Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gator Grabbin' Champion


Jonathan Hancock, my nephew, momentarily loses his grip a 5'9" alligator he pulled from a pond during a Gator Grabbin' Contest at Gator Country in Fannett, Texas on Saturday, March 22, 2008. Hancock won the largest gator category of the contest. It was his first time trying to catch alligators.

&copy Mark M. Hancock / NewsEagles



video by &copy Mark M. Hancock / NewsEagles

Jonathan Hancock catches a 5' 9" gator during a Gator Grabbin' Contest at Gator Country in Fannett, Texas on Saturday, March 22, 2008. Hancock won the largest gator category of the contest. It was his first time trying to catch alligators.

My brother found out Gator Country would have its last Gator Grabbin' Contest this weekend. He registered himself and his youngest son for the competition. Neither have tried to catch gators before.

Since it was Easter weekend, we needed my sister here as well to make it a family reunion.

We expected my brother and nephew to get chewed on and get a once-in-a-lifetime story. We thought one might possibly catch a baby gator. Nobody expected my nephew to reach into a blind gator den and pull out the biggest gator of the competition.

My nephew spent most of his spring break in Katy competing in a robot challenge sponsored by NASA. His next adventure is to travel to Miami to defend his team's high school National BattleBot Championship title (here's a cool video [not mine] of the bot in action). They expect to win again this year and destroy every other robot in the competition.

Needless to say, we're all quite proud of him. :-)

8 comments:

John W. MacDonald said...

Man! That looked like fun!

Mark M. Hancock said...

It does. It's unlikely there will be another amateur contest (they're in a 20' deep pond now). If there is, I should get to compete and my nephew can handle the cameras. I'd be happy just catching a little one.

John W. MacDonald said...

are the gloves anything special, light stainless steal or just regular winter type gloves?

Mark M. Hancock said...

They're whatever the competitors brought. My nephew and brother had thick, leather work gloves. I saw one guy with a single hockey glove. The professionals weren't wearing gloves at all. I imagine chain mesh gloves would be the most effective.
I think it's more about the death roll than the actual bite. I'll post another video soon. Gary Saurage explains the death roll some.

Phlip said...

So that's what they do for fun out there in Fannett . . . no wonder my cousin's boys think Port Neches is too "urban." :D

Kudos to your nephew.

Mark M. Hancock said...

Port Arthur is urban. Port Neches might be urbane, but he probably meant "metro."

Bryon Houlgrave said...

On his first try?!? That's awesome. Gator-catching comes naturally for you Hancock's. I knew you were a closet croc/gator fan. ;-)

But seriously, I echo the many congratulations posted here.

Mark M. Hancock said...

Thanks for all the congrats. My family reads the blog, but never comments, so I'll thank y'all for them.

During my time here, I've learned I'd rather be around a gator than a croc. But no, I don't want one in my closet. They stink. :-p