Tuesday, September 20, 2011
800 pound dinosaur caught!!!
Stroh, who is 6-foot-3, and weighs in at 160 pounds took out a gator-hunting boat with his parents, Steve and Rachel Stroh, on Friday, on a tip that a big alligator was near in the St. Lucie River. They brought along Rusty Griffenberg, of New Jersey, a regular client of Southern Life Taxidermy and Guide Service that his parents own in Hobe Sound. Tim Stroh has helped his parents since he was 12.
"I thought it was just a 9-footer," Tim Stroh said. "Then I saw how big it was. I was more afraid we would lose it than I was of the gator, because of the rod."
Tim Stroh hit the beast with a bang stick, a .44-caliber gun shell on a stick, to stun the animal. Then he and Griffenberg harpooned it. Finally, the two men and Steve Stroh pulled the alligator into the boat.
The alligator's tail was at thick as Tim Stroh's waist.
"We have a big box cooler we normally would put a gator into, but he wouldn't fit. We had to keep him in the truck overnight and throw in ice to keep him cool," Tim Stroh said.
"It's the largest gator I've seen since I started guiding hunts in 1989," Steve Stroh said. "The processor we went to in Loxahatchee said it's the biggest they've ever handled."
Steve Stroh, a taxidermist, is mounting the 28-by-14-inch head and tanning the hide for his son. Rachel Stroh is making a lamp from a back leg. There are 250 pounds of gator meat in their freezers to fry or make into gator sausage, and they plan to make key chains from the bony plates of the gator's back ridges.
Tim Stroh said he was never really scared during the hunt. After all, he's been around gators since he was a kid.
"He had a lot of character, and I had a lot of fun," he said.