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      13 foot alligator killed at Lake Marion

      By Nikki Gaskins
      ngaskins@abcnews4.com

      Ravenel, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's one of the biggest alligators several hunters say they've ever caught in the Lowcountry. Nearly 13 feet long, the gator weighed in at 756 pounds.

      "He's probably one of the heaviest alligators we've killed," said Jordan Patrick, the owner of Tail and Scale Outfitters.

      The reptile was so heavy that it took a John Deere to lift the gator out of Patrick's boat.

      "We got this alligator in a boat in Lake Marion last night about 2:30 a.m. He was a horse. He was strong."

      Patrick and his team with Tail and Scale Outfitters were out assisting a hunter from Seneca, Jonathan Suber, with the capture.

      "They hire us to help them fill the tags and get the alligator they're looking for," Patrick explained.

      It took the team about 30 minutes to get the alligator in the boat after first shooting it with a crossbow.

      "We knew he was a real nice alligator when he came up the first time after we got the first line in him. That's when we really knew he was a monster."

      The gator was taken to Cordray's Meat Processing in Ravenel for processing. Employees there were caught by surprise.

      "It's always unusual when you get that really big one. It causes a lot of excitement," said Owner Michael Cordray.

      "We're going to take the meat off the carcass and process it and make slice steaks and its trimmings into sausage," said Cordray.

      With one big catch under their belt, Patrick and his crew say they are ready to see if they can top their latest catch with something even bigger.

      "Hunting gators is different from anything you can hunt in South Carolina. It's an adrenaline rush," said Patrick.

      Cordray says the alligator's skin will also be turned into a rug.

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