Hog hunters at Sulphur Bluff Ranch discovered one of the county's more reclusive residents.
Northeast Texas isn't renowned for its alligator population, but the big critters still turn up here and there.
That was the case when hog hunters found one of the hefty lizards nested on The Hageman Reserve at Sulphur Bluff Ranch in Hopkins County on Feb. 23.
"This gator is a big male, approximately 11 feet in length," said Michael Woodall, a wildlife biologist for Sulphur Bluff Ranch. "My dogs ran a hog down into his den and stirred him up. Luckily for the hog, it was too cold for the gator to do much more than hiss."
"We went back last week and took better lights and cameras to get better pictures and a video of him," Woodall said. "I placed a trail camera outside the den in hopes of getting pictures on him when he emerges from the den. I also notified Texas Parks and Wildlife in case they had interest in confirmed gator sightings this far north."
Video of the reconnaissance mission, complete with annoyed alligator, can be seen here.