From the end of its snout to the tip of its tail, the alligator that 10-year-old Ella Hawk faced down on Sept. 26 was about three times her size.
“I wasn’t nervous,” the young Texan told the Victoria Advocate.
Hawk took a crossbow shot from about 15 yards out and snared the 13-foot beast, big enough to rank No. 1 in the world in Trophy Game Records of the World’s database, according to the Advocate.
Hawk has been hunting for a few years, her father, Tony Hawk, told the news website. But even an experienced hunter doesn’t expect to nab an 800-pound gator.
Ella’s first shot struck the creature just above his eyes.
“This first shot paralyzed and killed him,” she said.
Just to be cautious, hunting guide Ryan Longer asked Ella to fire two more arrows and then a pistol shot at the alligator. One of the arrows and the bullet struck the animal in the exact spot as the original arrow, Longer said.
“She Robin-Hooded it,” he said.
With the record kill, Ella now stands a solid chance to repeat as the Trophy Game Records of the World Huntress of the Year award winner.
“I was happy,” she said. “I was so excited.”
Longer called the kill the “pinnacle” of his year. He said he’s gone several years without even nabbing a 12-foot alligator, never mind a 13-footer.
“I have more confidence in her than probably more than 90 percent of the grown men I take on hunts,” Longer said.