A 10-year-old girl made a Robin Hood-like kill shot on an 800-pound alligator, and claimed the top spot in the record books.
Ella Hawk, age 10, recently reinforced her reputation for being a cool customer as she faced off against a 13-foot, 800-pound alligator.
Ella stood 15 feet from the toothy beast and pinned it right above and between the eyes with her first bolt from a crossbow.
She took the monster from the Guadalupe River in South Texas this past Sunday.
"I wasn't nervous," Ella declared of her first shot. But she admitted that the follow-up insurance shots got her adrenaline flowing.
"I was happy. I was so excited."
Ryan Longer, of Longer's Outdoors, served as the guide for the hunt. The size of the gator impressed even Longer.
He directed Ella to take two more insurance shots with her crossbow, the second of which hit her initial killing bolt. Longer also had her give the reptile a final shot with a .243 pistol, which likewise hit her first shot.
Longer called the giant "the pinnacle of the year" for his guiding operation. "It could have been a rodeo," he said. "It worked out in all aspects. It was like a crocodile hunt in Africa."
As per Texas alligator hunting law, Longer had baited and hooked the animal to prevent its sinking or escape if wounded.
Upon retrieving the monster, Ella's father, Tony Hawk, admitted suffering from his own case of "gator fever."
"I was more nervous than her before the shot," he said. "She has nerves of steel before the shot. She's just gifted like that, I guess."
Longer had even more praise for his young hunter:
I have more confidence in her than probably more than 90 percent of the grown men I take on hunts.
Ella has already proven herself to be an accomplished outdoorsman and marksman, with a variety of big game animals to her credit.
Her 13-foot behemoth ranks number one in the Trophy Game Records of the World database right now. It also gives her a chance to repeat her win last year as the TGR "Huntress of the Year."