Family kills 12-foot alligator in Comanche County
By: Blair Phillips
A family in Comanche County has been facing a state fine after shooting a 12-foot-long alligator on July 27.
According to Texas Administrative Code Section 65.49, alligators can only be killed in Texas by registered hunters during alligator season, which begins in April and lasts through June. There is a clause, however, that states an alligator can be killed out of season if animals or people are in immediate danger.
Kellie Sparger said in a Facebook post that her husband, son and son-in-law were fishing that day and spotted the gator 300 yards away before her husband, Matt Sparger, shot it to save her son and son-in-law as well as the landowner’s livestock from attack.
In comments on Sparger’s post, landowner Mike Huddleston said he had six calves killed, which combined to a value of over $7,000 in loses. He said his cattle normally wade into the stock tank to cool down during July and August, which is why they shot the alligator upon seeing it that day, because it had been killing them in the tank.
“Mike Huddleston lost several calves to this monster and it needed to be gone… Lots of families have enjoyed fishing in this tank,” Sparger said in her original Facebook post.
According to Sparger, they spent the following three months dealing with the state, who decided the family would have to pay the fine for killing the alligator out of season because the family was not in danger.
Sparger disagreed saying, “Well to me, my son, husband and son in-law were in danger of a 12-foot alligator… Proud of Matt for being able to take that shot to protect people and livestock!”
Later, Mike Huddleston said that the county court fees were waived, but that a hefty state penalty was paid.
Overall, Huddleston said, “It was worth it for the gator to be gone and for the safety of kids and livestock.”