed (stir occasionally to make sure rice doesn’t burn on bottom) and then bake covered in the oven for 25 minutes. Serves 20 – 30 people.

  5. MattBille responds:

    Holy Toledo, that’s a gator. Would have eaten the ones I saw growing up in Florida like after-dinner mints…. It’s amazing these days that gators live long enough to get that size. That’s a positive note for conservation.
    I read once there’s a 19’2″ claim of a record gator from Louisiana over a hundred years ago. Of course, you always hear things. I have an old email from a woman who says her husband and his friends killed a 30-35′ gator deep in a swamp in Central Florida, but they couldn’t pack it out and had no camera. Me, I would have hiked out, driven to the nearest TV station, and said, “You boys want to call a helicopter RIGHT NOW!”

  6. Peter Von Berg responds:

    Here we have a wonder of creation, a magnificent creature. How great it would have been to know it lives in that river. But nooooooooo – these people’s first instinct is to kill it. It’s understandable that an alligator would have a reptilian brain. How sad that some people still haven’t gotten rid of the vestiges of one themselves. This is my great fear – that Nessie or Ogopogo or Bigfoot will finally be discovered, and that some idiot will then immediately kill it.

  7. Hapa responds:

    One more reason not to swim in the Trinity River (other reasons: undertow, pollution, snakes, etc).

    I lived near the Trinity for a while (southeast Texas) and fished there. I also remember looking at a picture of the extinct Karankawa Indians hunting giant gators using logs, which they jammed into their throats, breaking their necks. Due to the size of the Karankawas alone (six and a half feet high), the gators in the picture were around 40-50 feet in length, more like the prehistoric Deinosuchus (which ironically lived in Texas in the Cretaceous period). The man who drew the picture labeled the gators “Dragons”. Perhaps the artist over-exaggerated very large alligators like this one, or even bigger specimens.

    Or perhaps, Deinosuchus might have survived up to recent times? I doubt that myself, but it’s an idea and you never know.

  8. flame821 responds:

    @ Peter Von Berg

    While I understand your disgust at having an animal killed instead of tagged or studied from afar, please remember that this was a nuisance gator that was attacking and eating cattle. And while I personally understand the urge to ‘live at peace’ as part of nature and realizing that everything has its place in the choir I also understand how easily that gator could take a pet, child, even a full grown human. Not to mention the financial impact such predation can wreck on a farmer/rancher.

    I am amazed that it grew to this length (I’ve heard a foot a year but I don’t think that’s really accurate) but that means the the ecosystem in his area of the Trinity River must have a lot to offer.

    And I agree with him about Swamp People, I enjoy the show more each time I watch it. Troy was talking about ‘Big-eye’ again last night (local cryptid) to his shooter, Liz. The captioning under them (I don’t know why English speakers need English subtitles for people speaking English) prompted viewers to get more info on Big-eye from their website.

  9. j stewart responds:


    I guess you understand little about conservation and animal populations and hunting.

    Without the revenue generated by legal hunting of animals there would be no conservation of any species. Over 90 percent of the state of Texas budget for the Texas Parks and Wildlife conservation effort comes from revenues generated by license sales and other fees from hunters and the permits. Without legal hunting animal populations would grow to the point that disease and famine would be the killer and the animals would slowly starve or die of a horrible disease. This animal was an animal that had killed domestic animals and had been hanging around where people frequented. That means it was a threat to human lives. When these animals lose the fear of humans then they are very dangerous. Not one group that claims to want to save all the animals contributes one tenth to conservation that hunters do.

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