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Hunter stumbles upon baby alligator in Minn.

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 8:24 AM CST
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EAST BETHEL, Minn. (WCCO) - Deer hunting took a wild turn for one Minnesota man Saturday, when he spotted a wide-jawed reptile lurking in the weeds.

Cory Klocek, a firefighter and former member of the military, has been hunting since he was a boy. He’s seen a lot of animals, but nothing prepared him for when he went hunting behind a friend’s property.

“I was kind of shocked, thought maybe somebody was playing a trick on me,” he said.

Klocek spotted and took a shot at a 10-point buck. When he saw it fall, he made his way toward it but then spotted something else.

“There was a muddy bank, muddy part of the shoreline, there was an alligator there,” he said. “He was probably 10 feet away from me.”

The 3-foot long alligator started to move. Klocek called the Department of Natural Resources.

“I asked, ‘What should I do? Should I shoot this thing, should I let it swim around?’” he said. “I was told go around and take it out, shoot it.”

He got a smaller caliber gun and shot the alligator. It’s now at his home.

His Facebook post about the hunting trip has gone viral with mixed reactions.

“People (are) mad at me for shooting a baby alligator,” he said. “Realistically, it’s an invasive species in Minnesota.”

He thinks it was someone’s pet who dumped it when it got too big. Klocek plans to have both the deer and the gator hung up in his collection.

“There’s never going to be a story that tops this,” he said.

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