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Area hunter nabs huge gator
From left, Mike Arnold, Ashley Arnold and Gary Arnold pose with the 11-foot, 8-inch and 535-pound gator that Ashley Arnold killed last month at Middleton Lake. - photo by Photo provided.

Ashley Arnold of Gum Branch bagged an 11-foot, 8-inch and 535-pound alligator last month at Middleton Lake.

Her father, Gary Arnold, said Ashley shot the gator with a crossbow.

“And finally, after five hours of fighting him, she was able get him to the boat and dispatched him with a .44-magnum bang stick,” Gary Arnold wrote in an email to the Courier.

He said his brother, Mike Arnold, also had his arrow drawn while hunting gators, but missed four times.

“She hit her gator on the first shot,” Gary Arnold said.

He said his daughter now holds the family record.

“I killed a gator four years ago as well, and it was 11-feet, 6-inches ... two inches shorter than Ashley's. Yes, she beat me and I am one proud father,” Gary said.

Arnold said his younger daughter, Courtney, likely will join the hunting group in 2016.

“Let's see if she can out-do her big sister and uncle as well,” Gary Arnold said.

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