Well 2020 once again doesn't disappoint with bizarre headlines. This one is a real story that came from the firearm deer opener in Minnesota. Cory Klocek was hunting near East Bethel, Minnesota when he spotted a 10-point buck. He took his shot and "knew he hit it good." He waited a while as you should to track the deer. While he was approaching the deer he noticed that something in the pond. He got a closer look and saw it was a 3-foot alligator.

In case you are unware, alligators are not native to Minnesota. This was immediately bizarre, and Klocek thought someone was playing a trick on him because it wasn't moving. He was just speechless trying to process what was going on when it finally moved. That's when he says he knew it was real.  When Cory told his friend Lisa who owns the farm he was hunting on, she wouldn't believe him until this saw it herself.

He did the right thing and called the Minnesota DNR, asking what he should do. They told him to kill it if he could. So he retrieved a smaller caliber gun and shot the alligator. Where did this alligator come from? As far as anyone can guess, it was probably a pet that someone illegally released into the wild.

Cory had to wait for the MN DNR and federal game and wildlife people to investigate the photos and figure out if it was an alligator or a caiman. He found out it was indeed an alligator which is a protected animal. Given the circumstances that it was found in Minnesota they will allow him to keep it. He's just not allowed to sell the alligator or give it away. It needs to stay with him, which is fine by Cory as he has it at the taxidermist now. He's going to have the buck looking down at the alligator below it.

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His Facebook post has gone further than he would have ever expected and has been shared over 55,000 times in just days. He's a part of hunting groups, fishing groups, and outdoor groups and all of them have been very positive about his experience. In his group of hunting buddies they have told him "nothing will ever top this story." Cory says they'll have to come up with a Bigfoot and Loch Ness Monster combination story to beat it. Cory also told me that he's looking for a category for alligators in the DNR record books, but hasn't found one yet.

Cory was a super nice guy to interview and I wish him the best. As a fellow hunter, I can tell you that he did everything right here. He notified the DNR, and they instructed him to kill the gator as it is an invasive specie. He even asked a friend from Louisiana who knows alligators how to humanely kill it. Nice job on being a responsible hunter, Cory. Here's to many years of sharing this story at deer camp!

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